ASA Social Fund for Hidden Peoples

Know My Name: Microloans Testimony

Charles Okwongo
33 years old
Charles started a business fixing radios and old phones in 2014; he hopes to improve his business through the microloan program. He’s a father of two with primary and secondary education, including a public administration certificate and five years of training in business. Charles hopes to use the money to purchase solar panels and pay for other needs such as rent and electricity fees. Such necessities total to 700,000sh and he earns 25,000sh. He is confident he can pay back his loans with a profit of 300,000sh on a good week and 100,000sh on a bad week. Charles needs the solar panels so that he can have the solar panels installed on the roof of the Gulu market building and he then would have the electrical line from the solar panels thread through into the basement where he currently works.

Ketty Adoch
26 years old
When Ketty was 13 years old, the LRA rebels set fire on her house and she suffered burns as a result. Her mother was raped and her father was killed. Ketty was treated with French medicine but her fingers had already rotted by the time help arrived due to the lack of initial care. Despite this, she can write and make sweaters using a handloom. Ketty is now married to Charles and has a cassava business where she grows 10 heaps of cassava for about 5,000sh in her home. She sells them cooked for a profit of 10,000sh per day. She learned the business from a 6-month training program in a Gulu disabled commission and is planning on pursuing a business selling secondhand clothes. She would like loans so that she can pay for secondhand clothes, which is about 200,000sh. Ketty intends to live on this income and save her money.

Susan Okello and Anyon Galdino
Susan and her husband are pig farmers and run a successful pork selling business. They live in Barlonyo and sell several pigs, which they slaughter for consumption at the trading centers. One roasted pig equals about 200,000-300,000sh; they get a 60,000sh profit and sell the pigs at 360,000sh. Susan and Anyon were part of the first microloan groups and had applied for a total of 6 loans and paid back four million shillings. The loans help them live quite comfortably. All of their kids are in school. The oldest is a midwife, their second child at O level (high school), and their other children are attending boarding school. Susan hopes loans would extend to other people and wants training to continue to refresh the minds of their participants.

Life before the pig business was difficult but Susan says that life has improved since they were introduced to the microloans program. They have one son with sickle cell, which is a challenge for the family. When the child is down, she cannot do her work. Their son takes medication monthly and goes to Lira to get treated, however, it’s expensive. In addition, education and school fees increase every day.

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