Halima Namutosi is 24, married and has three children aged 4, 6, and 8. She and her family are refugees who live in exile in Northern Uganda. They fled South Sudan to escape the civil war that has been raging for nearly half a century.
Halima and her family have settled in Namboole, in the outskirts of Kampala city, Uganda. Since the move Halima’s husband has been unable to find work so there is a lot of pressure on Halima to support the family.
Halima is a skilled craftswoman and is trained in making fuel efficient wood-burning clay stoves which are a very popular cooking device in East Africa. Previously she was working for someone else making stoves, but work wasn’t guaranteed so she couldn’t afford to enrol her children at the local school.
The family lived in a mud house with no electricity and had to share a toilet with their neighbours.
Life was tough.
A Life Changing Loan
Halima heard about Deki through other women at the nearby market and applied for a microloan of £240. After receiving her loan, Halima also received business training from Deki’s field partner, Hope Ofiriha who helped her budget for how she would use her loan.
Halima invested her loan in a wheel barrow, a rake and raw clay materials to enable her to set up her own business and sell her work directly to customers.
Halima’s pots were good quality and popular – and soon she needed to employ staff of her own. She now has two people working for her and between them they can make 500 stoves per week.
The increase in sales has guaranteed Halima a steady income and boosted her earning potential. Halima has now cleverly re-invested this into another business – a small store selling items such as tomatoes, onions, salt and soap. Halima’s sister runs the store for her, generating more income for the wider family.
Since her loan Halima’s earning potential has tripled and she is now able to pay for her children’s school fees and move to a better house with a tin roof and electricity.
She also supports several other members of the community with employment including her sister.
Halima says her wish for the future is to educate her three children to university level. She also wants buy a piece of land to build a permanent home for her family and her ageing mother. She is thankful to Deki that she has had the opportunity to work hard and support her family.
In the future she wants to open more branches in other areas in the town.
“This loan is my social security and it protects me against poverty.”