Maria's new home
At a time when many families in the Namatala slum are slipping deeper and deeper into poverty, this lady has demonstrated dedication, hard work and enterprise – and has started building her own home outside the slum. All made possible by a grant to help her start a business.
Maria is a widow who has lived for many years in the Namatala slum. Despite poor health, she cares for her elderly mother and her sister’s four children, as well as her own two children.
Two years ago, we gave Maria a grant of £20, which she used to register to work at a rice-sorting factory. It’s back-breaking work and she receives a small quantity of poor quality rice as payment. But here’s the good bit. Enterprisingly, Maria makes this rice into small cakes, which she bakes and then carries to sell to children at local schools.
Every week she deposits part of her hard-earned income into the Child of Hope savings scheme. Finally, she had saved enough to start to realise her dream for a better life for her and the children – and she was able to start building her own house on her own tiny piece of land across the river, outside the slum
She still has a long way to go, as the house still needs plastering (£150), a proper floor (£50) and a decent toilet (£50), but she has now used up almost all of her savings. It will probably take her at least another two years to save the money that she requires.
As she stands outside her new house, Maria turns to us and tells us, “One day, all of us will move into this house and we will be able to grow our own food and to have a goat and some chickens…”
UPDATE MAY 2012: Maria and the family are now settled in their new house and very happy to be out of the slum! Living in a new place has even opened up a fresh business opportunity for Maria... she now carries some food back home with her in the evenings, which she is able to sell to her neighbours for a small profit.
And she has just planted some crops, which should be ready to harvest in August. And on our last visit, we were greeted by two ducks, which have also now taken up residence with the family! Maria is so very grateful to everyone who has helped them.
Click here to help change a young woman's life by giving an incentive grant of £25 or more.