I AM ENGAGING IN ENTERPRENUERSHIP TO BUILD A HOUSE FOR MY PARENTS
KEVIN ACHAYO OKENY is a 24-year-old young lady from Aporo Kito, Lamogi Subcounty in Amuru. She’s from a family of 5 children; 3 girls and 2 boys, and currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Education at Gulu University.
Life was very hard; my mum used to suffer from chronic asthma and high blood pressure, and getting treatment used to be difficult. My dad is a police officer and all his earning’s would go towards treating mummy; as a result, he was not able to pay school fees for our education. This greatly affected education of my elder siblings as most of them ended in only S.4 with their studies. Their situation is worse now as they were forced to marry early and are currently struggling to raise children, they are unable to support fully.
To change the statusquo, they paid much attention to me, and amidst all challenges struggled to push me above S.4. My auntie supported me then, I sat my ‘O’ level examination in Kampala, but auntie could not afford ‘A’ level. So, I returned home in Gulu, and mum had to sell everything she had for me to proceed with my studies to ‘A’level.
In 2017, after my last paper at ‘A’ level, I knew that was the end of me as mummy and dad could not afford to pay University tuition. I just settled in the village with mum who told me to forget about education and instead prepare to get a man and marry.
When all the hope had vanished; one evening, my uncle came home and told me about the FAWE Uganda scholarship program he heard on radio. After getting the information, I looked for transport and went to pick the forms at the district. I filled and submitted to the District Education Office (DEO). It’s unfortunate that during this time, I didn’t have a phone; the one of mummy was spoilt – on and off. As a result, I missed the call for interviews, as they were unable to reach me.
By God’s luck, a week later, on a Sunday evening, I decided to get the phone, checked and got several missed calls from the District Education Officer. I called her back and she communicated that I had missed the interview’s that were conducted by FAWE Uganda. As a result, I was shuttered, disappointed and lost hope. I cursed myself, cried a lot, and wished not to have even applied for it? I went to the DEOs office crying, and she promised to call me the next day.
It was then, when the FAWE Uganda team was holding home visits, that they called me too. They visited our home and I was interviewed right away. After the interview, somehow life returned, my lost hope was regained.
A few days passed and I was called with my parents to the district, where the bursary award letter was handed over to me. Thereafter, we were told to report to school. When I reported to campus, everything was fine. Nothing else was pressing me, “everything was provided to me and I couldn’t ask for anything or complain because I had all I needed to focus and concentrate in school for the first time and I thank God for this opportunity.”
In February 2019, while at campus, I hatched the idea of making liquid soap for sale. I had learnt how to make it way back at school in ‘A’ level; I was part of the ‘Educate Club’. I used to make according to the orders available. Started with 5 liters at 10,000/=, 10 liters 20,000/= and 20 liters 35,000/=. In a month, I would collect a total of UGX. 200,000/= from the sales. I used to supply people, shops and supermarkets in Gulu town.
However, following the outbreak of COVID 19, Campus was closed, I returned home and finished about four months without going to Gulu. I had stocked the product and left it with a friend to sell. It’s sad he rebranded it and would sell as his own. I got to know, when I received complaints from my customers about the poor quality of the product, he used to dilute it, by adding water. I then realized that something was wrong. I travelled to Gulu collected the balance which was 60 liters, it had over stayed and I sold it at a give a way price of UGX. 180,000/=.
For the 100 bottles of the hand wash, I sold it at 7,000/= and got about UGX.700, 000/-. From the time I started in February 2019 to July 2020, I have got about UGX. 1,000,000/= expenses inclusive and profit of UGX. 500,000/=. I have saved this money in a fixed deposit account. I intend to keep saving and construct a house for my parents.
During COVID 19 lock down period, I have continued making liquid soap and engaging in some farming. I planted a garden of ground nuts and expect to harvest about 8 bags hence earning an average of UGX. 400,000/= which monies, I will add to my savings.
After finishing studies, I will teach in my home district and also continue with the farming and liquid soap making as a business. I thank FAWEU and Mastercard foundation so much. I can’t even express my gratitude enough for what they have done for me. I pray someday I can be able to do something big for FAWEU. I thank FAWEU and pray to GOD to continue blessing them.
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