RUFI Financial Services to Refugees – The Bukwe Story
In March 2017, RUFI followed her clients who fled the conflict in South Sudan into Uganda. With branches in Koboko Town, Morobi Camp in Palorinya as well as extending outreach to Rhino Camp, Bidibidi, Imvepi and Yangani Camps, RUFI is now offering financial services to refugees and host communities. Over 450 clients are now served with a range of loan products including Group Loans, Personal Loans and Agriculture Loans. RUFI’s financial services that have resulted in the resilience of the refugees can better be told through the story of Bukwe, an agric farmer.
Bukwe is a seasoned vegetable farmer who first got a loan from RUFI South Sudan to procure a water pump for irrigation. Even before he could market his first harvest (Picture above) conflict broke out in Kajo Keji and he lost the whole harvest but managed to move with the pump to Uganda. As a refugee with no farming land allocated, he immediately negotiated with the host communities for hired land in which he also planted vegetable, mostly tomatoes. Unbeknown to him the land was prone to floods and even before he could harvest the first crop, the whole field was flooded and he once again lost everything (Picture below).
When RUFI Uganda opened up, he refinanced his loan from South Sudan and then secured better land to once again, plant vegetables (picture below).
When asked why again engage in vegetables production after a double tragedy, he answered, “I am a vegetable man at heart. I have now adapted myself to the conflict and natural calamities so this time I don’t expect a triple tragedy.” There are many Bukwes that RUFI Uganda is working with to ensure they grow economic feet to stand on even in refuge.