Her name, Akello, means “follower of twins” and is a symbol of status in the region of Kitgum where Akello Pasca grew up with three brothers and three sisters. Born in 1967, it was customary that the girls worked in the garden and tended house while the boys went to school. Although she didn’t like it, Pasca knew better than question her parents or her cultural norms.
After getting married in 1990, Pasca and her husband came to the Acholi Quarter in 1993 where they had 6 children. Her husband became a teacher, but left that profession to return to the North to farm. He no longer helps to support the family, leaving her with the children, and now 2 grandchildren and a nephew to support.
Originally, Pasca toiled in the stone quarry where she earned about $1 a day. With such a meager wage, it was nearly impossible to provide for her family. In 2007, she received her first loan from Project Have Hope. She hired the water company to install pipes so that she could set up a water kiosk business in front of her home. With no running water in the Acholi Quarter, residents must purchase water for all their needs. Undoubtedly, her business was a success.
However, over the years, more water kiosks have been established and there is more competition reducing her earnings. Ever the entrepreneur, Pasca has been using her culinary skills to make meals for others in the area. She prepares food and sells it in the main market area of the Quarter in the evening where many people congregate and those leaving the stone quarry must pass by.
Her reputation is good and business is growing. Pasca is seeking a new loan to buy produce in bulk so that she will reduce her costs and also have more variety to offer her customers.
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