My name is Aryemo Jackline I am 42 years old I come from Alim village, Lapul sub county Pader district. I am divorcee and a single mother of 4 girls. Like any other person who passed through captivity I also have a painful story to tell, the worst one being forceful marriage which made me to produce 2 children, I thanked God because I was rescued alive with them all. When I returned home, life was fairly ok until when I thought of getting married because it did not work because the community I got married in begun to call my children names and things worsened when my husband started maltreating my children born from captivity. This prompted me to get back home with 4 children to feed, educate and look after them single handedly. I use to struggle a lot to provide the basics but it was hard, my luck came one day when our local council oneLC1 told me to go for a community meeting where I went and found that the LCs were told to identify wartime SGBV survivors, I was lucky that everyone knew my situation and I was nominated with 3 others and presented to CCF for assessment, I was again lucky because I got the chance to be among 80 people picked by CCF from Lapul for support.
CCF’s intervention has really helped me because they trained us In VSLA and business skills, this has helped me a lot because much as I had started my business already I was struggling and most times the business would collapse but the skills I got like calculating profit, minimizing cost, importance of having alternative source of money coupled with VSLA support has improved my business because now I can save 40,000/= per week as profit and for the last four months when my business became stable I have been able to save 320,000/= something that was not possible before. I am happy because this money and the one I will continue to save will support my children’s’ education because two are already in secondary school, this has lessened my worries, and I am encouraged to continue working hard.
I thank CCF and Welfare Fund for their sacrifice because I can now fend for my family easily, I encourage them to continue the good work of supporting mothers like us who have been left alone.
CASE II: : Uganda fund currently welfare fund
My name is Akwiri Miriam Stella, I am 23 years old, a mother of one child, I am a graduate of tailoring from PGA. before I enrolled back to school after dropping out because of pregnancy in 2013 my life was miserable because the boy who made me pregnant was a student and could not afford to take care of me and the child, my mother was even so bitter and she would blame me a lot for being responsible for the situation I am in. Because I was already aware of PGA and the services that they offer, I made a decision that I will go to the community facilitator that coordinates CCF/PGA with the community of Pajule to inquire about any new development in recruitment of students for vocational skills training, Luck was on my side because I got when the facilitator was going to CCF for their meetings on recruitment the next day.
After two weeks he called me to join the rest of the girls at the sub-county for assessment, after a period of one week my name was among those selected to benefit from vocational skills training I went home excited and went to school straight away even though I lacked some requirement. While at school I use to put a lot of effort during practical lesson because I was determined to learn most of the fashions especially for women because they buy clothes more than men. My commitment and the constant practical training has enabled me to acquire skills which made me to pass my DIT exams and as of now I am able to make fashions like round waist dress, flairs skirts , umbrella dress among others.
When I finished my course in December 2016 I came home and started hiring a sewing machine from a tailoring shop at a cost of 10,000/- per month, at the end of the month I would save in my VSLA group around 30,000/=, but now since CCF have given me my own machine I can save up to 45,000/= . This to me is very good because unlike in the past when I could not even afford a piece of shop and clothes , I can now save 45,000/= per month and also support my house hold with soap clothes and also buy medicine when someone is sick.
I wish to really, really thanked God, CCF and the donor who have given this support for making me who I am today.
I wish to encourage other people who could be going through the hardship that I underwent that they should keep hoping but not give up one time God will come to their rescue.
CASE STORY 3 FAWE
My name is Adokorach Nancy, I am 19 years old, I am a tailor in Kitgum municipality, I gained this profession from Pader Girls’ Academy after undergoing a one year training in tailoring and garment cutting. Before I joined PGA I had dropped out of school in 2015 after sitting PLE because my mother who is a widow could not afford to pay for fees in secondary education, when I learnt that I could not continue with my studies in secondary even when I had performed well in PLE I felt very frustrated because all along I had dreamt of becoming a nurse. My mother tried convincing me by explaining the situation at hand, but it was difficult for me to come to term with it although somehow I understood her.
After staying home for one year, I was seeing no future of enrolling back to school so I decided to join my mothers’ friend who had a tailoring shop in Town so that I could train on Job but it was not very easy, by November 2015 CCF under FAWE project recruited me for a tailoring course which commenced in February 2016 at PGA after joining the school I was taken through theory and practical lessons for a period of 10 months where I was able to acquire skills which is helping me at the moment, the skills coupled with the start up kits given to me by CCF is what has brought this change in my life because from a total dependant I have become a source of support for my siblings and even my mother because in this shop I take home minimum of 5,000/= per day to meet other needs. So I really do not regret having dropped out from P.7 because I have seen that it was for the better that I don’t continue with secondary education.
I wish to appreciate everyone who has supported me through the course and I encourage others that when you determine you can always succeed.
