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MEET FARIDAH: Determination Was Her Ticket Out of Poverty

FARIDAH

MEET FARIDAH: Determination Was Her Ticket Out of Poverty

Faridah Kabuwo sat in her two roomed house in the remote Eastern Ugandan town of Mt. Wanale wondering what should take priority in her life – education for her three children or fertilizers for her husband’s garden? The garden bares food to feed her family, while, if not properly educated, her children stand no chance of gaining employable skills in this fast-developing world. Asking for support from her husband only caused tension within her marriage, but Faridah didn’t want her children to suffer from a lack of a proper education the way she did.

In the end, she of course prioritized feeding the family over providing an education for the children. “Even if they do not go to school, they must be fed and have a roof over their heads.” 

Determined to increase the family’s earnings, Faridah joined an adult education group. After working for weeks tilling other people’s gardens, she saved up and paid a $17 fee to take a workshop learning to make liquid soap. Once the workshop was completed, she had the skill, but still lacked capital and entrepreneurial knowledge.  

That’s when Faridah learned that Street Business School was sharing business skills training to women in the Mt. Wanale area. At first, the benefit was unclear. “I already had a skill in soap making. What else would these new Street Business School trainings teach add?”  

She was determined to improve her circumstances, and so decided to give SBS’ entrepreneurial training a try. The accessibility of the programming was a relief, and she felt so encouraged that this was a training she could implement in her life.

She was most excited to learned that she can start small with any resources available to her. Soon afterwards, she sold her only chicken for $2.70 and bought yellow bananas and avocados to sell at schools in her community. As fresh produce can sometimes be challenging as a perishable good, Faridah decided to add in making liquid soap, then also purchased raw materials to make five liters of hair shampoo.

From her three businesses, she now makes a weekly profit of $18. Her children no longer lack school fees or medical care. Faridah is working to buy 40 dairy cattle to beef up her income and support her husband by buying better fertilizers for his garden.  

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