From Pauper to Millionaire: An IRCU beneficiary’s testimonyint
Lukiya Nakaweesi is a resident of Kinoni in Masaka district. She is married with two children. Before 2008, she was a housewife who depended on her husband, a Bodaboda rider for everything. But the bodaboda job would not raise enough money to meet all the family’s needs. In 2008 however, luck came knocking on Nakaweesi’s door. That is the year BUSODA, a faith based organization supported by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda and USAID enrolled its programme of training caregivers in Kinoni.
According to Faisol Kirabira a community worker with BUSODA, when the training of care givers programme was enrolled in Kinoni, a group of up to 10 women was trained in Income Generating Activities (IGA).
Nakaweesi was one of the women who attended the training.
The core of the training was how to start a small business and saving to sustain it. Nakaweesi says it is from this training that she got the idea of saving from the little her husband gave her to care for the home to become a tomato vendor. She started a tomato stall in Kinoni trading center which has now expanded to include food items such as matooke and vegetables.
Nakaweesi says that from food vending, she made enough profits to start a hair salon for men. She then advised her husband to quit the bodaboda business and run the salon. She adds that has never regretted the idea ever since then. With profits from the hair salon and the food stall, Nakaweesi expanded into a garment shop which is also housed within the salon. Besides all those investments, Nakaweesi also owns three cows and the number is still growing. She also managed to build the family a house with her savings. In a month, Nakaweesi makes a profit of one million shillings minus expenses. She says that she is now one of the strong business women in Kononi trading center thanks to the IRCU care givers training program. Besides Nakaweesi, other women from Kinoni have also benefited from the program and have set up various projects. According to Faisol Kirabira, the women formed a group and they can now support themselves and so the program is going to be phased out and moved to another area,it is believed that projects started under this programme will remain self-sustainable.