Uritah is a 60-year-old widow with six grown children and four grandchildren. All four of her grandchildren live with her. Before joining IYHA, she supported herself by managing a few local pigs and chickens. Her children would also send her a little bit of money when they were able to; however, it was never enough to meet all of her and the grandchildren’s needs. Living on a half-acre of land left to her by her late father, Uritah would work every day in her garden to provide her family with something to eat. She would also try to sell some of its vegetables to buy soap and other basic necessities. Uritah always felt that she had a lot of potential but lacked knowledge and the training necessary to grow her business or support her family. When Uritah joined IYHA in 2015, she received one piglet. She did so well at taking care of the pig that the organization gave her a second project with three additional piglets a year later. Since then, her pig business has grown to over 97 pigs. Uritah sells these pigs, and she has managed to earn over $1,709 in income from her business.
My dream is to buy my own piece of land where I can construct a house, continue to expand my businesses, and plant a banana plantation. I’m so thankful for all services and programs that IYHA and its supporters have provided. They have given me a second chance to life. Who would have done all this for me but IYHA?”
My name is Musoke Ronald. I’m 19 years old and from the village of Kizawula in the Lwengo District. I completed my primary education at St. Paul and upon graduation, enrolled at St. James Secondary School in Jjaga. From 2018 until now with the help of IYHA, my life has been transformed for the better through an educational scholarship and livestock project.
I started secondary school when I was 17 years old so I was one of the older students in my senior one grade (7th grade). Up to this point, I was not exposed at all, because I remained at home and I rarely met people. I was always shy, and I could hardly talk to my fellow students due to my low self-esteem.
IYHA has changed the lives of many students and families at my school. Through the Life Skills program, IYHA has built and nurtured a whole new personality within me. The lessons have helped me gain self-confidence and knowing the value of my education is a source of great pride. The Life Skills topics on Student Assets and Abilities, Goal Setting and Decision Making, have changed my outlook for the better.
My name is Nantaayi Rosemary. I am 17 years old and live in a village called Luwanga. I come from a big family with eleven sisters and brothers. I completed my primary education at Luuti Junior School and I’m currently a senior three student (9th grade) at St. James Secondary School in Jjaga.
Despite the fact that my parents are not highly educated, they have always wanted me to continue my education beyond primary school. In primary school I wasn’t always a top student, though I always felt I could be if I actually attended class regularly and received help from my teachers. I had high hopes of excelling in primary seven (6th grade), but due to an unforeseen family crisis my hope was diminished. I made it nonetheless, although I faced a lot of difficulty, characterized by depression and fear.
IYHA has trained the entrepreneur in me, and in the future I want to create my own jobs so that I can help my family and community. Without an educational scholarship, I may have dropped out and been married by now but today I have high hopes of studying beyond senior four (10th grade).
Through it all, I have learned that I can be successful and fulfilled in my work. I hope to study hard and help my family have a better life in the future.
My name is Muwanga Gonzaga. I live with my wife and eight children – four girls and four boys. Two are in college, two are in secondary school and four are in primary school. We grow coffee and seasonal crops on our farm in Balimanyankya village in Kisekka Sub County. I joined IYHA in 2019 after learning about the organization through a local farming cooperative. I have been a farmer since childhood, but the only information that I had ever been exposed to was the knowledge that had been passed down to me by my family.
Because of our low income, I have always struggled to earn enough money to look after my family, pay school fees for my children and cover medical expenses. Before this, I had faced many challenges in farming as my primary income-generating source. For example, when I was planting my first coffee plantation I over-spaced my crops, which led to drought affecting my coffee trees. My goal is to grow my daily income, which will help me increase my yearly savings. Since 2019, I have hired two people to help me run my projects, and I pay them each day they come to work. I also enjoy working together as a family as I teach my children everything that I have learned.
I take this opportunity to thank IYHA for educating our community, and helping us learn to excel as business owners. I personally promise to work hard to change my life, the life of my family members and the community at large.
Our partner communities are isolated and lacking any support systems, have persistent, overwhelming needs: unemployment is an alarming 90%, survival largely depends on subsistence farming, average monthly household income of less than $50, and with an average of nine people per household, our community members typically live on less than 20 cents per day. Moreover, educational access and achievement are limited – 70% have only a primary school education, and, in an area of 8,000 people, there are 1,500 school-aged children not currently enrolled in school. Just 3% have education beyond the high school level, even for those who are able to complete high school, 80% of graduates remain unemployed after graduation. Other challenges include a shortage of skilled labor, lack of agricultural and veterinary expertise and the overall lack of economic opportunity and food security beyond our programming.