About ActionInvest

Country Branches runs three main programmes and thus have have three sources of income; ActionInvest, 22RISE-Partnerships for Development and trainings.  During ActionTalks we discuss ActionInvest.
Please find more information here

We offer micro and small business loans with annual interest of 10%. The interest is an income to the Branches.

Loan-takers are called RISEmembers. RISEmembers are called for quarterly well planned meetings (RISEtalks) when they are provided with guidance on how ActionInvest work, and also training on accounting, auditing, social media marketing and more. During the RISEtalks the RISEmembers share knowledge and advice with each other and the aim is that the RISEmembers shall become an appreciated support group for each other. Being in a RISEmember comes with a fee, and this fee covers the cost of the RISEtalks (transportation, venue, snacks, internet, preparations and follow up.)

The activities during the year is compiled in annual reports that are shared with Action10, no later that 31 January. These reports are sent to the Action10 supporters 15 February and are discussed with alls members of Action10 at the General Assembly 15 March.

About ActionTalks

We arrange bi-monthly meetings; every second Saturday morning, for one hour, on-line on Zoom. 1st Saturday in the month concerns ActionTalks when we target ActionInvest, 3rd Saturday in the month concerns Branch&NetTalks when we target 22RISE and training.
7-8 am Burkina Faso, Togo & Liberia
8-9 am Nigeria, Sweden (winter time)
9-10 am Rwanda, Zambia & Sweden (summer time)
10-11am Uganda & Kenya.

HR&S HQ and Branches, RISEmembers and Action10 are invited to attend the ActionTalks. New RISEmembers are introduced and we discuss business plans and loan agreements.  Previously assigned RISEmembers share about their progress and their Outcome Challenges. Branches share knowledge and give each other advice. Action10 share knowledge and asks questions on issues they need for campaigns and for reporting back to supporters.

ActionTalks is also an opportunity for cross-cultural knowledge sharing.

Agenda and meeting notes are compiled below.

“Abandoning a barely born bird to fly on its own wings without help from its mother is to condemn it to endless precariousness, and that will be truly suicidal for it.

Schedule & agenda


  1. January: cancelled due to new year celebrations
  2. February: Mr Morris MATADI founder of IDEFOCS                                                                       DONE
    About IDEFOCS and plans for 2024.
  3. March: Team Kenya presents three new RISEmembers, also                                                     DONE
    Team Uganda about St. Michaels food lab in Kololo Uganda and Network of Technicians 
  4. April: Team Togo                                                                                                                                 Agreed
    HR&S HQ in Stockholm is making much effort to a establish social enterprise with financial viability in Togo. We are now trying to establish the third team. As I and M. Kodjo have agreed, it all depends on the mind-set of the team members.  We are grateful to that M.Kodjo has agreed to register a private company and set up a bank account. With us in the RISEmember team is M Milohum who is running an association Leaders & Development (L&D) that is, together with community leaders, managing a micro-business support programme for 300 target partners in villages around Agbolouwé. With us is also M. Alexis who is performing paid for financial audits, EUR 300 per audit. M. Alexis is now auditing L&D. He is done with year 2001, and is working on 2002 and 2003. Action10 has already fundraised for L&D 2004, but we need the audits and the management responses before we can transfer again. L&D is in possession of a significant HR&S capital that they already benefit from. L&D is in possession of a significant HR&S capital that they already benefit from.
  5. May: Team Rwanda, Valens and team.                                                                                          Agreed
    the start up of HR&S Branch Rwanda and the business ideas.
    – Tax paying and government communication responsibilities by the accountant.
    – Experience on how well to use the loans (How to make sure loans are returning back effectively).
    – Which businesses we can support to change the life of people, the strategy to make links which will be sustainable.
    – Testing the strength of Evidence for sustainable impact (TestE) and Good Management Practice (GMP), which constitute our Value Proposition when we reach out to financial partners.
  6. June: Team Liberia, Ramses and team & Team Zambia, Evelyn and team.                           Agreed
    Liberia: New Branch re-start: business-plan, ROPE, new potential RISE-members.
    Zambia. Establishment of a business centre
  7. July: Vacation
  8. August: Team Burkina Faso                                                                                                            Idea


  1. Jan: Freja, Felicia & Branch Kenya – Visit to Kenya                                                                       DONE
  2. Feb: Cecilia will give a presentation and lead a discussion around RISEagency                     DONE
     RISEagency is here defined as the capacity of individuals to have  the power  and resources to fulfil their potential in research,  innovation and social  enterprising in areas with fragile infrastructure,
  3. March: Evelyn, Sylvia, Ian, Finest, team Zambia. Present how Branch Zambia is well organised with a long-term strategy moving  forward in a structured manner DONE
  4. April: Cecilia Partnerships for development (22RISE) DONE
    Cecilia will present the CRM platform HubSpot
  5. May: Brice, Stephanie, Paul, Cheick team Burkina Faso. DONE
     About how to do business in Burkina Faso, and two pitches by RISEmember candidates.
  6. June: (Brice, Stephanie), Paul, Cheick team Burkina Faso. DONE
     About how to do business in Burkina Faso, and two more pitches by  RISEmember candidates.
  7. JULY Vacation
  8. August: Kevin, team-leader Branch Kenya. Cancelled
     A compilation of Output and Outcome measurement. Kevin could not connect to Internet. Cecilia presented ROPE instead  and we had a good discussion (even 30 min extra) about the Action10 – Branches,  relation.
  9. September: Evelyn and Finest Team Zambia DONE
     New RISEmember Madame Cecilia and Moses
  10. October: Moses MURUNGI,  team-leader Branch Uganda, & DONE
     Daste Events a potential RISEmember,  joint discussion to agree on collateral (draft agreement available), 30 min
    Kevin, team-leader Branch Kenya. DONE
    A compilation of Output and Outcome measurement, 30 min
  11. November: Elvis AUSTINS Team-leader Branch Nigeria and DONE
     Mrs Jimwan who is managing production of coconut oil for hair with her business plan proposal
  12. December: Mr Ayi Kanyi VIVIEN Business owner and potential RISEmember Agreed with  presenting an idea about scaling his business around buying fabric from Mali Helena  and sell in Togo. But no show.


