JAMES’ INSPIRING JOURNEY TO FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
James, an 18-year-old refugee, arrived in Uganda in 2017 and found a new beginning in Imvepi Refugee Settlement. Despite having a physical disability, James was determined to create a better life for himself and his family. Thanks to the RED project funded by the European Union Trust Fund, his story took a remarkable turn.
Reflecting on his journey, James said: “I was selected because of my vulnerability to be part of this project. An opportunity for supporting business plans was announced, and I submitted my idea. My plan was successful”.
With seed funding of 600,000 Uganda Shillings, James started goat rearing with four goats, two of which were already pregnant. While the venture was his own, James acknowledged, “Since I’m not able to do everything, my grandparents help me as I attend school,”
The impact of this was significant. James said, “The business is doing very well. We started with 4 goats but now we have 9 goats. We also cultivated our gardens for farming maize and got 600Kgs of maize for food, which we also sell in case of emergencies,”.
This stability has transformed James’s life. He explained, “Because of the goats, we cannot fail to handle our emergencies,”.
However, the journey hasn’t been without challenges. James pointed out: “The main challenge is medication for goats, proper shelter, and limited grazing areas in the settlement, especially during the rainy season when we cannot cross to the host communities,”.
Despite the challenges, James manages. “I use local materials and put up a shelter for the goats. Some partners come through with vaccination programs for goats, and we also use local herbs. I’m also laying bricks to set up permanent shelter,” he added.
The impact of James’s business translates beyond his family. “We have been able to hire land for farming, and we produce food for the home rather than relying only on food assistance. The land is hired from the host community, and we only sell one goat to hire a garden,”.
Looking ahead, James’s aspirations are bold. “We are not selling these goats anymore; we want to keep them and maybe in the future even get cattle,” he affirmed.
James expressed gratitude to Save the Children for supporting him and his family. His journey showcases the will and determination to transform lives. With the assistance received, he has paved a path toward financial independence and a brighter future for himself, his family, and his community.