Robinson was a young boy when his parents separated. “My mother got married to another man and my father got another wife. So I was sent off to live with my grandmother.”
His grandmother who is a subsistence farmer was able to take him to school for a few years and in 2015, he dropped out because of lack of school fees.
The 20-year-old explains that, “I stayed home and life became very hard for me because I did not have any skills to earn a living.”
Joining the youth group
But in 2018, he joined one of the youth groups formed by SAO with support from Help a Child in Abim District. “In the group, we would meet to discuss what affects us and advise each other. In 2019, we got an opportunity for a short skills training in beading. I picked interest and joined the training.”
Robinson adds that, “After the training, I borrowed money worth Uganda shillings 80,000 (20 Euros) and bought beads and tools and started my business. I was only given one month to pay back the borrowed money with interest so I worked hard and paid it back. I used the profit I had made to continue with the business.”
He explains that life has now changed since he can now pay bills that were hard for him to pay before. “I am very happy now because the money I make has made it possible for me to buy medicine and continue supporting my young brother who has sickle cells. I also now buy scholastic materials for my other siblings to encourage them to continue with education so that they do not drop out of school like me.”
Robinson’s future plan is to train and employ other young people to help him in the business because it has market even in other districts. He states that, “I advise fellow youth not to lose hope but join the training programs because dropping out of school does not mean the end of life. I would like to thank SAO for giving me hope in life.”