  1. January: Moses – KIMU Coffee DONE
  2. February: Cecilia –  Knowledge sharing between HR&S Branches DONE
  3. March:   Milohum – Village businesses in Togo DONE
  4. April: Aghama – MumsWhoCode DONE
  5. May: Elvis – his back yard garden school  business DONE
  6. June: Millicent and team, DONE
     short SfC road-maps; ambition, outcome challenges, activities and progress markers.
  7. July: Three new business applicants in Uganda DONE
  8. August: Dolas Creation Kenya by Frederick and Ann  NoShow
  9. Sept: Milohum – Village businesses in Tog,  also Renaud. DONE
  10. Oct: Team Kenya – The future plans for Branch Kenya; Kevin, Ann DONE
     Lessons learned and informed decisions on how to manage an HR&S Country Branch and RISE Centre.
  11. Nov: Morris and Ramses  – Liberia, the BRV DONE
     Morris MATADI is the CEO and founder of IDEFOCS  Agenda: The IDEFOCS programme on the integration of former child soldiers in Liberia. BRV is the Botanical Reintegration Village in Little Bassa.
  12. Dec: Joel and Moses, Uganda – (Kamwoya business loans) and RISE salons DONE


  1. January 2021: July – Covid19, how it affects our health and our businesses DONE
  2. February 2021: Cecilia – Strategy for Change DONE
  3. March cancelled,  cause Giacomo requested to postpone on short notice
  4. April 2021: Giacomo – Trauma counselling DONE
  5. May 2021: Francis – Identifying potential donors within Sub-Saharan Africa DONE
  6. June 2021:  Ann, Kenya- Accounting by social enterprises in Kenya DONE
  7. July: Emma – TAct DONE
  8. August: Cecilia – Volunteer motivation and cross-cultural respect DONE
  9. September: Elvis – Testimonies by social entrepreneurs in Nigeria DONE
  10. October: Moses – Lean model customer survey DONE
  11. November: Cecilia, cross-cultural respect DONE
  12. December:  Virginia Kenya, Veema Housholds DONE


  1. October 2020: July . Driving school in Liberia DONE
  2. October 2020: Mislav – Business model / Customer segment DONE
  3. November 2020: Mislav – Business model / Value proposition DONE
  4. December 2020: Millicent – Business model RISE Kenya DONE 

Meeting notes


News from Kenya & Uganda

Notes from ActionTalk, 2 March 2024
Note taker: Verena STÖFFLER
Participants: Kevin Werunga Kenya, Finest Mwamba Zambia, Justus Barasa Kenya, Jacob Omwaka RISEmember Kenya, Karim Yankine Burkina Faso, Margaret Wambui RISEmember Kenya, Jean Bosco Rwanda, Karen Aimad Sweden, Helena Cechurova Sweden, Verena Stöffler Sweden, Cecilia Öman Sweden, Ramses Hutchins Liberia, Ambrose Atwine Uganda,  Josephat Leegarmy Kenya, Kelvin Gitau Kenya, and Darius D.Korlubah Liberia

– About on-line training. Kelvin is planning to make a online workshop with topic on Social Media expertise – online, fee 10 EUR (income will be shared 50/50 between Kelvin and Branch Kenya).
– About ActionTalks. Every first Saturday of the month – concerns Action10 and ActionInvest, presentation by/of RISE members during,  we are able to learn from RISE members (new and progresses),  we can share knowledge and learn from each other – today Kenya and two new RISEmembers will present, also Branch Uganda will present and new idea.
New RISEmembers
– Mr. Jakob Omwaka Western part of Kenya has a small family Business for almost 10 Years. People in rural areas often don’t have the opportunity to travel in to city and have direct contact with a bank. So Jakob is providing money transfer services. There is an agent that  has money and send money. It is an money transfer service for people.
– Ms. Margaret Wambui from Kenya presented her company “Help me home Kenya”. Her business help previous convicts, especially women.  It has been running for  3 year. The women get the opportunity to have counselling, earn their own money and be re-integrated in their communities. The women business addresses mental wellness and provides counselling and training such as tailoring, hair dressing and home care. After the training the business help to establish contact with potential employers. They challenge they want to address want the support from HR&S Action10 is lack of  equipment so that they can train more and better and  thus generate a higher income.
It was noted that this activity has similarities with our programme with IDEFOCS in Liberia, so knowledge can be shared.
– Mr. Atwine Ambrose from Branch Uganda presents a food testing laboratory, the St.Michaels Food Lab and Consultancy, which was founded 2016. They started very small but they could expand. The laboratory already provide analyses for the UN and for Supermarkets and Hotels. They can test food, water, beverage and cosmetic. The business is scaling, they are increasing the number of customers,  get more support from business communities, work with  larger projects, and can thus expand their income. They also have a consultancy and management system, and support small businesses, other large industries and also governmental organisation. One of the big projects is that they got selected to make test for the UN Uganda. One Challenge is access to equipment, so that they can expand and handle all the big projects. For the work they are doing they need loans but the different financial institutions in Uganda has a high level of interest. So the challenge is how are we able to grow by using those loans, why the  they are requesting if they have support from HR&S Action10 to procure more equipment.
It was noted that this activity has similarities with our programme with Senexel in Burkina Faso, so knowledge can be shared, and also that those two projects can empower the HR&S Network for Technicians.  Mr Karim Yankine who is working at the Senexel laboratory  explained that this laboratory is doing environmental analyses of water and soil and  more. He shared that right now it is really tough because of the fragile security situation in Burkina Faso and the danger with collecting samples from the gold mining area. it was agreed that HR&S shall support if we can.


