We currently have a group of ladies who meet almost every Friday to learn a job skill. Before they leave we have tea and a Bible study together. Many of the women are from the slums in Soroti, and the majority are single mothers.
A common business in Uganda is selling local breads called mandazi or chapatti. We thought introducing new breads to the market might be a good way for impoverished women to start their own businesses, so we’ve been teaching the ladies how to make American breads like donuts, a Ugandanized version of soapillas and pancakes. The ladies then chose which bread they would like to make. We bring the ingredients to their homes the first day and help them make the bread, then the women can use the profits from the sale of the bread to purchase the supplies needed to continue their businesses. Most of them have already started their own bread businesses, and so far many of them are selling very well.
We’ve also been teaching the women how to make jewelry using beads made from rolled paper as a way to supplement their income while they establish their businesses. We purchase the jewelry from them, and then we hope to sell it in the United States. All of the profits go towards meeting urgent or serious medical needs for children from impoverished homes as well as towards teaching additional job skills (such as tailoring) to impoverished women.
If you are interested in understanding more about what life is like for some of these ladies, we’ve told a few of their stories here.