Being worth 6 cows and 60,000 shillings (approximately $30 at the time) is something Aluku Sabina is proud of. In her day, that was a lot for a dowry in Gulu and made her father happy. As the conflict continued in the North, her husband found work in Kampala making pipes used for drilling wells and the young family relocated to the Acholi Quarter.
They had 4 children but her husband died from HIV in 1999 leaving Sabina to provide solely for the family. Unfortunately, her daughter died delivering her fourth child.
When the daughter’s husband remarried, he sent the three remaining children, her grandchildren, to live with her. Now the 50 year old grandmother struggles to support three children and three grandchildren.
Sabina works many jobs to earn money, including working in the stone quarry and making paper bead jewelry. Six years ago, she also opened a small restaurant and has found moderate success. Her daughters help her prepare and serve food, making it a family business.
She has requested a loan so that she can expand the business by purchasing a second refrigerator, additional cutlery and dishware and several more benches so she can seat more customers.
That said, she hopes one day to retire to the North and leave the business to her children.