Notes from ActionTalk, 3 February 2024
Note taker: Helena Čechurová

14 participants
Cecilia Öman , Leegarmy Josephat, Bosco U – Rwanda, Brice Alain Kabore, Finest Mwamba, Joel , Justus Barasa, Karen, Kevin Werunga, Swafie Tech Ltd, Sylvia M, Valens, Morris Matadi, Helena Čechurová, Björn

The structure of this talk was divided into 2 parts. First of all, the introduction about Action10 was given by Cecilia in general (the idea, mission, money situation, 22 RISE – partnership for development etc.)

The other part of the meeting was focused on Liberia projects (focused mainly on former child soldiers) led by Morris Matadi who runs IDEFOCS.

As a new idea and the project proposal the communal laundry was discussed. It was introduced as an opportunity for former child soldiers to reintegrate into society and earn money. The laundry has a huge potential because it is considered as a need of locals. So, the business could be very sustainable. At the same time, it could be a nice opportunity for Liberians to “get back on the track”. Is not just about business but also about the trauma healing process as well as about breaking the stigma of the children and the community – “now we are different, we want to be a part of the community, let us in”.Iis about saving people – social reintegration.

Another potential business which has been introduced is to sell cold water (cool it and sell it later).

Nowadays, the Botanical Reintegration Village project, which provides reintegration support to former child soldiers and women who went with fighting forces, is currently paused.

During the talk there have been several business questions by Josephat, Valens, Finest, Prof Milohum Mikesokpo and Helena (asking for business plan details, curios about equipment needs, challenges, location struggles etc.).

As a challenge of Liberia’s situation regarding HR&S perspective, they don´t have Branch registered company so far. It is a challenge in the way of accounting, auditing and transparency. This also should be part of the meeting – to bring potential Branch members into it.



Date: 01 February 2023

Invited:  HR&S County Branches, Action10
Purpose: Knowledge sharing and cross-cultural awareness raising
Topic: Presentation and discussion around RISEagency
Presenter: Assoc. Prof. Cecilia ÖMAN, CEO and Founder Human Rights & Science (HR&S)
Note-taker: Jabezie UMUHIRE
Attendance :

  • –           Elvis AUSTINS (Nigeria)
  • –           Evelyn FUNJIKA (Zambia)
  • –           Stéphanie MAIGA (Burkina Faso)
  • –           Cheick ZOURÉ (Burkina Faso)
  • –           Joel MAFABI (Uganda)
  • –           Paul W. SAVADOGO (Burkina Faso)
  • –           Jabezie UMUHIRE (Sweden)
  • –           Carl EMILSSON (Sweden)

Key points from the presentation of Prof. Cecilia ÖMAN

–           Introduction and ROPE graphic explanation
It all starts with an ambition from any branch or RISE member followed by the assessment of the hindrances and the persons to achieve the ambition. This will lead to reflections where various stakeholders contribute to the discussion and come up with activities on which they agree to solve not only the actual but also challenges that may arise in the future. From the output of the activities, the progress marker will be measured, and maybe new outcome challenges determined. Eventually this leads to Sustainable Impact.

–           Lessons learned and informed decisions.
The core values of Action 10: TAct is what makes us unique and defines us.

Support packages:

  • o          REACH
  • o          FAST
  • o          SCALE
  • ActionInvest is a portion of SCALE

The social entrepreneur tells us what will help the community, and he/she receives an assignment from us by answering two main questions:

  • What are your challenges?
  • What do we need to do in order to help?

Lessons learned in 2022 and before: There are projects running and people received loan but one of our ambitions remain = to be sustainable since loan takers do not pay back loans on time and with interest or not at all.

–           Target of 2023: RISEagency in addition to the other activities.
It requires us to be SMART-CREATIVE-AMBITIOUS and our partners should deliver their share of the agreement. Therefore, we need to know:
1. What to do? (Activities & Mile-stones).
2. The outcome challenges.

DISCUSSION: Reflection and sharing time
Purpose: Identify outcome challenges together
Interventions of the participants (#- Intervention of Cecilia)

Paul W. SAVADOGO: Outcome challenges are related to what I am engaged in. The problems/challenges identification should not come first but the motivation of what I am doing. As a senior scientist, I want to do things that have a great and long-lasting impact on the community in the frame of my expertise and experience. “What is the motivation?”.

# Depending on the level the person is in his life the opportunities and challenges vary.

Elvis: working in the field and trying to reach out to individuals. I have found that people in Nigeria are uncomfortable with the word LOAN. Can we replace it? Or find a way to make it less uncomfortable.

# Present the benefit of a loan. How scaling will help them grow and pay back the loan.

Carl Emilsson: Depending on the level of experience of the social entrepreneur, the local team may need not only to allocate more time, and knowledge sharing but also be more dedicated to assisting the entrepreneur which is not always an easy thing to do.

Evelyn Funjika: In the branch in Zambia, the first criterion to receive a loan is to have experience in business to ensure that the entrepreneur will pay back the loan. People are afraid of taking loans as they fear that if there are unable to pay, Loan sharks will track them to pay back the loan. There is a real need to build trust.

#Make it clear and share the message that it is a real partnership and we do not take advantage of anybody.

Paul W. SAVADOGO: Social enterprise is unknown to many people.

