By Grace Acheng
I come from a community where girl-child education is not supported and where illiteracy is generally high.
I am therefore grateful for the opportunity that the Mastercard Foundation and RUFORUM have granted me to pursue a degree at Gulu University in Uganda.
From the first week of the orientation training that was held in Kenya, I told myself that I had gotten a rare opportunity that I would then use to take care of my family and the community.
I started developing a business idea. But first, I needed to build a house for my mum and establish a small business that she would run to support the family.
I was able to save some money which I used to buy a milling machine for grinding sim-sim and groundnuts.
The business started generating averagely Ugandan Shs 30,000 every day, which the family used to buy food and other basic home requirements. As it continues to generate income, I also saved part of my stipend to buy land on which we have constructed a family home.
However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected my studies and our business since the number of customers has reduced.
On another positive note, the support from RUFORUM has encouraged and motivated my community to take girls to school as they now believe that girls can be powerful agents of change not only in their families but also in the community at large. This is a significant change of mindset and attitude from a time when girls were only considered a source of wealth through marriage.
I thank and acknowledge the efforts of the Mastercard Foundation and RUFORUM for facilitating my studies at Gulu University and building my entrepreneurial skills and ideas through the TAGDev project. This will go a long way in enabling me to achieve my dreams of becoming an agricultural value chain actor in the community.