Community Work Programme

The Community Work Programme is a pivotal feature of the Centre, one on which its foundation was based. Because TRC believes that handouts create a welfare culture, the Centre has never provided services for free.  However, many people in the village and surrounding area cannot afford to pay for health services with Ugandan shillings. So we introduced The Tekera Peso.

The Community Work Programme aims to develop a sense of community ownership of the Centre. To ensure that services are not taken for granted as well as availing everyone of access to medical care, the Tekera Peso is a community currency that is used in place of real money.  It can be earned by volunteer work and is used at the Tekera Health Clinic in exchange for medical service.

History of the Peso: In order to give real worth to the services offered by the Centre, this local currency was developed by TRC not long after the Centre opened. The Community Work Programme and the Peso took some time to establish, as initially the Centre operated on a ‘promise to work’ concept which was difficult to manage.  The Clinic actually closed down for a week in April 2006 because the concept of the Work Programme was untenable.  The founders of TRC then brainstormed ways to make the CWP more effective.   As a result, the Tekera Peso was introduced. The Centre has since worked hard at maintaining 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.

Pesos earned by working at the Centre in the Community Work Programme give the volunteers a sense of being stakeholders in the project.  Community members do small jobs including work on the community farm, maintaining the Centre compound, or repairing designated areas in the community such as roads, tracks and often-used paths. Earning 1 peso per hour or task, it holds a value of 500/= Ugandan shillings (.25 cents Cnd) and can be used as currency in exchange for medical treatment or medications in the clinic.  An average cost of treatment at the clinic is approximately  2500 UGX (about $1 dollar).

Today, the Peso has also created a second economy in the village.  There people can buy and sell Pesos as needed, as well as trade the Peso locally in exchange for basic needs like sugar or salt.