#Social entrepreneurship is every action that empowers development, provides employment, and may meet various needs and at the same time ensures sustainable economy through the business set-up.

Joel Mafabi: People are willing to make a positive contribution to their community, but they lack funds and still have the mindset to get the fund and use it without the need to reimburse it. It will be good to have a holistic dialogue to inform and explain the benefits of the loan for the entrepreneur, their community, and the country. Since the interest is low (10% per year) with 2 years to reimburse the loan. There is a need for partnership “work hand in hand “and open the road for others to benefit from the activities of Action10.

Cheick Zouré: People do not like to work together or take any risks which makes it difficult.

# RISEtalks is place of training and reflection that targets the need of the participants. The participants (RISEmembers) are the ones to choose the topic of training (marketing, accounting…). The RISEmembers supports each other by sharing knowledge and give advice to address the local challenges.

Jabezie: As Zouré mentioned it is a challenge when there is distrust and unwillingness to collaborate with others. Encourage team building and partnership among the different members for them to empower each other.

#The RISE talks need to become strong. Moving slowly but firmly as well as efficiently, smoothly, and in transparency.

Literature review

# Aid has dampened the social contract between the government and the people.
People should own a company that will generate taxes that the government can use to build institutions such as education, health, justice and rule-of law and thus ensure social security for the population of the country.
Government and people tend to be independent of each other since both receive aid money instead.

Way forward

# We shall review the output from this ActionTalks, deepen the understanding about the outcome challenges, develop activites and implement Mile-stones.


# Our actions intend to create a “micro cosmos” within the macro-scale situation.
# HR&S has invented the word RISEagency and the HR&S definition of this word is “the capacity of individuals to have the power and resources to fulfil their potential in research, innovation, and social enterprising at locations with fragile infrastructure.” ~Cecilia ÖMAN

Branch Zambia

Date: 01 March 2023
Topic: About Branch Zambia, presentation of their short and long-term strategy.

Attendance :

  • Evelyn FUNJIKA (Zambia), presenter
  • Finest MWAMBA (Zambia) presenter
  • Carl EMILSON (Sweden), note taker
  • Elvis AUSTINS (Nigeria),
  • Joel MAFABI (Uganda),
  • Stéphanie MAIGA (Burkina Faso),
  • Sheik ZOURE´ (Burkina Faso),
  • Paul W.SAVADOGO (Burkina Faso),
  • Jabezie UMUHIRE (Sweden),
  • Verena STÖFFLER (Sweden)
  • Tanja LUNDÉN (Sweden)
  • Cecilia ÖMAN (Sweden)

Key points from the presentation of Evelyn

Evelyn described how recruitment started in 2021 and an HR&S Branch Zambia company was registered in 2002. The key project is ‘Entrepreneur support’. Main activities so far has been organising flyers, mobile banking, loan application form and agreements as well as a system for keeping track of repayments.

Early on, the team decided to focus on entrepreneurs that already are running some kind of business and has a community standing. The approach has been to identify potential loan recipients. All four branch members are tasked to do this. To date, two entrepreneurs have been identified and granted loans. Loans conditions are either annual loan with a 10% interest, or 3 month loans carrying a 3 % interest. Weekly repayments are requested from loan recipients.

An important task is to offer loan recipients training in how to run a business, accounting and expansion strategy. 

One loan recipient is Moses, who is active with manufacturing  women’s shoes. He is active in Mutendere market in Lusaka and was recently granted a 3 month loan

The other recipients so far is Cecilia who is a fishmonger in the same market

Another activity that Branch Zambia is planning for is to coordinate and conduct Research Management webinars. The team aims to reach out to institutions for funding. It also aims to increase attendance from before and a valuable tool is to raise awareness in social media channels. 

Evelyn continued with sharing about challenges experienced. First and foremost, she mentioned how to ensure financial stability as the Branch is expanding operations. In concrete terms she mentioned excessive bank charges (to date, the branch as opted for a simpler mobile bank solution), internet bandwidth and fees, transportation costs related to meet with potential loan recipients and printing costs for agreements, flyers and other documents. She mentioned that it may be possible to get government support for covering charges.

The team members are currently meeting online on a weekly basis, but would like to find a venue where they can meet in person. Evelyn also mentioned the need to file records somewhere.

The team’s main long-term goals is to established presence in Zambia and increase work with trainings and seminars vs institutions. 

After sharing the information that 10% of transfers from Sweden is to be set aside for running costs and token of appreciation, Cecilia opened for questions and discussion, which ensued.

Note taker.


The Relation between and joint effort of the
Action10 volunteer staff and the
HR&S Country Branches volunteer staff

2 Aug 2023

The ActionTalk gave an opportunity for reflection about the relations between Action10 volunteer staff and the Country Branches volunteer staff.
We are both the investors.

Action10 invests time, skills, knowledge, efforts…
and manages the link to financial investors.
Some of us are financial investors as well.

HR&S Country Branches Action10 invests time, skills, knowledge, efforts…
and manages the links to the loan-takers (RISEmembers)

Action10 and Country Branches volunteer staff are in this together, we depend on and support each other to reach and empower entrepreneurs offering social good in sub-Sahara African countries.
The Country Branches can inform Action10 about the amount that they will be able to manage, meaning they have found trustworthy entrepreneurs to give loans to. Country Branches manages the transactions on-site, visits and empowers the entrepreneurs, addresses challenges, and provide training.
For this they are not paid.

Action10 shall preferably be able to transfer the amount that the Country Branches inform that they are able to give out as loans, to keep the Action10 brand high, so that loan-takers trust Action10.
This is very serious matters, we raise expectations and we raise hope when we offer services to under-served communities. The people we reach out to, must be able to to trust us.

