Meet Rose: Finding Hope After Tragedy

Meet Rose: Finding Hope After Tragedy

Street Business School amplifies positive impact by partnering with over 250 organisations to deliver our SBS entrepreneurial curriculum. SBS graduates trained by our partners start businesses, successfully manage them, and often diversify into multiple businesses. With increased income, graduates support their families, pay school fees, access medical care and enjoy significantly improved quality of life. 

One of our partners, Kyaninga Child Development Centre (KCDC) provides in on a mission to improve the lives of children with disabilities and their families by providing accessible high-quality therapy services and training for caretakers. KCDC partners with SBS to empower female caregivers in the community, with or without children with disabilities, through the SBS entrepreneurial program. KCDC’s team of lead coaches, all parents of children with disabilities, delivers the training to other caregivers and women living in poverty in Kabarole district. KCDC has graduated over 1,000 women since 2017.

One such graduate is Rose Kemigisa, a delightful, 31-year-old. Rose had experience running a business before she joined the SBS training. As a pancake vendor, she worked daily but only earned a monthly income of about $8 on average. After joining SBS, she began to understand how to improve her sales, and she was inspired to increase her market exposure. She rented a stall in the weekly community market, a much busier area, and she added a second product of potatoes. Each day Rose would make a profit of about $4. She made in just two days what she previously made in a month!  

Just as Rose’s business had started to thrive, tragedy struck in her village. Rebels from Uganda’s western neighbour Congo attacked and killed many people, including some of her children. 

That dreadful morning, Rose’s house was full of life and excitement. The children were preparing to go to school, and Rose and her husband were getting ready to work in their garden.

“I saw two men wielding machetes and cutting everyone in sight while I quietly hid behind the bushes,” Rose lamented. 

By the time the horrific ordeal was over, four members of Rose’s household lay dead in the compound. Rose had witnessed the murder of her family members, and she was overwhelmed with sorrow and hopelessness. After that, Rose shared, “I didn’t think I deserved success.” 

Rose struggled to put her life back on track. Though broken-hearted and full of despair, Rose picked herself up and resumed her business in the market. She also began selling pancakes and bananas door-to-door on the days she wasn’t selling in the market. On these days, she spoke with neighbours, heard their stories and shared her own. These daily interactions with community members boosted her sales, but more importantly, they were an opportunity for her to work through her trauma. She gained strength from her community, and self-worth from what she was accomplishing for the family she still had.

“I am now able to contribute to my children’s education and take care of their basic needs,” Rose stated proudly.

She shared that she now makes on average about $86 per month. To ease her mind, she also bought a mobile phone so she can check on her family while she is away from home working. Rose envisions herself owning a retail shop in the future. 

Rose’s business provided both financial and social support to help with her recovery. For many women, after employing SBS’ lessons in their life, what seemed impossible becomes reality. We’re so proud of the progress and strength Rose has shown, and we’re thankful to partner with organizations like KCDC to share tools and resources to uplift lives.

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