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 slum. Despite poor health, she cares for her elderly mother and her sister’s four children, as well as her own two children.
Originally 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 a 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.
During May 2012, Maria and the family settled in their new house and very happy to be out of the slum! Living in a new area has 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.
She is able to plant her own crops crops and own a few ducks ducks. Maria is so very grateful to everyone who has helped them.