Each and everyone of us must be honest and trust-worthy about doing our very best to fullfil our assignments. Out of respect for the under-served people we have reached out to and agreed to empower.HR&S Sweden offers management strategies designed to empower fragile infrastructures in sub-Sahara African countries and management strategy coaching.

HR&S Sweden and HR&S Country Branches shall be able to employ staff, so that we will have the capacity to scale and manage the programme in a way that it creates significant sustainable impact and firm infrastructures.

Action10 will always remain Action10, an amazing volunteer driven organisation, and the ActionInvest capital will grow and grow and grow (never to be consumed) together with the cross-cultural awareness and respect that we create a platform for.


Farm Business School in Nigeria- A PITCH

4 May 2022

Elvis AUSTINS, presenter.
Hannah HÖRL,  note taker.
Millicent, Paul, Moses, Mariam, Elvis, Atwine, Kevin and Evelyn attended from Africa and Carlos, Cecilia, Anne, and Jasminka from Sweden.

Notes from the presentations
On the 4th of May we had the privilege to partake in a very inspiring ActionTalk by Mr Elvis Austins, team-leader of HR&S Branch Nigeria. During this month ActionTalk, Elvis kindly presented his backyard garden project and his aim to develop a farm business school programme. Elvis, who was awarded the annual global innovation award for his “Spell Africa” project in 2013 is embarking to new shores with a project centred around the idea of improving food security while also pitching the idea of organic and sustainable farming methods.

The idea of his farm business school is to make farming possible anywhere and everywhere. Food scarcity and insecurity has become a global challenge and Nigeria is especially affected with a minimum of 9.2 million Nigerians facing food insecurities between March and May this year alone. Austins outlined many reasons to explain the phenomenon, highlighting a lack of knowledge about modern farm practices which respectively leads to fewer people engaging into farming since it often does not prove profitable. Another reason for food scarcity is the lack of proper storage and preservation resulting in fresh produce often going bad before it can reach consumption.

Austins aims to target both major issues with his agricultural training programme. He developed an educational system providing information and training about both organic farming practices and innovative storage methods, such as specially isolated “storage boxes”. Those storage chambers are capable of achieving a temperature reduction of 15 degrees compared to the outside temperature by only using isolation foam- no electricity needed! He also uses compost incinerators turning food waste into valuable and highly fertile compost, usable in his backyard farming system since it does not produce any unpleasant smells as one might expect.

In addition to his ambition to change the current Nigerian farming practices with a cross- generational approach, he aims to change the stereotype of the poor hard working farmer by showing how yields can increase by using modern, organic methods. Backyard farming as a possible solution to food scarcity is a promising project even for less rural areas since it only requires a couple of square meters and allows families to be less dependant on an unstable market.

Education and community action, both factors are perfectly united in Austins’ backyard farming project ensuring learning beyond the class room entire communities can profit from!

Our three RISE members in Kenya

1 June 2022

– Millicent Sifuna,  Ann Chebet, Mariam Swaleh, Kevin Werunga, (presenters) Kenya
– Joel Mafabi, Moses Murungi, Uganda
– Stéphanie Maïga, Burkina Faso
– Alexis Akotchaye, Milohum Dzagli, Togo
– Hannah Hörl (note taker), Patrik Nilsson, Nicole Vestling, Cecilia Öman, Felicia Simonsson, Action10
Joshua Okoduwa, Global Giving

Notes from the presentations
This month’s ActionTalk was centred around the HR&S Kenya branch which is led by Millicent Sifuna with the support of Ann Chebet, Kevin Werunga and Mariam Swaleh. On the 1st of June the team introduced us to three local RISE entrepreneurs and their projects and business ideas.

Firstly, Mariam presented the VEEMA household project initiated by Virginia Njeri. Virgina specialises in house hold items, focusing on textile items needed to equip bedrooms. Her speciality is the production of bed runners which are in high demand due to the increase of tourism rates in Kenya. The VEEMA business strategy includes extensive online marketing through platforms such as Facebook. Unfortunately, despite great demand, orders were lost occasionally due to lack of materials and the financial inability to produce in bulk. This was reason for Virginia to request and receive a loan from Action10. In the future, Virginia hopes to manufacture in larger quantities thus providing employment to delivery personnel, tailors and wholesalers while becoming an independent, female business owner (ambition). Businesses were facing a tremendous amount of struggles in addition to the professional and financial setbacks caused by the lack of tourism and decreased market demand during the pandemic. In challenging times like these it is even more impressive that entrepreneurs such as Virginia stayed on their toes, ready to tackle the problems in order to pursue her goal to become the leading producer of bed runners in Kenya while empowering her neighbourhood through employment opportunities.

The second entrepreneur Team Kenya presented to us was Frederick Ating’a and his project DOLAS CREATION. Ever since he can remember, Frederick has been fascinated by the traditional African clothing his grandfather used to wear. The idea to create his own line of fashion was inspired by the traditional African patterns and fabrics. After Frederick had grown frustrated with the institutions he was working for, he decided to turn his passion for designing into reality and since then aspires to develop and empower his community Kibera, an area near Nairobi which is known for its high unemployment rates and povert, by providing employment and training programmes. DOLAS CREATION’s vision is to become the nation’s most inclusive business representing marginalised craftsmen and artisans, to provide great service and to raise enthusiasm for African fashion. Frederick has been facing some challenges due to lack of equipment and skilled workers, competition with clothing produced outside of Kenya and a lack of medial visibility (outcome challenges). This was reason for Frederick to request and receive a loan from Action10. In order to overcome those challenges, he also aims to recruit and train at least two artisans, purchase the materials and machines needed as well as opening an online marketing platform (ambition).

