“We feel empowered,” declares Pamela, a donut maker in Nwoya, Uganda. “Every time we move in the community, we move with our heads held high.”
Just a few months ago, Pamela and her two business partners, Jackline and Ketty, didn’t have the skills to make donuts. “We were just sitting at home not saving money,” Jackline explains. Yet after running their donut business for four months, the three women confidently agree that they “are no longer beggars.” Jackline adds that she “feels at liberty now. We see money coming in. Before I would ask my relatives and husband for money. But now I am independent. I have a source of money.”
Ketty, a tall, graceful woman, previously underwent bakery training in town. After joining the Village Enterprise program, she taught Jackline and Pamela the art of donut making, which is a virtuous skill to possess. The three women work together every day measuring, mixing and kneading their dough into goods that are sold in their community and at local markets. They have created a demand, and now customers come looking to buy their delicious sweet treats. They named their business group Okum Goro, which means “Support the Weak People”.
One of the best things about their donut business is the peace of mind it has provided the three women. Ketty’s one-year-old son has epilepsy. Before starting the business, she worried about hospital fees and whether or not she would be able to help her son when he had a seizure. “In case my son has an episode, I have money now to help my child. I keep some money to respond to his problem.” Pamela also has peace of mind since using her savings to purchase a bed. “When you are sleeping on the floor, there are so many insects that are affecting the skin. But now that I’m off the floor I’m able to protect myself better with the mosquito net.”
Pamela, Jackline, and Ketty have seen success from their donut business. They observe that their healthy, shiny skin, reflects their achievements. “We now have smiling faces, healthy skin, a healthy body. Our success speaks for itself, compared to our previous life.”