A friend sent us a photo of President Bill Clinton in 1998 holding a baby that a Ugandan mother had named after him, along with a more recent photo of the two of them reuniting. The first photo was taken when the President and First Lady Hillary Clinton were visiting FINCA Uganda, which got us to thinking about how our program has grown between their visit and now.
When the Clintons visited, FINCA Uganda was already six years old. It got its start when a group of people in Minnesota asked us if we could take the microlending model that we had developed in Latin America and introduce it in Africa. We were definitely willing to try. They pooled their resources and FINCA Uganda, our first African program, was born. That vision continues to grow and provide opportunities more than two decades later.
Today, in addition to providing loans, FINCA Uganda is a licensed microfinance deposit institution, making it possible for more than 120,000 women and men to establish savings accounts which create personal safety nets for planned, and unplanned, life events. FINCA Uganda also is piloting some of FINCA’s most promising new programs including Youth Savings and Clean Energy, both that have been supported through grants and the gifts of generous, forward-thinking FINCA donors.