ADIYO ALICE, 52
Like so many Acholi, the civil war in Uganda halted Adiyo Alice’s education. She studied until primary five when her family fled Kitgum and sought refuge from the rebels in Sudan. They spent three years there until the war breached the border and they were no longer safe. They returned to Kitgum where she went to work in the fields.
In Kitgum, Alice met the man who would become her husband. He was a soldier who would eventually die in the civil war, leaving her with their four children to care for.
Alice moved to Kampala with a friend and found work in the stone quarry. In 2006, she joined Project Have Hope and started earning money by making paper bead jewelry. In hopes of better securing her future, Alice participated in PHH’s vocational training program and studied tailoring for 1.5 years.
Upon completion of the program, Alice started her tailoring business, but struggled. There was too much competition. Three years ago, her friend introduced her to the craft of making embroidered table cloths. With few competitors, Alice easily found a market for her wares. Alice sells her embroidered work both in Kampala and in Gulu, where her daughter resides.
Her second born son, Eric, is currently studying tailoring and design through PHH’s program and will join his mom in the family business when he graduates. Alice looks forward to working together with her son to find larger markets and grow the fledgling business.