By Drew Loizeaux, KF11, Uganda
I’m pleased to introduce HOFOKAM to the Kiva community. HOFOKAM is based out of Fort Portal, Uganda and maintains four branch offices that serve over 15,000 clients. HOFOKAM focuses most of its efforts on serving rural clients in the western part of the country.
Originally three different organizations, HOFOKAM was formed in 2003 by the merging of separate projects of the Catholic Dioceses from Fort Portal, Hoima and Kaseese. In addition, HOFOKAM receives funding and support through a partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Though HOFOKAM has many loan products its two main offerings are village bank and solidarity group loans. In addition to these loan products, HOFOKAM has also created several specific products to meet the needs of their clients such as agriculture loans, school fee loans and solar loans.
Though I’ve only been here a week, I have been overwhelmed by the staff’s dedication, not only to HOFOKAM mission, but to the partnership with Kiva as well. HOFOKAM is currently a pilot partner and they are working extremely hard to complete the necessary steps to reach an active partnership. I am excited to be at here for the next few months as the partnership develops and I am looking forward to providing updates on our efforts along the way.
Fort Portal, HOFOKAM base of operations, is a regional trading hub with a population of around 40,000 people. The market pulls in traders from as far as the Democratic Republic Congo on a regular basis and is the heart of the city. Fort Portal is nestled at the base of the Rwenzori Mountains and is surrounded by several national parks.
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Drew Loizeaux arrived a week ago at HOFOKAM in Fort Portal, Uganda. This is his third placement, previously serving in KF7-Cambodia and the KF8-Philippines.