Orphaned as a child, by the age of 24 Lydia was a single mother to five children.
The family live in a small village in central Uganda, where poverty and unemployment are rife. Lydia struggled to find work and often could not afford to buy food for her children to eat.
I was living in a very poor situation. My biggest challenge was food. We didn’t have enough for the family to eat and sometimes we would go to sleep on empty stomachs.
Lydia’s parents died when she was just 13 years old, and Lydia and her seven siblings were forced to raise themselves.
Just three years later at 16 years old, she adopted her two nephews after her sister’s new husband disowned them. Then at 24, when she was pregnant with her youngest child, Lydia’s husband left her, plunging them deeper into poverty.
My children couldn’t attend school because I couldn’t afford school fees or materials. I couldn’t provide for their basic needs, like food and clothes. When it rained some parts of the hut would leak and we slept on the wet floor.
Thankfully, with help from SCIAF’s partner Caritas Lugazi, Lydia was able to transform her family’s situation.
I heard through others in the village about a local group, organised by Caritas. I received seeds and banana plants, and lots of training. I am now part of the saving and loans group.
The support Lydia received changed her life. The family had enough to eat and saw many changes in their lives but, Lydia’s story doesn’t end there. With the money she saved, Lydia was able to set up her own business as a hairdresser and provide security for her family’s future.
With my first maize harvest I paid school fees. With my second harvest I started the mobile salon. It feels great to be a business woman. I also teach other community members. Over time, I have bought all of the supplies myself.
I feel great now. I am living a happy life. My children are in school and I have enough food. My life has changed a lot.Lydia, Uganda