Women Sponsorship | Ayoo Sabina

At 67, Ayoo Sabina can easily recall the horrors and torment inflicted by the rebels during the war in Northern Uganda.  Born in 1957, Sabina only studied in school until primary two when there was no longer enough money to pay her school fees.  At 7, Sabina’s days consisted of getting up with the sun, working in the fields, then coming home to prepare a meal and fall asleep.  This routine repeated day after day, year after year.

When Sabina was 16, she met her husband at the main trading center.  Together, they had four children.  In 1998, she faced the wrath of the rebels firsthand.  As she was outside her home brewing the local alcohol to use as payment to hire field hands, with her youngest child strapped to her back, the rebels came.  Burning homes, often with the family still inside, and indiscriminately killing, were hallmarks of rebel activity.  In this case, Sabina escaped with her life.  The rebels beat her badly, inflicting injuries which still cause lingering pain today.  The rebels left her for dead with her baby still clinging to her back and Sabina clinging to life.  A neighbor, hidden high in the branches of a tree, witnessed the assault and shimmied down after the rebels left.  He untied the crying baby from her back and fetched her husband from the fields.  Her husband rushed her, mangled and beaten, to the hospital.  Shortly after, they made the decision to leave the north and relocate to the Acholi Quarter.  Their choices were few - remain home and risk death, move to a displaced persons camp, or move to the Quarter.

Upon reaching the Quarter, Sabina found work in the stone quarry, where she labored for five years until the boom of the paper bead making industry.  For years, she supported her family by crafting jewelry.  As the market for beads dwindled, she took up work collecting empty plastic bottles to recycle and sell.

Weary of years of hard labor, Sabina is ready to retire.  However, financially, she is unable to do so.  She’d like to start rearing pigs, a much easier way to earn money.  To do so, she needs to first construct a small pen to house them and would next purchase a male and female couple to breed.  Rearing pigs is quite profitable since a female gives birth to 8 to 10 piglets each year.  With a start up of approximately $500, Sabina could put her business plan into action.

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