LALAM LUCY, 48
When Lalam Lucy was just ten years old, her life was turned upside down. Her mother sent her to the market to buy vegetables for dinner and she didn’t return. The rebels snatched her, and Lucy spent seven months forced to live among them until she found a way to escape one night.
Once reunited with her family, Lucy hoped to return to primary four, but financial constraints prevented her. She began working in her family’s small shop.
In 1993, Lucy married and followed her husband to the Acholi Quarter in 1996. He found work as a conductor on a bus, and Lucy managed the pit they owned in the stone quarry. With their earnings, they started to build homes in the Quarter. They now have six rooms which they rent, in addition to their own home.
A talented artisan and a true entrepreneur, Lucy was able to provide for their seven children by making paper bead jewelry and selling it at the weekly art market. However, when COVID hit, the market closed. As fears of COVID spread, people sought vitamin rich fruits and a market for fresh oranges, mangoes and passion fruit grew. Lucy tapped into this market. She later used the profits of this small fruit business to set up an expanded shop selling vegetables and other food stuffs.
Lucy knows her family will not go hungry because if vegetables don’t sell, she uses them to prepare her own family’s meals. With greater capital, Lucy would purchase non-perishable items in bulk to expand her business and increase her profits.