12 June 2017

Uganda: Coming to the Rescue of Nakanjako

analysis

On March 5, 2017 this magazine run a story of Joyce Nakanjako, 24, who had been defiled by her father when she was 15.

The father impregnated her and infected her with HIV/Aids. Nakanjako went on to have two more children with two men who both left her. When her plight was highlighted in the magazine, her only wish was to get some start-up capital for a charcoal business.

Rescue call

Two Good Samaritans, who preferred anonymity contacted the writer and donated Shs780,000 to help the young woman begin her charcoal business. On a rainy Saturday morning, a month later, sitting in a small salon which belongs to a friend, Nakanjako received the money that had been donated to her. Her joy was infectious.

"I cannot believe it!" she exclaimed. "Who am I that people should care about what happens to my children and I? God has been good to me."

Nakanjako was surrounded by her young children and Teddy Namuyanja, the restaurant owner who gave her a job. At the restaurant, Nakanjako's only salary is a plate of food which she shares with her three children.

"I'm glad that the readers of Sunday Monitor responded to the plight of this young woman. Two weeks ago, another woman, who rears pigs, decided to give her a job so that she can pay her rent on time and feed her children."

Nakanjanko wakes up early every morning to clean the sty and feeds the pigs. The woman who gave her the job pays her Shs70,000 per month. "My plan is to work at the piggery in the morning, and after I have set up my charcoal business, I will open the shop at about 10am," Nakanjako says.

Future plan

Besides charcoal, she hopes to sell firewood and sweet potatoes. The firewood will be especially profitable because the community at the landing site uses firewood for cooking more than they use charcoal.

The young woman has already made plans for her first profits from her business. "I will buy a big mattress for my family to sleep on. We have been sleeping on the floor, on cardboard and papers."

As we leave the Kasenyi landing site, Nakanjako has already made plans with a boat owner to bring her eight sacks of charcoal from the islands that dot Lake Victoria.

Although getting a room where she can sell the charcoal will be difficult since there are not many commercial buildings at the landing site, she is upbeat, hoping that the people who manage the landing site will give her a small space in the open for her merchandise.

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