Explore Tekera Resource Centre

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The Tekera Peso is a currency unique to the Tekera Resource Centre

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Tekera Pesos are earned by community members, who work at TRC for Pesos in lieu of Uganda Shillings

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Because they never expire, community members can use these Pesos for various services at the Centre as well as for foodstuffs in the town

The Tekera Peso allows members of our community to participate in obtaining services at the Centre, without having to have an actual income. It makes our programs universally accessible to everyone in the community.

- Daniel Ahimbisibwe, TRC Program Coordinator

Why

On average, a rural household income in Uganda according to the 2016 Census, was almost $4 per day, or $115 per month. This would often fall short of cost of living, including education, food, clothing, and home maintenance.
Because incomes were so low in our area, there was a need to ensure that everyone in our community could access our services. Futher, there was a need to create a system wherein sustainability for the Centre was also a consideration. The Tekera Peso makes Centre services accessible for all without fear of depleting their daily financial outlay. It promotes self-sufficiency of the Centre's services and enhances the self esteem of the user.

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Story

Through the Community Work Program, community members contribute to the sustainability and daily needs of the TRC by participating and providing input into its programming. They earn Tekera Pesos while doing so, spend these Pesos at the Centre and the township, and "pay their way" independently.
The Tekera Peso and the Community Work Programme were the pivotal features on which the Centre was founded. TRC believes that handouts in any community create a welfare culture and so the Centre has never provided services for free. However, many people in the village and surrounding area cannot afford to pay for health and education services with Ugandan shillings. They would often try to pay with the resources they had on a barter system, including with animals and produce. TRC identified that the community wanted to, and could, provide assets in exchange for services. Although we did not have a consistent need for animals or produce, TRC has always had a need for person-power! It was decided that hours of time were the most valuable resource to the Centre, and the Tekera Peso program was streamlined to reflect this.

In order to give real worth to the services offered by the Centre, a local currency was developed by TRC when the Centre opened. The Tekera Peso looks - and is used as - real money but has no real monetary value. The Peso is earned by working at the Centre, through the Community Work Programme. The Community Work Programme aims to develop a real sense of community ownership of the Centre while also ensuring that services are not taken for granted.

The Work Programme is organized so that people can work on the community farm, help maintain the Centre compound or designated area in the community (such as road repairs). They earn 1 peso per hour or task (equivalent to 500 UGX). Pesos can then be used to pay for services at the health clinic and for adult education classes. Some have traded the Peso locally in exchange of goods like sugar or salt.

The Centre has since worked hard to maintain the value of the peso by continuing to be strict about peso payments and ensuring that pesos are only awarded to those who have worked one full hour.

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Impact

Many people in the community have worked at TRC for their Tekera Pesos in order to send their children to school or access healthcare for their family.
In the early years this program was a game changer for TRC. It continues to create the necessary environment for making TRC universally accessible for all. Various family members have used it in order to pay for their own and their children's education at Tekera Primary. Often Tekera Pesos are banked for expectant mother to gain maternal health care supplements and services for heir newborns.

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