Lending out pigs as microloans—for sustainability

At Vestre, we give 10% of our profit to initiatives across the world that support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this series, you can follow our 10% to see where it goes, and how it actually contributes to making the world a better place. Hopefully, you'll be inspired to take part in this voluntary initiative. The UN SDGs include 17 goals and 169 targets, so there are plenty of areas where you as a company can get involved and make a difference.

One of the initiatives we support is Chime. Chime's work is aimed at getting people in the poorest areas of Uganda out of illiteracy and multidimensional poverty. Their goal is to create entrepreneurs, provide jobs and income for people, and contribute to development in villages. How? They lend out pigs as microloans.

One pig can change the lives of an entire family
By loaning pigs to the poorest women in Uganda, Chime gives them the opportunity to support themselves and their children. A pig acts as financial security for families, and it can be sold at market or slaughtered for food. Pigs are easy to care for and have many piglets, and managing them is very simple. Uganda is also a very fertile country, so it’s also simple to grow fodder for the pigs.

On average, one pig helps one woman and five children. When the pigs reproduce, the woman passes on one pig to another woman and one pig as interest, which then goes back to the administration in Uganda. In this way, more and more women receive help.

Children receive education
Information and education are key to creating income opportunities, and when extremely poor women gain income, they often prioritize their children. One result of what Chime calls ‘the Pig Project’ is therefore that many more children have the opportunity to go to school. For example, 600 pigs were given to the village of Butiki in Uganda in 2014. The income from these pigs allowed 700 children to start school. Today, the Pig Project has spread to over 130 villages, with countless success stories just like Butiki.

A success story
Meet Margrete Kintu from the village of Busona. Through the Pig Project, Margrete has earned money to pay her children’s school fees and repair her house. She has also earned enough money to expand her banana plantation by buying a sugar cane plantation, which she fertilizers with manure from the pigs. Thanks to her income from the pigs, she has also bought a cow, which has now given birth to two calves.

The Pig Project has also had major effects on the local community where she lives. Margrete has made new friends and acquaintances, who also nominated her for a seat on the local committee that manages the village. Her friends ran an excellent campaign, which resulted in Margrete being elected to the village council.

Pigs for sustainability
Chime supports two of the UN SDGs: SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities). You can follow the project and its development here.

  • Total contribution: 900 000 NOK over three years
  • Years as a partner: 2020–2022