Personal Financial Freedom, a Critical Question for NGO Workers

Published By UNNGOF |  May 3, 2024

Quite often, when you sit in the room where civil society actors are discussing sustainability, you will realize they only focus on diversifying sources of financing for the organizations they work for, its very rare to find them reflecting on how to apply the same thinking to their personal finances.

The nature of work in the civil society sector is contract-based, therefore employment ends with project closure. During project implementation, NGO staff are facilitated to undertake their work however, this fades away as projects wind up, and this has severally left most NGO staff and their families in a vulnerable position, even worse than the communities they were supporting when the project funding was still on.

It’s against this background that the idea of Nafasi Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd was born to help cushion CSO staff. Different entities have their SACCOs, like UPDF, Teachers, Police among others, so it’s worthwhile for CSOs to grow their own and secure their financial freedom.

As we attempt to secure organizational financial health, freedom, and resilience, it’s also important that we try to put attention to financial freedom for the people that work for these organizations. This is what led to the birth of Nafasi in 2014” said Moses Isooba during the 22nd UNNGOF General Assembly held in April 2024.

The idea of Nafasi was born out of the realization that CSO staff associates, members, and their families needed an infrastructure through which they would enjoy solidarity, financial freedom, and development. Leaders from the Uganda National NGO Forum, The Uhuru Institute for Social Development, and the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies took the lead in creating this infrastructure by soliciting the technical services of wealth Centric Limited, a financial advisory firm.

On the 26th March 2024, Wealth Centric presented the cooperative model at the annual general meeting of Uganda National NGO Forum at Hotel Africana, and a resolution was passed to set up Nafasi with the objective of enhancing financial discipline through increased savings, investment, access to affordable credit, housing and retirement planning and pooling of funds to establish businesses.

Nafasi (a Swahili word that means opportunity) was registered on the 28th April 2024, with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives under the Cooperatives Act, CAP 112 and the Cooperatives Society’s Regulations 1992.

To join Nafasi, please contact the Manager, Mr. Edward Ssejjoba on or the General Secretary, Robert Ninyesiga on