05 Oct
05Oct

In a region marked by challenges and hardships, the South Sudan Refugee Association (SSURA) continues to shine as a beacon of hope in Koboko district, West Nile. Through the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) project, SSURA has been tirelessly working to empower both refugees and host communities, creating opportunities for economic growth and self-sufficiency. As we dive into 2023, it's evident that their efforts are bearing fruit, changing lives for the better.

This initiative aims to empower individuals, especially women, by providing them with the necessary tools and skills to become self-reliant. In 2023, this project has borne fruit, bringing prosperity and transformation to the people it serves.

One of the cornerstones of the EUTF project is the empowerment of women through training and support for income generation. SSURA, with the support of Koboko Municipal Council, organized a one-day training program for eight women groups in Koboko. 

These groups represent diverse business activities, ranging from produce dealers to events management and tailoring. Importantly, these groups comprise both refugees from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and members of the host communities.

The training encompassed a range of crucial skills, including customer care, effective communication in a business environment, mindset change, marketing, group dynamics, and business risk management. Beyond these valuable lessons, the training also promoted peer learning and experience sharing among the women groups, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.

Women Group Members Attending attentively 

Success Stories from Empowered Women

The impact of the EUTF project on these women's lives is undeniable, as evidenced by the success stories shared by some of the groups.

Modide Women Group: From 7 Bags to Profitable Business

The Modide Women Group, based in Anjiringo cell and dealing in produce, has undergone a remarkable transformation under the EUTF project. What began as seven bags of cassava flour and 170 kgs of beans has turned into a thriving business with over 10 bags and 250 kgs of beans, resulting in significant profits.

"Out of the 7 bags and 170 kgs of beans, we now get a sale of 1 bag a day, equivalent to 250,000 Ugx, which has transformed our homes," said Kila Fatuma.

Mrs. Kila Fatuma Speaking

Cue//......Kila fatuma - Modide.mp3

Jelele Women Group: Transforming Events Management

Mrs. Sunday Joyce, the chairperson of the Jelele Women Group in Lipa cell, emphasized the positive changes brought by the project. Her group specializes in events management and received essential support, including chairs and tables. They now earn over 150,000 Ugandan shillings monthly through event management, with plans to expand their scope further.

"We received 70 chairs and 3 big tables under the EUTF project from SSURA based on our project concept idea, today we are making over 150,000 Ugx on a monthly basis depending on the number of events we manage, we are now looking forward to adding more tables and chairs to increase our scope," said Sunday Joyce.

Mrs. Sunday Joyce, the chairperson of the Jelele Women Group

Cue// ... Sunday Joyce- jelele Mp3.mp3

Kora Bolingo Women's Group: Thriving in Fashion and Design

Salima Mayunga, a Congolese refugee, shared her group's remarkable success in fashion and design. The Kora Bolingo Women's Group in Central cell specializes in Kitenge, a renowned Congolese fashion print. With support from SSURA, they received 70 rolls of Kitenge fabric and have seen their business grow significantly, consistently earning double the purchase cost.

"We received 70 rolls of kitenge from the SSURA under the EUTF project in 2021, and since then we have grown big, where on every stock we receive, we get twice the purchase cost," said Salima Mayunga, the Kora Bolingo Group Chairperson.

Salima Mayunga, the Kora Bolingo Group Chairperson.

Cue//... Salima mayunga - Koran bolingo MP3.mp3

Gole Ku Mungu Women Group: Becoming Professional Tailors

The Gole Ku Mungu Women Group, located in TRIANGLE cell, focuses on tailoring. Thanks to the EUTF project, they received a significant boost in the form of five tailoring machines. This support has transformed them into professional tailors who now receive contracts from schools and daily customers from the community.

"Today, as the group chairperson, I am able to get contracts fromschools to undertake uniform making as well as daily customers from the community and nearby schools. This funding meant a game-changer for us," said Wilaru Zaitiun, the group chairperson.

Wilaru Zaitiun, the group chairperson Speaking

Cue// Wileru zaitun - Kole ku Mungu Group Mp3.mp3

These success stories from the EUTF project in Koboko reflect the dedication of SSURA and the European Union to empowering refugees and host communities alike. 

By equipping individuals with essential tools, skills, and resources, this project is not only changing lives but also fostering sustainable integration and coexistence.

As we celebrate the achievements of these empowered women, we recognize that the EUTF project is not only about economic empowerment but also about building a brighter future for all those involved. This multifaceted approach, which addresses both environmental and social challenges, is a testament to the positive impact that collaborative efforts can have on the lives of refugees and host communities. 

Click To Watch the Training Video Overview

BY: Aldo ADOMATI, Communications, ssura-ug.org 
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