Greetings from Uganda.
We are excited to share with you one of our current efforts here in Uganda that we are focusing on this week: The Trade. The Trade is a small shop (storefront) we opened in the village near our property here (about a quarter mile walk).
On the face, it looks pretty similar to other stores that exist in Uganda. However, the economics behind the shop are far from normal. At The Trade, you don't need cash to shop.
We are introducing a trade-credit system where customers are not required to have cash in order to make a purchase. Instead, they are able to trade produce, livestock, and other resources they possess, in exchange for the goods in our store. For example, a local farmer who has children in school can bring produce that he grows in his garden. He receives a credit for each item, according to its worth. In return, he is able to obtain things that many struggle to buy without cash: shoes, school uniforms, or other scholastic materials.
In an environment where the majority of people lack the cash to purchase school supplies, this is good news. In fact, it's amazing. Not only are children now able to attend school with the proper necessities, but their parents are encouraged to work the soil--their produce is worth something! This is not just good news for an agrarian village. It's good news for everyone, as neighbors are invited into a system that frees them from the pressure of the coin (which value changes based on things outside of their control), and re-focuses them on something they have some control over: the ground.
Over the last few months, we have introduced the concept behind The Trade to parents at St. John's Primary. It was met with immediate enthusiasm, despite them not having participated in a system like this before.
While this project has a lot of potential and enthusiasm about the shop is circulating, we need your support to help make The Trade a success! This week we are outfitting and stocking The Trade in order to get it fully operational by the end of October. To achieve this goal, we need $4,000. These funds will help stock the shop with the materials people need, in the sizes people need, in order for the trade-credit to actually help them.
Though we have not obtained the entire amount, we are moving forward in faith believing we will get the necessary funding. You can help! The local community we work in needs the change that is going to come from The Trade. Please join us in our efforts!
Lead Manager, G.O.D. East Africa