A brighter future for my children
Years of conflict in northern Uganda saw children and young people displaced. Education suffered and livelihood opportunities disappeared. Now the fighting has ended, we're supporting young people to create farming co-operatives and access to a range of employment, educational and agricultural training activities to boost income and provide future security.
Mother-of-five Kevin Lamaro, talks about overcoming her past difficulties.
Surviving on God's mercy
“Before I joined the Nen Anyim farming cooperative, I had nothing. I didn’t have any animals and I wasn’t able to use land.
"I first fell pregnant when I was 14. I couldn’t afford to buy any products for my baby. I say we only survived on ‘God’s Mercy’.
"I joined this [farmin] group in 2013 and things began to change. I had more children by then.
Some other ladies from another group had gotten training from VSO. Their group became important and their lives changed – and only three in the group were men. That inspired me to take part."
Training for the future
"I started to receive training from VSO. I learned how collaborating as a group and working hard meant we could earn enough to meet our basic needs. So I was able to sell some soya beans, save the money and buy a goat. That in turn helped me buy some pigs and now I have 18 pigs. We also have three acres of maize now, and soya beans, five cows and six goats.
"VSO worked with a partner organisation called Bicycles Against Poverty that loaned me a bicycle. I use it all the time. I used it to get to the health centre when I was pregnant for antenatal care. It’s very far and I used to have to walk. I can use it to cycle my child to get treatment when they are sick too."
Sending my children to school
"Before I started this work, none of my five children were able to go to school. I thought school would interfere with our family ‘activities’, and it was expensive.
"Now they go to school. I take one of them on the bike and go straight to work on the farm afterwards.
"VSO helped me also learn how to save money. I used to spend whatever we had on luxury items but now I live within a budget and put some aside for emergencies. We can make around 1.5 million shillings a season from our farm.
"Life is easier now. I’m able to have a phone and be called to support programmes when I am needed.
"I hope to build a house soon and push my children right through to the degree level of education. I’m in a good place now."
Find out more about our work supporting livelihoods