Women Sponsorship | Auma Helen

Abalo Florence


Auma Helen, 35, is very quiet with a soft, easy smile.  She understands only a little English, having attended school only until Primary 5.  She grew up in Kitgum with her parents and four siblings.  As the second youngest and a girl, education was seen as a luxury, beyond the means of her modest family.  At the age of 11, Helen’s mother was killed by the rebels and she went to live with her brother and his wife.


In 1999, she and her husband fled the increased fighting in the North and came to the Acholi Quarter where they are raising their six children.  Her husband has worked as a security guard for 16 years, providing the family with a stable income. However, with so many children, Helen must also work.  She makes jewelry from recycled paper beads and used some of her savings to open a small shop outside of her home selling local produce. Formerly, she worked in the stone quarry.  She frequently recalls the dangerous conditions she encountered, including multiple times when small rocks would get into her eyes and also splice her hands.

Helen hopes to get a loan to expand her small produce shop.  Having established her business nearly five years ago, she has built a good clientele and has little competition to prevent her from expanding.