Without giving it a lot of publicity lately, but we are running a shop in Kotido. We, are the women of the Mothers Union, and the artists and womengroups where Karamoja Arts is working together with.
Since March we have a shopkeeper. A lovely lady who understands business very well. But at the same time trusted enough to carry that responsibility.
It’s a joint venture: Mothers Union ladies are selling snacks in the shop. Karamoja Arts is selling their Arts and Crafts. And DCDS, the development group from the Diocese, is selling food: Rice, Maize flour and Beans.
The clinic is very closeby, where the in-patients like to buy something like soda, soap, milk etc.. Also the workers of the Diocese, on which compound the shop is situated, like to come and buy food… and then pick sometimes some other items.
Tourists also come in… sometimes because of Karamoja Arts… and sometimes because they spot the signpost at the roadside.
The profit goes to the livelihood of the Karimojong. We pay the salaries of the Karimojong workers. We want to be trustworthy in that: paying salaries in time. And then the demonstration garden becomes a very nice discussion point: how to use you money and gain enough from your garden. How to plant and why like this or that… We call it an holistic approach: touching all areas of life. The next step is building a sanddam in Kotido!
So you are very welcome at our shop: you’ll support with us Karimojong livelihood!
You wouldn’t believe it, but after we posted his story… just one week, when he visited me again, he had a new wheelchair. While asking him about it he told us about a friend, who got this wheelchair but didn’t use it, so he bought it from him, from his own, earned, money! He is really a business man… knows how to receive microfinance… knows how to invest his money… and continues working for his future.
One week later he came again, with his old chair… his new one had a puncture. So he needed some money to buy a good bicycle pump… he bought… had enough left to buy food… his old chair broke down in my compound that very day… and lays in my shed to rest! Great story, great people here in Karamoja!
One of our joining craftsmen is Paulo Lonyang. He is crippled at both his feet, but he went to school, is fluent in English and tries very hard to earn his living for his family. His wheelchair is ramshackled. One of the things we would love to do is to find a new wheel chair for him (if you want to support that please let me know!). To him we are able to give micro-loans, which he always pays back very stiptly. He makes bangles from red and yellow copper. The copper he finds at the trash, or copper from the waterpipes… everything can be used by him. He decorates them with different patterns, and his work is most wanted in the shop. He also makes bangles from aluminium… little different style, but still very nice to wear.
He is one of the examples that community tourism can make a difference in lives of people.