The last presentation put together by Kevin Werunga, portrayed the AMANI WOMEN GROUP. The group, currently not only constituted by female members, was founded in 1995 as a seller group for cash crop pyrethrum. AMANI came together in order to help individual members to improve their living standards by paying a small weekly sum into a common account which, accumulated, could function as a table bank project. Setting a little money aside every week can help to establish a community bank members can borrow money from, reinvesting in different projects. Even though the group was able to purchase land in 2011 the little money paid into the bank was hardly enough to create sufficient capital (outcome challenge). This was reason for the AMANI WOMEN GROUP to request and receive a loan from Action10. Tackling those issues AMANI WOMEN GROUP also established some guidelines, such as maximum loan provided, fixed monthly contributions and the necessity to always pay back the loan. The process is highly organised and monitored by the group meetings, two treasurers and one secretary. Their aim is to see people from the village develop, become independent from the housing market by constructing their own houses and potentially set up a common business with all group members (ambition).

How does the future in Kenya look like? As Millicent phrases it, it is already amazing enough that those entrepreneurs continued to fight through the harsh times of COVID despite a broken market. For now, marketing and branding seems to be the priority in order to move forwards with their businesses.

Three potentially new RISE members in Uganda

6 July 2022

Anna Vretto (Presenter from Uganda)
David Mwanje (Presenter from Uganda)
Agnes Nabwire (Presenter from Uganda)
Kevin Werunga (Branch Kenya)
Teega-Wendé Clarisse (partly, Branch Burkina Faso)
Stephanie Maiga (partly, Branch Burkina Faso)
Cecilia Öman (Founder of Action10)
Felicia Simonsson (Team Sweden: taking notes)
Freja Falkenberg (Team Media)
Nicole Vrestling (Team Sweden)

Topic: Listened to three different business pitches from Uganda, and had discussions about challenges and their future.

Pitch 1 _ Anna Vretto
Anna is from the Bukoto ghetto area in Kampala. She is 38 years old and has a number or diplomas on different subjects. She saw a difficulty for unprivileged women in Uganda between the age of 20-40 to provide for themselves as single mums.
Anna is member of a SACCO of 26 women and her proposal to Action10HR&S is to help scaling the capital of the SACCO. Anna’s idea is to lend money to women’s small businesses. In the SACCO everyone contributes with 1,000 Uganda Shilling (EUR 0,3) per day and the loan is  20,000 Uganda Shilling (EUR 5).
Her business proposal: Lend 10 million Ugandan Schillings (EUR 2,600).

Pitch 2_ David Mwanje
David is from Kampala. David is running a business that supports events and event decorations. The business was started in 2014, it was registered in 2019 but does not have an official bank account yet. He has 6 participants. They did not yet develop any annual reports and they do not have auditing reports.
David explained to us that during some seasons/months like January, April, November, and December there is a high demand for his businesses in Uganda, but in other months the demand from customers is deficient and, therefore, they don’t earn enough money.
His business proposal: Loan 10 million Ugandan schillings (28 000 sek) for 2 years. Payback schedule: Monthly payback to Action10 according to our interest (10% per year)


Pitch 3

Agnes Nabwire: Kampala – Uganda

Agnes explained that there are few specialists that have knowledge about African natural hair in Uganda and therefore there’s a scarcity of these types of salons, and she want to bridge this gap. Agnes has previous experience from doing hair together with her sister, under informal conditions, and now she wants to register a company. Her business is not yet a registered company, but she’s in the process right now and hopefully be registered at the end of this month (July).
Value proposition: Do African hair in a natural manner She also wants to provide people with treatments for health problems related to hair, like Alopecia (hair loss). Therefore, her goal is to employ dermatologists in the future as well.She also wants to expand her business to offer doing nails and sell natural hair products as well as offer snacks in the salon. Her target is specifically women but also children and men. Agnes also wants to give  workshops to train people to do natural hair.
Goals for the future: She wants to hold the percentage of the market and for customers to trust her saloon.
Cecilia asked if she possibly could imagine having internships from Kamwokya, which she answered could be possible.
Her business proposal: Loan 23 million Ugandan schillings (64 300 sek) for 2 years. After one year she will pay a deposit and thereafter a monthly payback. 
Her guarantee: Her salary (Question from Cecilia: Find a second guarantee)

Agnes’s challenges right now (Question from Nicole): The company that holds the biggest percentage of the market in Kampala for natural hair methods is where the customers will continue to go. Therefore, getting customers to try her new saloon will be hard. Important to develop trust for customers. 

Update on Togolese villages

Date: 7 September 2022.

Presenters: M Milohum DZAGLI with support from M Renaud AZIABOR and other members of Team Togo.
Topic: Business pitch – Small scale businesses in rural Togo, A.3.
Attendance: Cecilia ÖMAN, Roxana YAZDANI, Brice Alain KABORE, Milohum Mikesokpo DZAGLI, Carl EMILSSON, Joel MAFABI, Theodros YESHI AREGA, Sylvia, Elvis AUSTINS, Carlos ORTIZ DE ZEVALLOS EGUILUZ, Clarisse TEEGA-WENDÉ, Renaud AZIABOR, Kevin WERUNGA, Hannah HÖRL

On Wednesday 7th, Mr Milohum, team leader of branch Togo, was so kind to present the small scale businesses project in rural Togo.
Mr Milohum is an associate professor in physics and has been an active member of Action10 and HR&S since 2020. In the beginning of his presentation he briefly introduced us to the geography of Togo and showed us were the cooperating villages are located. The Togo branch is currently in contact with about 150 people, nearly exclusively women, and the numbers are growing ever since the programmes establishment in 2020. To put things into context Mr Milohum clarified that many people in the Togolese villages are poor and have only very limited access to financial resources. There are many women in need to add additional income to their families through other means than farm work and seek to run their own business. Unfortunately banks are seldom present in the villages and it is very difficult for women to qualify for a loan or they struggle with the harsh conditions associated. Nevertheless, there is a great variety of business ideas from local produce such as drinks and food to manufactured goods. In order to support those business ideas both start- up support and loans are needed but firstly and foremost, trust needs to be established and sustained with the individuals as well as the community.

