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April 2021 (Khadija)
Khajida lives with her husband, their three children, and her daughter-in-law. Though Khadija had the desire and ability to carry out various economic activities, until recently she lacked the resources and capital to start a business of her own. Consequently, she had been severely disrespected by her husband and relatives, who looked down on her and criticized her inability to make any financial contribution to the household.
Since joining a Sweet Sleep CO-OP, Khadija has been working hard to change her story. After learning the basics of leadership, income generation, and savings through our dedicated business trainings, she received funding to start a small business growing vegetables in her backyard, which she can then sell within her community.
Today, Khadija is not only making progress with her business, but is also the chairperson of her CO-OP, which is currently thriving under all aspects. Her family now recognizes her as a true asset and shows her the warmth and respect she so deeply desired.
While at home, Khadija applies the skills and techniques she learned in her CO-OP workshops and shares the Word of Christ with her family by means of the Scripture.
April 2021 (Stella)
Her dreams of becoming a tailor and achieving financial independence were shattered soon after her father’s death only months before the end of her tailoring course, which she could no longer pay. Before joining a Sweet Sleep CO-OP, she made ends meet by selling cassava.
Once she joined one of our CO-Ops, she underwent extensive training and picked up a small loan that she used to stock up a tailoring shop. Business was flourishing, so she got another loan and bought a second sewing machine which she uses to teach other students to tailor for a fee.
Now able to care for her children, Stella is immensely grateful to Sweet Sleep for supporting her dream of becoming a tailor. She now earns up to 142$ a month and is able to pay for her children’s education, clothes, and medical bills, providing for them in a way that makes her trust in the Lord grow stronger every day.
March 2021 (Hellen)
As a result, 12 women have been selected to form the Praise Women Group CO-OP. They trained in savings and microcredit development, and learned how to start marketable income-generating activities based on their individual abilities. The women later received financial support to start the businesses they dreamt of. One of these women was Hellen.
At 28 years of age, Hellen sells vegetables such as onions, eggplants, and tomatoes within her community. She says that working in her new small kiosk brings her tremendous joy. Her children are equally happy to see her earning a steady income and are glad to have access to clean water, soap, and salt. Hellen is very much inspired by her progress and continues to work hard to grow her business, with the hopes of earning enough money to see her children through school and start a small savings fund for her family.
Since the launch of the CO-OP, people like Hellen testify that their lives have deeply changed. They have found education, resources, and – most importantly – hope, which they put to good use in their fight for a better future for their families.
May 2021 (Oliver)
“Despite investing a lot of time and energy in washing people’s clothes and frying cassava chips by the roadside each evening, the income earned from my sweat always remained miserable and barely enough to cater for a meaningful living. In the end, my family continued to live from hand to mouth and would often spend whole days hungry, with no food in the house” says Oliver, single mother of 5.
Oliver joined a Sweet Sleep CO-OP back in 2019, and ever since she found the resources – both internal and external – to change her life and become financially independent. After training in entrepreneurship and receiving start-up capital, she started a small business selling vegetables. Her sales have steadily increased, and she now operates from a small kiosk. From earning as little as UGX. 5000 ($1) from washing clothes, Oliver now makes UGX. 40,000/= ($11) per day from her new business. She has employed one part-time worker and has also brought a frying pan and a charcoal stove, so now she also fries pancakes in addition to selling vegetables. Oliver also participates in her CO-OP’s Savings and Loans activity where she saves. UGX 10,000/= ($4 USD) every week.
To crown it all, Oliver also attends the weekly Sweet Sleep CO-OP Gospel conversations through which she has found a lot of spiritual growth. “In the past, “says Oliver, “I was hopeless and lacked knowledge about the word of God, but nowadays I praise God for the opportunity of knowing about His LOVE for me and family. I can get what I need for my family and I have taken over my responsibilities of paying school fees and other related expenses for my children. They are now able to sustain regular school attendance, retention and with my savings, the future of my family is secure”.
June 2021 (Lamrah)
She discovered Sweet Sleep in February 2021 and was astounded by the economic empowerment and support programs available to vulnerable women. She joined a CO-OP and educated herself on entrepreneurial best practices so that she could embark on a journey that would improve the lives of those she loved most.
Before Sweet Sleep, she used to sell black tea and roasted cassava chips along the roadside of her community, earning as little as $1.6 a day. As a single mother of four, she struggled deeply with making ends meet. After receiving startup capital from the Sweet Sleep CO-OP, Lamrah was able to expand her business by selling various snacks. She continued to thrive to the extent that she began supplying homemade peanut butter to large supermarkets, growing her income to $10.2 per day.
While the Covid-19 pandemic put a dent in her business’ growth, with supermarkets no longer needing as many of her goods as before, Lamrah remains optimistic. She is thankful to God for her family’s good health and continues to work hard to sell her snacks to the community.
“Sweet Sleep triggered something in me that I had lost. My fighting spirit and strength returned, and I feel like I started life afresh.”