ChildVoice: Loans for War-Affected Child Mothers

by ChildVoice International
Proscovia in her garden
Proscovia in her garden

Lapica, a Ugandan entrepreneur and mother of one, lives in Lugore village, Uganda. Growing up in war-torn Uganda, Lapica was one of thousands of children affected by war. While at one time her future was bleak, today, thanks to a ChildVoice microloan she is managing a successful and growing business.

Like any true entrepreneur, Lapica is always looking out for market opportunities. One day, while she was braiding hair at a local market, she noticed a high demand for fish. Combining her $60 savings from her hair braiding business with a micro-loan from ChildVoice for about $40, Lapica launched a fish selling business.

Now each month, Lapica travels to the Zombo district to buy fish to resell at the market earning about $20-$30 profit each month. She has further leveraged the profits of her businesses, to start a small farming operation. With the money she earns, Lapica is able to send her son to school and she dreams of opening her own salon. 

Thanks to your support of ChildVoice microloans,  Lapica, and other entrepreneurs like her, are able to obtain the capital needed to grow their businesses and provide economic stability for their families. 


Rose Advising Workers
Rose Advising Workers

With the birth of her child drawing near, Rose decided to temporarily hang up her apron and focus on other, less strenuous, ventures – papyrus mats and brick making. 

Given both the skills and salary from her work at the bakery, Rose was able to gain access to the necessary materials to begin. Each mat is made from fresh papyrus reeds knitted together by a number of locally hired individuals. Due to the high demand for her mats, Rose decided to apply for another loan from ChildVoice to meet the increasing consumer needs. Now equipped with adequate materials, Rose makes and distributes mats to a number of villages in northern Uganda.

In addition to the mats, Rose identified a brick laying business to sustain her income during the dry season. Since she began, Rose and several hired workers have laid over 10,000 bricks to sell to community members.

With the income raised in these ventures, Rose was able to save a large amount of money in a number of savings groups, which she was able to access in December…following the birth of her baby girl. 

On behalf of Rose and her family, thank you. Your donations make it possible for Rose, and a number of ChildVoice graduates to pursue their business goals and provide for their families. 

Rose Standing by Finished Mats
Rose Standing by Finished Mats


Stella baking doughnuts
Stella baking doughnuts

Following her graduation from the Lukome Centre in 2010, Stella returned to her home in the village of Cet Kana in northern Uganda. With certificates in hair styling and bakery in hand, she began working immediately, braiding hair from her home to raise a small startup capital. In 2011, Stella used this capital to open a small salon. Due to a limited profit, however, she was unable to purchase enough equipment and supplies to meet the increasing customer needs and decided to apply for a microloan from ChildVoice. The loan was granted and Stella was able to stock her salon with a variety of products, increasing both customer satisfaction and her daily income.

Using revenue from the salon, Stella identified and filled yet another market gap in Cet Kana; a bakery. In late 2011, she expanded her business to address this need, purchasing an oven and ingredients. Her sales have since doubled, with the holiday season being especially fruitful. The bakery now has two additional employees, and distributes products to several nearby markets.

Donations like yours have enabled women like Stella to achieve more than anyone ever thought possible. Thank you from Stella, her family, and all those benefitting from your generous support.

Eager customers waiting for a sample
Eager customers waiting for a sample

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. 


Rhema Braiding a Customer
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!


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Organization Information

ChildVoice International

Location: Durham, NH - USA
Website: http:/​/​
ChildVoice International
Project Leader:
Conrad Mandsager
Durham, NH United States

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