“I now have a happy family ” Alupo’s journey from poverty

Home / Testimonies / “I now have a happy family ” Alupo’s journey from poverty

Thirty year old Hellen Alupo is a member of Atumakiri Self Help Group (SHG) supported by Share an Opportunity Uganda (SAO U) in Aterait village, Morukatipe parish, Osukuru Sub county Tororo District.

The mother of three, of whom one was born with disabilities in 2012 says her child was diagnosed with multiple visual impairments and epilepsy, a situation that made her devastated and lost hope overtime because she had lost an elder child from a same ailment.

Alupo was a subsistence farmer with little knowledge of modern farming practices and entrepreneurship. Her harvest from the garden could not yield well for surplus to contribute to household basic needs. “I could depend only on digging and the harvests were very poor; my life was miserable because it was not easy to get money since my only focus was on getting food for the family. I never had any knowledge about improved farming practices and business management yet my husband was over burdened with financial responsibilities from his meager income.”

Her husband worked as a casual labourer in the neighbouring communities and the two parents could not raise enough money to provide medical requirements for their sick child. 

Some times their children would miss school due to lack of school fees since medication took their first priority. “I would not spend a month without visiting hospital because of my child’s sickness, I was referred to several hospitals but could not manage to go due to lack of transport and enough funds for medical bills, I lived a life of hopelessness.”

The turning point was when Alupo joined the self help group; she had a chance to participate in various groups’ trainings on saving and micro-enterprise development and now she testifies of empowerment for development of her family and children too. She was one of the vulnerable households who benefited from SAO’s support for families of people with disabilities and received one goat in 2014 but now her livestock has multiplied to eight. 

She was able to sell one of the goats after delivery and boosted her food stuff business where she earns over five thousand shillings profit per day. 

“I now have more than one source of income from agriculture, my farming harvests has increased and improved; I have skills and knowledge about improved farming practices and managing small business. My husband appreciates me than before for my contribution towards the family welfare, our children look healthier and are no longer sent home for school fees or scholastic materials. I am now able to take care of my sick child every month and provide emergency drugs and I realised that with medication, she takes long to suffer from epilepsy as before,” Alupo narrates with a big smile.

Her son expressed gratitude for SAO’s support to his family saying their family had never owned a goat before and he used to admire goats, but when they were given a goat after his brother being identified among the children with disabilities he was so happy because he knew it was going to help both of them. After his mother’s involvement in SAO interventions, he has never failed to go to school because his parents can now pay his fees and provide books.

Alupo was hesitant to join SHG until when a (Cluster Level Association) CLA member informed her of the advantages of being a member of the group such as attainment of changes in a short time as a result of project interventions among other benefits which she is now a witness to and therefore wants to start a shop in the nearby trading centre to increase her earnings.

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