Jul 5, 2012

Rose's Story

Meet Rose.

At the age of 8, Rose was abducted by the LRA in northern Uganda, and proceeded to spend the next 16 years of her life in captivity as a wife of the infamous Joseph Kony. 

After weeks in a reception centre following her capture by the UPDF in 2009, Rose joined ChildVoice's third class of students at the Lukome Centre... 

Today, Rose sits on a wooden stool in a tiny brick room, smiling as she drops rolls of dough into a boiling pot of oil.

Following her graduation in 2010, the mother of two was one of several girls to receive a microloan. She repeatedly remarked how thankful she was that ChildVoice gave her the skills to help her stand on her own two feet.

"I can’t describe how much it meant to not have to beg for money to send my children to school." 

Nearly a year and a half later, Rose has payed off her loan and accepted a job with a small bakery in Gulu District. She bakes over 1,000 doughnuts a day, selling a dozen for 1,200 shillings (approximately 50 cents).

In a recent interview, Rose shared her hopes to save up enough money to purchase a hut of her own and apply for another loan to buy an oven for herself so she can begin to sustain her own business

At the ripe age of 24, Rose has faced far greater challenges in life than many of us could ever imagine. And though those challenges may continue, she is now equipped with the faith, determination, and skill set to push through whatever comes her way. 

We thank you, the donors, for your unwaivering support to girls like Rose. It is our hope to be able to extend this opportunity to many more of her fellow ChildVoice graduates so that they, too, may find success in providing for themselves and their families. 


Jan 24, 2012

Overcoming Business Challenges with Outreach

Rhema Braiding a Customer's Hair
Rhema Braiding a Customer's Hair

ChildVoice loan recipients continue to work hard in order to grow their businesses and repay their loans. As Ms. Lanyero Rhema continues to successfully run a mobile hair saloon in her home village in Bungatira, she also appeals to her colleagues with whom she got the loan to be hard-working so that they able to repay the loan.

Within a period of one week, Rhema gets an average of five customers each paying her 5,000/- to 25,000/-. On average, she gets 100,000 shillings per month from her business. She hopes to complete her loan repayment within a couple of weeks.

Rhema said that learning customer service has been one of the most helpful tools in running her business. She said, “Many of these women like me because of the good services I offer. I know how to do many things and I always smile and remember them.”

Since the beginning of the loan program, several of the young women, including Rhema, have faced challenges such as illness, stolen equipment, dramatic inflation and the need to continue subsistence farming. However, ChildVoice recognizes education, mentorship, and savings as key components in successful loan repayment. As outreach is a vital part of the loan program, ChildVoice staff visit the loan recipients on a regular basis to monitor savings and offer support and advice in business dealings.

Rhema thanks ChildVoice International for enabling her start up a saloon business. “Without ChildVoice I would not have been able to start a business or help my family the way I can now”.

Just as resources without knowledge prove to be useless, so too does knowledge without resources. By providing young women the opportunity to start a small business with the vocational skills they have been taught at CVI, they will have a significantly greater chance for post-residential success. When they can create and grow small businesses, they can educate their children, they can eat healthy meals each day and they can gain confidence, independence and respect, raising the role of women in their communities. For these young women, this is not just a loan, it’s a chance at a future

As more young women complete their training in the residential program, ChildVoice looks forward to sharing the stories of many young women with bright futures. ChildVoice thanks you for your continued support!

Nov 2, 2011

Building Businesses, Gaining Hope for the Future

Rhema braiding a customer's hair
Rhema braiding a customer's hair

After extensive training, seven young women excitedly purchased the items needed for their businesses in the first round. In this particular group, five of the girls chose to open hair salons while two of them chose to open bakeries. They purchased all the items needed for their businesses and headed back to their villages filled with hope for new beginnings.

Rhema was one of the women who has so far successfully repaid 100,000 shillings out of the 200,000 shilling loan. After opening her hair salon in June, she reports having about 5 customers each week from her home in the village of Bungatira. Recognizing that she could get more clients if she were in a better location, she has decided to partner with another girl in her village so they can rent a space in the village center.

 She said, “No other person in my village knows how to do every hair style and treatment like I do, so I am sure that now that I will be in the center, people will notice me even more and I will more than double my customers.”

Rhema also recognizes how her life has changed as a result of starting her own business.

She said, “Before I went to ChildVoice and before my I used to have to beg for money if my daughter was sick. I could just go home and watch her suffer. But now that I have my own business, if I need money, I can just go and braid someone's hair and take my daughter to the hospital. Life really is so much better now.”

As ChildVoice continues to proudly counsel seven girls with their new businesses, we thank the donors who have supported the program and made it possible. ChildVoice hopes to share more stories like Rhema's by extending the opportunity to more young women who are ready to take the steps to create better futures for themselves and their children.


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