Acayo Christine: Empower One, Empower Many
Christine once spent nights fearing for the wartime well-being of her family, but today she approaches her future with confidence and positivity. Christine’s journey highlights an important aspect of the impact KK intl. programs generate; when one is empowered, they empower others. Our M&E data indicates the women who participate in our programs are helping an average of 6 other family members and friends. We are pretty excited about the impact is permeating into the communities we work in, but it's all the more exciting for us to watch women like Christine go way above and beyond the trend. The investment Christine is making in those around her by educating her family to the highest level and bringing economic dividends to her community through a growing farming business is changing the face of Northern Uganda forever.
One of the changes that Christine is most proud of is her capacity to invest in the education of her young children. The income she earned before joining KK Uganda, less than a dollar a day, was too meager to put her children in good schools. She resorted to putting her children in government-subsidized schools, many of which are notoriously bad. This was one of the first changes Christine made when she was given the opportunity to earn a fair and consistent income. “The program has opened my mind broadly in terms of working hard to ensure that I am putting my children in the schools where they receive the highest quality of education.” One of Christine’s long-term goals is to educate her children to a bachelor degree level so they have the best opportunity to thrive.
After graduating from the program in February 2014 Christine moved back to her families’ village in a rural part of Northern Uganda and began to invest the knowledge, relationships and resources that she gained at KK Uganda into the empowerment of the community around her. “I gained very good knowledge in agri-business and now I am practicing agriculture as my main source of livelihood. On top of this, I am able to support my neighbors with some financial support and agriculture knowledge as well. I’ve been advising them in how to plant their crops to get the highest yield.” Christine hopes to one day build enough savings to make a bigger investment in agribusiness. “When I am able to make a bigger investment I will be able to employ members of my community in which I live.”
Christine is a wonderful example of what’s possible when we make a holistic investment in poor women around the globe. Her story is proof of the strength and perseverance inherent in people whom most would right off. It makes us all the more confident that when we graduate women from our program, we send out agents of change that will make long-lasting change in their communities.