Rosemary Anania, 47, is a refugee from South Sudan living in the Imvepi refugee settlement in Uganda.
Rosemary is a member of the Trust Farmers Village Savings and Loan Association, a group supported by ForAfrika.
“My children and I came to Uganda in 2017. Having lost all our possessions, the future appeared bleak and we were hopeless. We could only thank God that we were alive,” she says, adding that they were taken into the refugee centre and managed to survive on food rations.
“In 2018, ForAfrika came and started with their kitchen gardening training. It piqued my interest and I soon joined a group of 30 others who were supported with farming inputs, such as watering cans, seeds and spades … and a very special savings box. This has helped us a lot in developing ourselves both by access to loans and improving our saving skills.”
After being taught farming techniques by the agronomist, she was able to replicate these on a small plot near her new home.
“Apart from participating in the group field activities, my individual garden has managed to feed me and my family, and I also take the surplus to the market,” says Rosemary proudly.
“I then decided to borrow a small sum from our savings group to increase my business and I have never looked back!” Rosemary has managed to grow her agribusiness, repay her loan and she has even been able to employ other people to help her dig and water.
She has also opened a small shop which has allowed her to acquire some goats and chickens. “These assets will help me in case of emergencies so that I don’t remove cash from my business,” she explains.
“I have even bigger plans of expanding my business one day,” Rosemary laughs.
“I want to start a wholesale business. I want to accommodate a lot of stock and I also want to buy a grinding mill and a machine for making paste so I can have other sources of income too.”
“I urge the organisation to support us with cash at the end of every saving cycle so that we can use some of the money to rent more land to plant more gardens. “I thank ForAfrika for opening our eyes to the reality of life and making us realise the value of savings.”