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May 17, 2013
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May 17, 2013
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May 17, 2013
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May 16, 2013
VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
"I am happier now that I can help myself" [Voices from the Archive]
February 25, 2008
By The IRC
|Photo: The IRC|
|[originally posted on theIRC.org] My name is Aloyo. I’m 19 and live in a refugee camp in the Pader District in northern Uganda. Life is hard here, but the International Rescue Committee’s ORACLE project has helped me lead a more meaningful life. I lost my parents in 1999. We were five children in the family, two boys and three girls. After the death of my parents, we had to find someone to take care of us, give us schooling and help us with other basic needs. At first I got involved in child labor, but in 2001 my aunt offered to look after us and we were greatly relieved. Despite her good intentions, though, she could not always provide for us. We at times had to survive on one meal a day. Getting clothes was a problem for me and sometimes I would miss school. I got involved in the ORACLE project when the ORACLE staff came to my school and later to my camp. They had come to help orphans and children who were involved in child labor. I was selected because of being an orphan. After some months, they brought me a school uniform and a school bag, and exercise books, pens and pencils, a ruler and a pair of slippers. In 2005, the local leaders of my camp told my aunt that the ORACLE project was sponsoring training in catering and hotel management and wanted to know if I was interested. My aunt talked with me and we agreed it was a good idea. So I and 27 other children were taken to the Lira School of Catering and Hotel Management on the first day in May in that year. ORACLE paid all our school fees and tutored us in school requirements. I successfully completed the three months’ training and attained a certificate in catering and hotel management. Later, the project organized a three-day business management course for us at the Pader town council, and we also received a set of start-up tools: two charcoal stoves, two saucepans, a frying pan, a baking tray, some serving spoons, and a set of utensils and plates, glasses and cups, for a dozen people. I have used the skills I learned to start a restaurant in my camp. I employ two people and take in about 100,000 shillings (about $55 U.S. dollars) a month, sometimes less because of the fluctuating number of customers and the level of poverty in the camp. But I always buy my supplies in Lira since it is Lira that supplies most of Pader with food and other basic goods. I am happier now that I can help myself, my aunt, my sisters, my new baby, and other people. I am confident I can do the same business in other places using my knowledge and skills. I wish to thank the IRC ORACLE project very much and may God bless them all. I hope they can continue helping children and other people in the camps in Uganda. Thank you very much, the people working for ORACLE.|
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