CASE STORY 4 FAWE
I am Atimango Dorcus Daisy, I am 20 years old, I come from Alango village, Amida parish kitgum municipal, kitgum district. I am a graduate of catering from PGA, before joining PGA to study catering, I used to work at a restaurant within Kitgum municipality after dropping out from senior four in 2014, the reason why I dropped out was because my father could not afford to pay my fees at higher level since the donor who paid my fees up to senior four had stopped operating because of funding. At my time in the restaurant I realized I was wasting my time because I would only perform task like washing dishes, moping the house and sometimes serving customers because I had no paper and experienced in cookery and bakery like others. This made me to think of joining any institution
to study catering because I used to observe how the owner of the restaurant was making money on a daily basis and I had already developed interest for catering work
Much as I had interest of studying, I was limited by money for paying my fees, this made me to continue washing plates ,mopping the restaurant with the hope of raising money for school fees but I thanked God because by November 2015 CCF came for assessment of students for vocational skills training and I was lucky that I was put among the few from Kitgum District to join PGA in February 2016.
When I joined the school we were taken through a lot of practical lesson which made me to gain a lot of skills in cooking both local and western dishes, baking donuts, cakes ,cookies etc The skills I gained during the training also made me to perform well in DIT exams. After completing my course CCF with fund from Uganda Fund provided me with some start up kits which I utilized to start my own restaurant that is located within the Bus Park in Kitgum. my restaurant had only lasted for two weeks and I can now raise minimum of 15,000/= as profit from the daily sale, I am can now afford to support myself and I hope to extent the support to other people in the house hold very soon as the business progresses
I sincerely extents my appreciation to FAWE, CCF and Uganda Fund for the generous contribution towards my education and life as a whole.
STORY 5 IAS: Obur Remizo speaks out
How it all began: I was identified by our area LC1 to join the VSLA groups in 2012 after dropping out of school in S.3 from Puranga S.S. At its initial stage, we formed ourselves into the group and named it Orib Cing VSLA group, and our location is Puranga sub county. I knew would keep me busy and minimize the stigma of dropping out of school. The group elected me as their secretary charged with responsibility of record keeping. In june 2012, we benefited from VSLA training and this opened up my mind further to think beyond the obvious. CCF supported us with assorted VSLA kits like cash box, 3 bowls, I stamp pad, and a start up cash of up to 2.5 million shillings only.
History of borrowing: I first became scared of borrowing the group cash for fear of the penalty incase of failure to repay given the strict by laws we agreed upon as a group. But after consulting a few group members, I borrowed 60,000 and repaid with an interest of 10,000. I again borrowed 80,000 and paid a bonus of 20,000 and the last time I borrowed 120,000 and repaid with an interest of 30,000. In all these borrowing, I was able to raise double the amount borrowed and this became a big motivation to me. I decided to make a quick market survey and that guided me on what business to venture in. Todate, I have a small kiosk as you can see. Through this kiosk, I am able to generate a daily average income of 15,000 and at the end of each month, I earn between UGX 450,000 to UGX 500,000 as profit of the money earned per month. I feel I am happy at this opportunity, I have taken my 2 school going children to one of the best schools measured according to our standard here in the sub county. I now intend to diversify the business as I stay focus to sustaining my livelihood.
Remizo is just one of the successful recipients of the VSLA grants; his other colleagues have equally started different livelihood ventures. He no longer borrows from the group and has finished paying his loan yet he remains saving with the group
STORY 6 UGANDA FUND:
LANYERO NANCY(19 years) comes from Lajoro village, Rogo parish Wol sub-county, Agago district. Her mother (Aloyo Hellen) and Step father (Oryem John) all live together in Rogo parish. Nancy a student in S.3 in wol Seed S.S and sees this as an opportunity to complete her studies. As a child born of war, she painfully shares some of her worst moments in life to our project officers;
“Before I became a member of this group, My life was a living hell, many people including my step father called me names and any time that he picked a quarrel with my mother he never missed to involve me or constantly remind me of how he has a big heart taking care of me even when I am not his child. This sometimes made me feel that the world has been so mean to me because I do not know my father, his name, tribe, where he comes from or whether he is alive or dead, I know nothing about him and I cannot even blame my mother for it because it was not even her fault. I have been living in this situation ever since my mother got married after returning from captivity because my maternal grandparents are very aged and cannot take care of me.
In July this year  CCF came for assessment of formerly abducted people in Wol and by the grace of God my LC1 identified me among the others and I thank God because I was selected among the beneficiaries to be supported under the project. This to me has been a turning point in my life because even if I was the one selected CCF insisted that they want my parents to be the ones attending meetings and group work since I am a student.
