Unlocking Opportunity for Aspiring Entrepreneurs—Alomo's Story

By Elise Derstine | April 19, 2018 | Africa & The Middle East | Education, Freedom from Violence & Exploitation, Gender Equity, Youth Empowerment

After years of violent conflict in northern Uganda, young women find renewed hope.

When Alomo was 10 years old, her father was killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group that terrorized northern Uganda for more than 20 years. Left to raise her children alone, Alomo’s mother didn’t have enough money to feed them or pay for their school fees. Alomo was forced to drop out—and lose sight of her dreams—before finishing high school.

Though the LRA has been driven out of the region, its impact endures: the war orphaned thousands of children, disrupted education, and destroyed livelihoods. Uganda’s youth are eager to contribute to their country’s economic and social transformation—but they struggle to get back into school and gain the skills they need.

Our partner Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment—West Nile (RICE-WN) is working to change that. Through its community outreach programs, RICE-WN heard about Alomo and encouraged her to apply for its empowerment program.

Specifically designed for girls affected by conflict, the program offers a combination of educational support, counseling, entrepreneurial and leadership training, and community engagement activities. Together, these initiatives lay the foundation for independence.

Alomo, now 20 years old, runs her own hair salon.

Alomo has a lot to be proud of. With support from RICE-WN, she enrolled in a vocational training school. Today, she runs her own hair salon and supports her mother, siblings, and herself.

A Global Fund for Children partner since 2014, RICE-WN has thrived with the help of numerous GFC capacity development services, including an organizational development grant to fund strategic planning. GFC also helped RICE-WN attract $195,000 in new funds from other donors, contributing to a budget growth of 300% over the course of the partnership.

Fazira, 18, embraces a RICE-WN staff member as she arrives for a site visit at the school.Thanks to RICE-WN, Fazira received a scholarship and support to attend secondary school--an expense her mother could not afford as a single parent. Fazira's father was killed in war when she was just 2 years old.

For RICE-WN, these changes mean more girls like Alomo can gain the tools and knowledge they need to lead independent lives.  Last year, the organization served more than 1,800 children and youth.

All photos © Giovanni Okot

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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