My name is Emmanuel Okwir, a Cohort III student at Gulu University. Being a beneficiary of the MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM scholarship helped restore my hope for an education. It has taken me places, and I have benefited from various mentorship opportunities during the programme.
I come from a family headed by a single mother, and life has not always been easy for us. So, during the lockdown, I decided to focus on further building my business by opening up a shop that specializes in selling and making products such as bags, sandals, shoes, baskets, paper beads and necklaces from African inspired materials.
It is a business I opened in November 2019. Although it had started picking up fast, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.However, from the entrepreneurial trainings that I attended, which were facilitated by RUFORUM, I have already developed new ideas on how to take the business forward and soon, the implementation process will start.
I have also been saving part of my stipend to secure a piece of land on which I plan to construct a family home, as we currently live in a rented house.I also invested some of my monthly stipend to undertake and complete an online certificate course in food processing at the Digital School of Food and Agriculture.
Through the support from the MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM, I hope to transform my community for the better.