So far support was realised through workshops in bookkeeping and finances and regular check- ins with the local business founders which are in close contact with Mr Yawo AHIAKONOU , the ‘man in the field’. The loan takers are handpicked due to certain criteria such as the evaluation of their on-going businesses, which need to be evaluated ‘from scratch’ . Choosing the loan takers thoroughly has paid out and every single participant so far has been able to pay back the loan with interest. Mr Milohum reminded us, that not only employment is created but happiness and families were able to invest their income in schooling for their children.
The end of the presentation was marked by a fruitful discussion and potential new cooperations between the attendees. In the future more survey management is needed to track scientifically how well the loans are used and which problems need to be tackled along the way. The programme has already been extended to another village, Aguduvu, since February 2022. There is also an interest by Branch Burkina Faso to extend the programme to Burkina Faso, where interest in loans is still distant and donations are favoured. Branch Togo is also proposing to offer a language school teaching English.

Update from Kenya

Date: 5 October 2022
Presenters: Branch Kenya, with our Kevin WERUNGA, Ann CHEBET, and Millicent SIFUNA and with support from our new team member Kelvin GITAU will takes us through their work with our three RISE programmes in Kenya. The achievements and the challenges.
Attendance: Kevin WERUNGA, Ann CHEBET, Cecilia ÖMAn, Felicia SIMONSSON, Carlos Ortiz de ZEVALLOS EGUILUZ, Carl EMILSSON, Hannah HÖRL, Freja FALKENBERG, Evelyn FUNJIKA, Finest MWAMBA, Morris MATADI
Note taker: Hannah HÖRL

The Action Talk on the 5th of October was centred around the Kenya branch presented to us by Kevin WERUNGA and Ann CHEBET. The purpose of the current Action Talk was to both identify achievements and challenges encountered by the three operating RISE programmes in Kenya. To begin with, Cecilia ÖMAN, with support of both Kevin and Ann, presented the three current programmes to us, which are described in detail in the Action Talk from 1st of June this year. In the following presentation, Kevin was so kind to guide us through the proximal goals identified by the members of branch Kenya. Firstly, he outlined the need for physical meetings in order to emphasise the seriousness of the project as well as bringing to mind the idea of accountability. Regular physical meetings as well as online ones would also present a great opportunity for webinars and further training which brings us to the second point. More specific training, especially focusing on market analysis and ROPE strategies teaching entrepreneurs how to identify flaws in their businesses early on, is another focus of branch Kenya.

Furthermore, branch Kenya is seeking the business’s certification, which would allow greater access to founding as well as international networking through conferences. It would also facilitate the process of loan giving and the opening of sub- businesses generating further income. Another project is generating growth by accessing wider markets and not staying behind the universal trend, advertising products online.
As much as there are successes, there are also challenges in need of tackling. Lack of accountability was pointed out as one of the main issues. Accountability is further complicated by a lack of proper book keeping or lack of seperate accounts for professional and private matters. Issues regarding accountability shall be tackled by a) physical meetings as a mean of establishing trust and b) by offering training to improve the handling and investing of the business’s income. Also, it is important to identify progress markers and measures clarifying when and how someone qualifies for a second loan. The introduction of incentives encouraging the entrepreneurs to pay back the loans in good time are currently discussed.
Other factors, such as climate change and the need for agricultural adaptation, are challenging the businesses and voice further need for methodological change. As Kevin phrases it “we cannot do the same thing expecting different results”.

Update on the BRV in Liberia

Date: 2 November 2022
Invited: Action10 volunteer staff and HR&S Partners in Africa.
Topic: Update on the the Botanical Reintegration Village (BRV) in Little Bassa, Liberia. The IDEFOCS programme on the integration of former child soldiers in Liberia.
Morris MATADI, CEO and founder of IDEFOCS.
Ramses HUTCHINS, team-leader of HR&S Branch LIberia.

Attendance: Paul W SAVADOGO, Joel MAFABI, Elvis AUSTINS, Kevin WERUNGA, Cecilia ÖMAN, Helena CECHUROVÁ, Stéphanie MAIGA, Benjamin HAUVILLE, Teega- Wendé Clarisse, Anne Chamyet, Ramses HUTCHINS (team-leader of HR&S Liberia), Brice Alain KABORE, Morris MATADI (founder and CEO of IDEFOCS), Rachel HORNER, Carlos ORTIS DE ZEVALLOS EGUILUZ, and Hannah HÖRL (note-taker).


Subject of this month’s ActionTalk was the IDEFOCS programme on the reintegration of former child soldiers in Liberia and the BRV project in Little Bassa. The BRV project stands for Botanical Reintegration Village and was well presented by Ramses HUTCHINS. Ramses introduced us to the current state of the BRV project painting a picture of past achievements and future goals and challenges. He also mentioned the parallel project we are installing, in order to be well appreciated by the villagers themselves, the cold storage.  The current focus within the BRV lays on establishing the plantation of plantain on the 2 acres of fertile land. In the past, trials have been conducted with cassava and corn and were deemed less productive compared to the farming of plantain. Sylvester, who has kindly agreed to take an assignment of managing the farm, but was unfortunately was not able to join the meeting due to lack of both reception and a suitable cell- phone, is very confident that yields are going to be plentiful. Plantain is well suited to the soil and shall be planted some time between now and December.

