He who has never had a sorrow cannot speak words of comfort. Ugandan proverb
Uganda may be referred to by travel agents as the Pearl of Africa but twenty one years of civil war has done little to enhance the living conditions of Ugandans. This is particularly obvious in the country’s north where 1.9 million people were displaced beginning with dictator Idi Amins atrocities followed by a series of war-installed presidents, most particularly Joseph Kony and his Lords Resistence Army. A return to life without war is the best that people have come to expect.
Thousands have nowhere to go. They remain in the IDP (internally displaced persons) in mud huts because water is easier to come care of their locality to nearby water holes. Most of the displaced people in this part of the country have no way of returning to the land. They are busy enough trying to reintegrate young men who had been kidnapped to work as soldiers and young girls who were kidnapped and made sex slaves.
In spite of this situation, the Kitgum SACCO (Savings and Credit Co-operative) has deliberately set up operations in this devastated north of the country. It is helping with the funding of start-up businesses, many of them begun by women using inventive means to make handicrafts, or market gardens to produce vegetables for sale. Some tend goats and chickens.
The women have set up collectives which allow funds to be raised from the credit co-op. In all, about 18,000 people in this part of Uganda are being helped with these micro-loans.
IYC Yearbook story, made possible with the help of Kimberley Ney, who travelled to Uganda with the CCA.
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