PRIDE initiated its lending programs in Uganda early in 1996 and had 3,283 borrowers, about the same number as FOCCAS, by December of 1997.
The most obvious distinction is that PRIDE offers membership to both men and women, while FINCA and FOCCAS provide credit and savings for women only.
Three microfinance organizations which follow what are considered to be "best practices" were selected for inclusion in this study: FOCCAS (Foundation for Credit and Community Assistance), FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance) and PRIDE (Promotion of Rural Initiatives and Development Enterprises) Uganda.
The three microfinance programs (MFIs) whose clients were selected for inclusion in this study are FOCCAS (Foundation for Credit and Community Assistance, allied with the international NGO Freedom from Hunger), FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance, and international NGO), and PRIDE (Promotion of Rural Initiatives and Development Enterprises) Uganda (associated with PRIDE Africa).
In addition, the findings indicate that the FOCCAS program positively affects learning and trying new health and nutrition practices, vital steps in the process to sustainable adoption of improved practices.
Provision of health or nutrition information by the FOCCAS microfinance program results in clients trying new practices and informing others about such practices.
FOCCAS program personnel facilitate the presentation of information on new health or nutrition practices such as AIDS prevention and breastfeeding techniques to female clients participating in their microfinance program.
When clients were asked where they had learned about these new practices, all of them reported FOCCAS as a source, sometimes in addition to other sources.
The FOCCAS microfinance program provides informal leadership opportunities for women as they discuss new health or nutrition practices learned at FOCCAS group meetings.
In this sample, the average amount of client loans ranged from $83 for FOCCAS clients in Mbale to $131 for FINCA clients in Kampala.
FINCA and FOCCAS serve women and hence both the client and non-client samples in Kampala and Mbale are composed solely of women.
Participation in the credit and savings programs of FINCA, PRIDE, and FOCCAS helps to instill financial discipline.