Safina’s Street Belt Business
Safina, 19, has known poverty all her life. She lives in Kito village situated in a wetland a few miles from Kampala city and home to low-income earners.
She was raised in a large family of 11 and was only able to go to school up to primary seven. Like many Ugandan girls who cannot afford to go to school, Safina was sent to Kampala to help a relative with housework, and she ended up marrying her husband at age 17.
Safina’s one room house is built out of mud and wattle and is about 8 square meters. An old, dirty curtain separates her sleeping and sitting space. She is proud to own three ducks splashing about in puddles of water gathered around the house.
Despite Safina’s hard life, she is a hard worker and a risk taker. She had a rack made at the roadside and sold tomatoes and mangoes. However, her business did not thrive because she did not know how important it was to account for a business. That changed after she joined SBS. Ignited with accounting knowledge, Safina started a new business of selling belts.
In the afternoon on a busy street in Kireka town, Safina, full of energy, lays out her belts with confidence, in time for the crowd leaving work. Her voice advertising her beautiful belts is heard by people rushing by, causing them to stop and take a look. “I make sure I have a big stock, naturally eyes are drawn to a business with lots of things,” said Safina. “I learned how to keep my income and expenditure accounts separate,” Said Safina.
Today because of joining SBS, Safina is getting smarter in money matters, her business is growing by the day and gradually, she is becoming the pride and envy of Kito village. Her income has increased from $2.28/day to $8.57. “I feel so good I can hardly sleep. I know I can get anything I want,” Safina says.