Sam Ladu is a South Sudanese Refugee living in Northern Uganda, Yumbe district. Sam is 24 years old and dropped out from secondary school due to lack of support from his parents. He said, “I left school in 2014 and got married to my wife who is also a primary school drop-out and started a home. God has now blessed us with 3 children, a daughter and two boys. Two of them are now in school”.
He started business in 2016 in order to provide for his family a financial support especially paying kids in school, medication, clothing and feeding. At the time his business was prospering, the conflicts emerged in South Sudan and all his things were looted by unknown people and so he ran to Uganda with nearly nothing. He lost his business, livestock, food, buildings and clothing.
On arrival in Uganda, he had to start life all over again. One day he got work in one of the local community member’s field and was paid 60,000/= shillings, he then used 10,000 for the wife to buy food and used the 50,000/= to buying three items (soap, salt, and sodas) and all these got sold in three days and so he bought more. He wanted to increase stock but had limited capital and no one to borrow from and no financial institution that offer loans.
However, one of the mornings a member from his village visited him and with excitement told him of the saving program which has helped her save her money and that in the group they are allowed to borrow money from the common pool and invest into any business the individual wants, provided it is a rewarding project.
“I never wasted time because it was then I realized God seems to answer my needs for more capital to achieve my business dream longed for started right from South Sudan”.
He then joined a group called “Ngun lo tindu” (God’s gift) with 50 members where most of them are women. He borrowed a loan of 400,000/=. He used 90,000/= for renting a shop and 60,000/= for paying his children in school and 250,000/= for adding more stock into his business. He sells mixed goods in the local market of Kilaji-Mijale Zone.
Sam said, he owes CRESS and the team working with them here so much appreciation.
Through this unique and rewarding program I am able to unbelievably revive my business. He added,
“I have now established a business of my dream where, am able to make a minimum of 200,000/= shillings a week”.
“I have equally benefited from the spiritual program which is conducted before every saving activity”.
According to him, he gained knowledge of not cheating customers but to be honest always, and he has seen the fruits of this truth in his business.
With thanks to Noel Lilija for collecting this story for CRESS.
If you would like to help CRESS start more Savings Groups in Uganda – we have Christmas presents available to buy including Savings Group Kit: £50 includes savings box, padlocks and log books for a group of 20.