The Faces of Micro-businesses in a Developing Country
“I am now able to buy salt without first having to ask my husband.”
“I would like to see our children succeed in life, this helps me pay their school fees”
– Ugandan women recipients of a micro loan from Hope 2 One Life
The Faces of Micro-businesses in a Developing Country
Hope 2 One Life teams are thrilled to see genuine grassroots micro-businesses flourishing from small investments made in previously. We have former refugees and impoverished women and men now making earnings from tailoring, art and crafts, drip irrigation of vegetables and hybrid goat rearing. tailoring The Katamarwa women’s tailoring group have graduated from the tailoring classes on the Family Empowerment (FEM) refugee farm and are now in their own shop, supported by a partial gift and partial micro loan from Hope 2 One Life. They make everything on treadle sewing machines, and have now started making school uniforms as part of their business. We also sponsored them in a business training class to provide the skills to sustain and carry on, on their own. We took the craft-making model to Palabek, a very remote village in northern Uganda, where Brenda Gilmore trained a group of men and women trying their hand at rolling “paper beads” made from glossy magazine paper. Once adequate quality is achieved, the bracelets sell for $10 – $20 in western markets, most of which is returned to the same group.
The women’s groups receive their drip irrigation kits, sufficient to grow ¼-acre of vegetables. Irrigation is a new concept to most Ugandans but being farmers at heart, they now can grow a crop of tomatoes in the dry season using farming god’s way technique and well water, and command premium prices since they harvest when little else is available.
In our largest venture, we partnered in a hybrid goat rearing project. Pure-bred Boer goats are cross-bred with local goats and after two generations sold.
The enthusiasm and success of our Ugandan partners in these projects is palpable. New ideas and proposals are continually being brought to us. After a 2 year lapse of going to Uganda, Angie Osborne observes the positive changes. One woman’s testimony about the impact of these projects starkly expressed that first step out of abject poverty when she said, “I am now able to buy salt without first having to ask my husband.” I can pay school fees for my children”. These women have received new self-worth & dignity. It has been life changing. I want to thank everyone who buys their crafts & donates to Hope 2 One Life. You are making a difference! Many blessings to everyone!
– Angie & Tom Osborne
Meet Akello Grace:
Grace sews our beaded purses, cell phone purses, cosmetic bags, oven mitts and stuffed animals, and she makes most of our bead jewelry. These are Grace’s own words introducing herself:
“I was born in November 1979 in a village called Ngora, Agago District. I went to school at Ngora primary in Agago District. I stopped at primary five after the death of my father because there was no body to pay my school fee. I lived with my mom and our children: two sisters and three brothers. I joined tailoring school in 1994. I got married to Terence Acaye in 2000. I have 6 children with my husband, Ayella Douglas 15 years he is in S. 1. Laker Margaret 13 years in P. 7, Aywek Gloria 11 years in P. 5, Lamara Emily 9 years in P. 3, Otim Gabriel 6 years in Top class and Agenorwot Jackie 3 years in Baby class.
Life to me means friends and family who you can trust and who trusts you. I am pretty much on the happy side of life. I do have some sad days or depressed days but I pray always so that GOD can protect our family. When I am having a bad day, I have my children to talk to. I love my husband he is caring and sympathetic.
As I said in the beginning, I was not successful with my education but after our marriage I started learning handcraft so that I could help our family. I always struggle not to depend on my husband only. I would like to see our children succeed in life, although we don’t have enough income but with GOD’s mercy everything is possible. I am very worried about my child called Otim Gabriel who is a sickler (sickle cell). I would like everyone to pray for him. I hope you have enjoyed reading my life story as much as I have enjoyed writing it for you”. Thanks. God Bless.
Light. Hope. Opportunity to an energy poverty region. H20 has developed a partnership with Solar Sister and the women’s empowerment group for a solar household light small business income generating – partially micro financed through the crafts and jewelry sales of the purses and crafts the ladies have made and sold in the U.S.
This energy poverty region relies on kerosene and candles which are hazardous and inefficient. Lack of power also affects the safety, health, education and income generation potential of women and girls.
Kampala Village women’s business has paid off their loan!
Drip Irrigation Micro Finance Garden Project
Our first micro loan project was implemented with a 50 percent loan and 50 percent gift for drip irrigation lines for gardening in the dry season. This was especially important for nutrition, but also served as an income generation project for the Women’s Empowerment Group, of Rakayata village in businees and marketing mentorship by Family Empowerment Uganda who rented them the 1 acre land for the drip lines.
The loan was repaid over 3 years and re invested in ginger crop they started.
The irrigation lines are still viable to this day.