My step father has been attending most of the group work, meetings and trainings because my mother has a baby that cannot allow her go for group work, trainings, and meetings concerning the project. It’s like during such group work, meeting and trainings a lot is always discussed regarding the formerly abducted people and the children born of war because he started behaving so nicely towards me and one day he even said he will try very much to look for school fees so that he can pay my fees balance, to me it was strange because he never wanted to associate himself with my education, so my mother asked him why the sudden change of mind, he said he had realized that he is not the only onekeeping a child born of captivity but other people were also doing the same and he also realized that neglecting the responsibility would not change anything so he has made his mind to take Nancy like other children after all the children are the same.
This change has honestly relieved me from so many worries because my step father has honestly shown some improvement which I pray should continue. But as of now I am happy because I am now beginning to feel free with everyone I stay with and in many occasions I have gone for group work with my step farther. And I really request that support to people like me should continue and should be extended even to other locations in northern Uganda because I am sure that there are many children who could be going through what I have been through. I pray that God should continue to open many doors for the donors of this fund so that many can be supported
CASE STORY 7 UGANDA FUND
I am AdongSusan from Otong Parish Ogom sub-county Paderdistrict. I am a mother of 6 children. I was abducted in 2002 when I was 13 years old I lived under hardship in captivity for 3 years andwhile there I was forced to become a wife to one of the Lord ResistanceArmy [LRA] soldiers. I managed toescape in 2004 but only to realize that I was already pregnant after staying at GUSCO for 3 weeks. When I returned home life was even more difficult because I found that my mother was no moreand my father was the one caring for my other siblings. I gave birth andtaking care of my child was a big problem because there was no source of income, life was not easy at all for me because besides suffering during captivity, I also met another traumatic experienced as a result of being raped by UPDF soldier on gun point when I had gone to harvest potatoes one evening. This was a big blow to me because I became a topic of the villagebut I decided to move on because of my child.
After sometimes I got married unfortunately I married an abusive man, drunkard and a womanizer who ended up inheriting his sister in law whose husband had died with HIV, by the time I came to know he had already infected me I started living a life full of serious pain because of my past and even the present because besides infecting me he even does not support me and the children in any way instead he has resorted to bringing in other women.
I thank God because ever since CCF enrolled me under this project, I have been receiving support both physically and emotionally from other members of the group and I feel relived because I got to know that there are others who even have more serious problems than I do. The VSLA has been a blessing to me because I am able to earn extra income e.g. I borrowed 70,000/= and used 40,000/= for my garden and bought I basin of silver fish which earned me 7,000/= as profit and I have already paid the interest and rolled over the loan for another 1 month. The IGAstart-up capital I was given has helped me to buy a goat and a pig that will support me and the children when they multiply in future. The different skills I have acquired during the training will continue to help me support my families. I just want to say that my hope has been restored and I do not want to look at life the way I used to.
I wish to say that the support I have received will not go in vain I have decided to look at life differently with a lot of hope, I think everyone especially the donor that has put resources together to ensure that people like us are helped, and I just wish you well in your endeavor.
SUCCESS STORY 8 UGANDA FUND
‘’I am glad and feel so much relieved from thoughts that had burden me for over 12 years now’’ was a remark made by Abalo Alice during a follow up Visit to her home in Pukor parish Ogom Sub-county Pader District. When asked what the excitement was all about she narrated as follows:
For those who never knew my story, I am a mother of 5 children 2 of whom I produced while in captivity between 2002 and 2006 with one of the LRA fighter who got killed during a battle the same day I was rescued by the Uganda People Defense Force [UPDF]. When I returned home after the rehabilitation center I took barley 3 months home and got married because it had become difficult to live under the same roof with my step mother together with the children. At my marital home life had not been easy either because my In laws were constantly troubling me because of the children and calling me all sort of names but my source of strength was my husband because he too was a returnee and understands my circumstances well, after staying with my in laws for a few months, my husband opted that we begin living on our own. This was a big relive on my side and life became much better although I had a big responsibility of taking care of the two girls as far as their education is concern because my husband became a bit reserve on their education even if he never maltreated them.
All along I have been worried on how I will pay the children at school since their father is not there and even my own father whom I could have begged to support me is no more. I thanked God so much because he sent my help through this project which has enhanced my capacity in many ways, for example, I was given cash grants of 125,000/=, I used 80,000/- to buy 2 goats and as of now they have multiplied to 4, the balance of 45,000/= has helped me to start engaging in petty business and already I have saved up to 183,000/= in the VSLA,I also gained business skills which is making my business to progress well, I am now able to meet some of the household demand out of the profits from the business. With the progress, I am seeing I am optimistic that I will be able to fully support the children in school and this makes me glad and relieved. I thanked whoever has made this great sacrifice, the Donor and CCF for having people like us at heart.