Economic Development

Ministry Director:  Pastor Wafula Robert

Mission Statement:

To develop and promote Biblical financial ethics, savings and investment cultures to improve the standard of living in communities.
Buvuma Islands Saving & Credit Cooperative (BISCCO)

graduation class

First graduating class from Pastor Robert’s Biblical Principles of Finance and Savings course.

Improving the social and economic lives of the people of the Buvuma Islands is the primary goal of the Buvuma Islands Saving & Credit Cooperative (BISCCO), formerly known as BISCA. BISCCO is situated on Lingira Island, one of the 52 Buvuma Islands on Lake Victoria. It was founded by vision-bearer Mr. Wafula G. Robert, who has spent 15 years on the islands, is a founding board member of the Lingira Living Hope Secondary School, and the vice-president of SHIM.

Because of the hardships he faced on the islands, and a desire to initiate change, Robert held a community meeting in the Lingira camp in July 2004.  At that meeting, suggestions were made for projects to boost the local economy and provide an income outside the primary occupation of fishing.  However, the main problem was lack of funds to start these economic projects.  Other difficulties included neglect of the islands by government policy makers and ignorance of the people on saving, planning and budgeting.

BISCCO was born from this community meeting, with the intent to provide instruction in saving and budgeting, as well as to teach the community about investments, offer loans – especially to the poorest of the people, eradicate poverty, establish a local bank with a low interest rate, encourage government involvement in development of the islands and address other social and economic issues.

Economic projects on the island, some which were started after the initial meeting, include a women’s arts and crafts group, animal rearing, agriculture, and a Lingira Carpentry Group (L.C.P.).

In 2010, BISCCO held a seminar in Lingira village attended by about 70 people. The cooperative now boasts more than 60+ island members and has given small business loans to 23 islanders. To date, 100% of the loans have been paid back! Funding for BISCCO comes from the savings of the members and from outside donors. In the future, BISCCO hopes to expand throughout the villages of the Buvuma Islands.

For more on how BISCCO is helping islanders economically, visit the SHIM Facebook page.

New BISCCO loan recipients of Lingira Village, Feb. 2015, with Pastor Robert, far right.