The war in Northern Uganda dramatically affected Laker Josephine's young life. First her father was arrested by rebels when she was in primary one. Her uncle took over paying her school fees until he was killed by the rebels just one year later. Two years after that, her father returned home briefly. He left again, this time to fight with the government soldiers, to defend their homeland. With no opportunity for an education, Margret worked alongside her mother in the fields.
In 2000, Margret moved to the Acholi Quarter with her husband. Together, they had five children. In 2015, Margret mustered the courage to leave him. He was stealing from their neighbors and life became exceedingly difficult for her.
When Margret first came to the Quarter, she had a small business selling tomatoes and onions door to door. Whereas most of her competitors would sell produce from home front stalls, Margret would seek out customers, refusing to return home until everything was sold. It became exceedingly difficult for her to go door to door while her young children were at home unattended, so Margret shifted tactics.
Nine years ago, Margret started a business selling prepared food. She cooks the Acholi favorites of cassava, beans and silverfish and sells the meals nightly from the main stage in the Quarter. One of the first to start selling prepared food in the evening, Margret has an established and successful business, and her children always have at least one good meal to eat.
In hopes of increasing her profits, Margret would like to buy the necessary foodstuffs in bulk. To do so, she needs an influx of capital.
Josephine grew up in Northern Uganda and studied through primary 7. Then her parents separated and her father moved to Kampala and stopped contributing financially to the family. When she was 13 years old, no longer in school, and with the war raging around her, she moved to the Acholi Quarter to live with her step-mother.
In Kampala, Josephine met and married her husband. They have six children together. He works as a security guard at a nearby university. Josephine makes paper bead jewelry and also studied tailoring, which provides additional income. In search of a more reliable income, she saved up money and bought a grinding machine. She buys sim sim and gnuts in bulk and grinds them into a paste. Both are staples in the Acholi diet and sell nearly as quickly as she can grind it.
With more money, Josephine would buy bulk quantities of sim sim and gnuts directly from Northern Uganda where it is cheaper. In this way, her profits would greatly increase.