A good harvest in Uganda

A good harvest in Uganda

When Samsa Ogwang applied for the Small Business Fund (SBF) program, she and her family were not doing well. Naomi Ayot, Spirit in Action SBF local coordinator in Uganda, found that they did not have a lot of variation in their diet, and that they were unable to improve their quality of food. They were also sleeping on floor mats, another indication of poverty.

Naomi chose Samsa’s family to receive the $150 SBF grant so that they could improve their farm and take the first steps towards prosperity. With the grant funds, Samsa purchased improved seeds, including maize (corn), simsim (sesame seeds), and sunflower seeds. Along with other SBF groups in her rural village of Amukugungu in northern Uganda, she also bought a male and female pig.

Samsa planting cassava in her fields in Uganda.

One year later, she reports that the crops produced a good harvest! She and her family harvested 363kgs of maize, some of which they sold for 31¢/kg, and some of which they delivered in-kind to cover school fees for two of their children. Additionally, 284kgs of sunflower sold for $20, and the sesame seeds brought in $65.

She had to sell the pigs when there was an outbreak of swine flu, and for the pair she collected $90. (All this from a $100 grant!!) Samsa saved some of the money earned from the pigs and plans to buy a new set of piglets this spring.

This business has meant a great change in Samsa’s life! She feels content that the project has improved the standards of living and the status of her family in the community.

Money for Education

Through this grant, Samsa has supported four of her children to continue attending school! Enume will be joining her senior year of high school. Akello is excited to start her first year of technical school studies. Ocen graduated from nursery school last year and will be starting 1st grade soon! And the fourth child, Apio, will be continuing elementary school.

In the planting season that starts this month, Samsa plans to add to the diversity of her crops by planting cassava, soybeans, and green beans. The group also has the goal of acquiring oxen and ploughs for tilting the gardens, to help improve the quality of the crops. Without the oxen, they have to plough the fields themselves.

Overall, Samsa and her family are grateful that they have achieved an improved standard of living. They are able to meet more of their basic needs, and also can hire day-laborers to help with the harvesting!

Samsa with her harvest of sesame seeds!

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5 Comments on "A good harvest in Uganda"

  • Sue Fairley says

    I always love reading your incredible stories of what people have done with the grants given to them. This is the way to change the world!!! Well done.

  • Absolutely wonderful, as always!! I’m so happy for all the recipients of your grants that empower people. God bless you, Spirit in Action.

  • Lana Runyan says

    Very inspiring story. Praise the Lord for this accomplishment and glorious witness to what a small amount of money (in our estimation) can do.

  • Tanya, This is a wonderful story showing how much can come from the initial $100 SIA gift followed by another $50 a month or so later. However, it doesn’t say anything about “Paying it forward”. I would hope that Samsa was given this opportunity rather than having to pay the money back to SIA. People reading about SIA need to hear about this important part of how it operates.

    Our prayers are with you and the others re your time there in East Africa. May God bless you all and the coordinators richly. John

  • Evans Okumu says

    Thank God for that inspiring story. Long life Spirit in action, may God bless you abundantly

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