As strategy to give first-hand information in direct speech from the beneficiaries/participants of the KRC intervention, this Newsletter brings you direct interviews. However, most of stories in this Edition are testimonies of refugees whom we are working with KRC under the APEAL VSLA Project supported by CARE International. Under International Law, we cannot use the photographs of people who might have run away from countries due to political persecution. So we have tactically omitted the use of their real names and photographs
|Title of story||IMPROVED PROTECTION|
|Name of story teller||DADA ALINE|
|Age/ age group of the story teller||28 YEARS|
|Vulnerability||SERVIVOR OF GBV|
|Date of recording||20TH MARCH 2020.|
|Recorded by||JACK Nyakairu|
What problem(s) were there in the beginning before support from Care International/ Partner?
Before I started getting support from my group TUINIWANE which was trained by KRC, life was complicated for me. I am a single mother of one 10 year- old boy who is having a serious medical condition. He refused to go to school saying he can only go to boarding school and demands to see his father when the fact is that his father died during an attack on us back in Congo when my son was still young.
He keeps disturbing me and sometimes can run from home and disappears for two to three days before he resurfaces. I didn’t have any money to take him to the boarding school which he wanted and I had nowhere to borrow from since all refugees kept saying they didn’t have money. Life was so bad for me. I only depended on the food from the distribution and could hardly fend for myself and my son. I dint have anyone to share my problems with apart from RWCs whom I would run to whenever my son disappeared. I sometimes pondered of killing my son and committing suicide thereafter.
How were you involved in the project?
I saw very many people coming to register at the mark pad and I also came. We gathered ourselves into a group of 30 as KRC officials had advised us and that’s how I joined.
What support –live saving or any other that was received from Care International or KRC
KRC has given me training in savings and loans and how to keep together as friends and share our problems and find solutions as a group. This has helped me to associate with group members, share my problems and get advice all the time. KRC has also taught me how to save and borrow money from my group to start small business in my town of Bukere.
Describe the significant changes that have occurred in this period that resulted from Care International/ KRC?Or your participation in the project?
Since I joined the group, the spirit of killing my son and committing suicide has now gone. I shared with members what I was going through and they counselled me. An official from KRC also brought me people from TPO and Save the Children who also talked to me and now I am a changed person. Also these people from save the children and TPO keep calling me to see how I am doing, which makes me feel good. These days whenever my son runs away, my neighbours, some of whom are members of my group get him and bring him back to me since they all know him -and the challenges I am going through with him. I feel like everyone is bothered and concerned about me.
When I joined the savings group, I did not have any economic activity I was doing to sustain myself and my son. The group borrowed me 50,000 Uganda shillings which I used to buy tomatoes and onions from the market. I began hawking them through the trading centre. I sold off the first batch and I got some interest. I have not looked back since. I always borrow from the group and payback the money and I also earn interest. My business is now growing and I have secured space in our market here in Bukere where I now sell from. I am now able to buy some clothes, medicine and some food for myself and my son. I have promised to take my son to school next year since I am now working. I now live a relatively happy life than I used to live before joining the group.
Why are these changes the most important for you?
These changes are very important to me first of all because my son was my kid alone but now he is a community child. No one used to bother about what I was going through with him, people would not help me whenever he got lost, but now, sometimes my group members call me to tell me every time they see my son moving around without me. I feel like now I am part of the community and everyone knows about me and are willing to help me. I feel more secure now.
The money that I borrow from my group has helped me to start my small business which looks after my immediate problems. I buy medicine whenever I or my son is sick, I supplement on our food diet and I have a balance on the money which I save in the group. I think out of my savings and the business, I will be able to take my son to the boarding school as we wishes so that he can also study and be an important person in future.
What were the key factors that enabled the significant changes shared above to happen?
I can’t fail to acknowledge the contribution of KRC which mobilized me into joining the group TUINIWANE which has been a stepping stone in my life. All the changes I am seeing are a result of me joining the group and the support KRC gave me including linking me to save the children and TPO, I would maybe have not joined the group and maybe I would have been dead by now because of what I was feeling.