Learning skills for self-sufficiency

Uganda+Testimonies+Family // July 26, 2022 //

I’ve recently returned from a visit to our program areas in Africa, and while I was there, I had the privilege of meeting Teddy, a mother of two children in our Maudo (Uganda) Sponsorship Program.

Teddy shows her charcoal booth to members of the Covenant Mercies Team.

In January 2021, Teddy and her children were evicted from the house she was renting as she  was behind on her rent payments. Her only income came from working in other people’s gardens for meager wages that couldn’t come close to meeting her family’s needs. When she was evicted, she informed Covenant Mercies’ social workers who moved her into temporary housing until she could get back on her feet.

Shortly thereafter, Teddy was chosen to be part of a pilot program being offered through Covenant Mercies, where she would learn business skills and engage in income-generating activities. She was given seed money amounting to $42 to start up a charcoal selling business.

Teddy started her business selling three bags of charcoal a week. Since then, she has grown the business to selling seven bags of charcoal a week. Teddy and her children have moved into more adequate housing, and she is able to provide food for her family. She is a very happy woman and thanks God for Covenant Mercies’ intervention in her life. 

“God has removed me from a pit of sorrow and suffering and now I’m no longer worried about where we will sleep or what we shall eat. I’m even able to buy clothes for my children, and save $3 every week in our Women’s Savings group. I have also been able to buy some turkeys and goats which I will sell at Christmastime to buy a milking cow.” 

Teddy is ready for another day at her charcoal stand.

Asked about her future goals, Teddy says she is planning to grow her business to selling ten bags of charcoal per week by the end of the year. She has also set a target to save enough money to own her own business stall by the end of the year instead of renting one. She also has a goal of buying land for cultivation of food, and eventually constructing a home on part of the land for her family.

With the help of Covenant Mercies, women just like Teddy are recognizing that God has equipped them with skills that can help support their families. They are learning that a state of poverty does not have to be permanent, and there are increased possibilities for her and her children to break the cycle of generational poverty and transform their lives for the better.