There is a large number of former child- soldiers which have shown interest in the programme and are waiting to be taken on by the project as soon as possible. Generally, there is a great need to support the disadvantaged youth trying to contribute to the society’s peace and security. Clearly, not everyone can be taken off the streets but even non- monetary support in form of counselling would prove immensely helpful. Contact to Swedish social worker specialised in post- traumatic- stress- counselling has been established and a cooperation is pending to be launched.

There are many reasons explaining the rise of so- called “disadvantaged youth” in Liberia, one of which is the lack of governmental support and their failure to solve the issue of poverty and substance abuse. Another one is the lack of self- confidence among the Liberian disadvantaged youths, as well as opportunities for a professional and societal future, leading to that a risk of returning to the same circles of drug abuse after their rehabilitation.
One present goal of BRV is to provide the centre with a sufficient rehabilitation structure in terms of security measures, such as fences and monitored medication and health check- ups for the project’s participants. The strategy is to take them away from the drugs while also integrating them into the community in a meaningful way, to provide activities, such as work on the plantain fields and to offer them the possibility to learn and grow in a save environment.There is a large number of former child- soldiers which have shown interest in the programme and are waiting to be taken on by the project as soon as possible. Generally, there is a great need to support the disadvantaged youth trying to contribute to the society’s peace and security. Clearly, not everyone can be taken off the streets but even non- monetary support in form of counselling would prove immensely helpful. Contact to Swedish social worker specialised in post- traumatic- stress- counselling has been established and a cooperation is pending to be launched.

There are many reasons explaining the rise of so- called “disadvantaged youth” in Liberia, one of which is the lack of governmental support and their failure to solve the issue of poverty and substance abuse. Another one is the lack of self- confidence among the Liberian disadvantaged youths, as well as opportunities for a professional and societal future, leading to that a risk of returning to the same circles of drug abuse after their rehabilitation.
One present goal of BRV is to provide the centre with a sufficient rehabilitation structure in terms of security measures, such as fences and monitored medication and health check- ups for the project’s participants. The strategy is to take them away from the drugs while also integrating them into the community in a meaningful way, to provide activities, such as work on the plantain fields and to offer them the possibility to learn and grow in a save environment.


cross-cultural respect

8 April 2021

Millicent SIFUNA, Kenya (taking notes)
Cecilia ÖMAN, Sweden (making small presentation, reviewing the notes)
Stephanie MAÏGA, Burkina Faso
Evelyn FUNJIKA, Zambia
Kanekwa ZYAMBO, Zambia
Moses MURUNGU, Uganda
Milohum DZAGLI, Togo
Aghama JESUROBO , Nigeria
Elvis AUSTINS, Nigeria (only partly, due to internet challenges)


The following is a compilation of different views of team leaders from different countries brainstorming on the topic above. Seven countries were represented, Kenya, Nigeria, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Burkina Faso, and Sweden.

What could motivate people to join our team?

  1. The brand of the institution. What is our brand? People like to associate themselves with a successful brand. A way to attract serious-minded people is to share the impact of our work and the number of people from different backgrounds that are members of our institution.
  2. If they know our mission and our impact and if it aligns with what they want, as their vision, it is easy to volunteer with us. This could then be a form of fulfillment. Moreover, it will be something those who choose to work with us want to invest in. Thus, passion will drive such kinds of individuals. We should thus be able to communicate our impact to get people whose interest or passion aligns with it, even if they are not going to benefit financially.
  3. Action10-HR&S offers opportunities to do things freely while learning from mistakes.
  4. Area of development (social development) also tend to attract positive, supportive and active people with intrinsic motivation, thus ensuring a good working environment.

What skills are required while introducing people into the team?

  1. Select volunteers from experience.
  2. Volunteers themselves should clarify what they are going to do and how they can offer their service.
  3. How would the work invested in Action10-HR&S constrain them in relation to other things they want to do?

Views about cross-cultural respect

Reflections on interest in cultures-respecting-other-cultures.

  1. Not keeping people out. Understanding them while not judging.
  2. People are held accountable based on our Ten Actions and core values. People are free, but they should not go overboard. The Ten Actions and core values are our guiding principles.
  3. We continue to experience the post-colonial attitude. Solving this is by identifying and addressing it now and then. We should also understand how to identify the post-colonial attitude. Talk about post-colonial attitude openly and list down the different aspects of it, so that it is easily recognized when it happens. Whoever is in the situation should know best. Look into literature and find scientific findings also from the African literature.
  4. HR&S does not encourage the savior mentality, so a lot of conflicts are saved. We should strive to develop strategies that kill the ‘helping mentality; which HR&S has ensured already. Equal partnership is key.
  5. Set understanding of language. Communication is key. Best way to discuss with other people. E.g., In Togo, you have to be friendly to get attention. It would be best if you also were patient. Not to offend someone. Respect for each other. Giving a chance to ask questions. Listen to each other. Give time. Be understanding. Give a chance to ask questions or share thoughts about what you are saying.
  6. Know what to sell, know the culture of the people to whom you want to sell the service.
  7. If we are supporting a social entrepreneur who are introducing projects in communities rooted deeply in culture, our partner the RISE member must know how to talk to people. That is also why we are firm on our Action No.1; “needs and user driven”, ensuring that projects introduced in communities have been requested for by the community already and is being implemented by one of the community member. Our partner social entrepreneur is supported to hold several meetings with the community and chief of the community, the Elders etc.
  8. If potential ideal customers do not understand why they have to pay for a service, we should break down the cost of the structure.