AKETO ROSE, 38
Aketo Rose grew up in Gulu. Originally, Rose hoped to become a nurse, like her Aunt. She saw how well-respected her aunt was and wanted to be like her. “I wanted to be a nurse so my father would also respect me.” However, in primary 7, her father passed away. He had supported her education, not her mother. Her mother had never attended school herself, and could see no value in it. The combination of Rose’s father’s untimely death and the ensuing civil war, conspired to end her studies.
She met her husband in the North and followed him to the Acholi Quarter once he secured work. When she first came to the Quarter, she would sell grilled maize and worked in the stone quarry. In time, she would learn the trade of making recycled paper bead jewelry. She is a fast learner and a skilled artisan and is one of Project Have Hope’s most talented artisans.
Together, she and her husband have eight children, including a set of twins. Her husband works in a fish factory, but the work can be sporadic, making it difficult to support their large family. To generate more income, Rose partnered with a friend to start a small business selling charcoal. Her friend no longer wants to pursue the work because of the long hours required. Rose, however, sees the potential money that can be made and is trying to expand the business and make it her own. With a loan, she would invest in a larger quantity of charcoal to sell within the Quarter.
Rose wants to secure education for all of her children. Her eldest is enrolled in a competitive secondary school and is at the top of his class. She sees great things for him. “I never succeeded in my dreams of becoming a nurse, my hopes are in my children. I encourage them to follow their dreams, since mine were stopped.”
Once her children have completed their studies though, she would like to return to the North where her mother lives alone. It costs much less to live in the North. Additionally, they are more self-reliant and can grow their own food.