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Anna Atai's Story: How Anna Became Independent

Anna Atai at her shop

By Frank Byaruhanga

Prior to the Covid 19 outbreak Anna Atai, a 30-year-old mother, was living in extreme poverty making it hard for her to access basic needs. Her life changed when she received help from ActionAid International Uganda.

“I didn’t have basic needs. So, I would do odd jobs like going to gardens, casual work, and fetching water for people who were making bricks. That is how I would supplement on the money which I was given to go to school,” says Atai.

After completing her education at a technical school, she sought help from a neighbour to survive amid the difficult conditions, but it wasn’t sufficient. 

“I got a tailoring machine from a neighbour whom I used to support, and we would share the profits. But it was meagre, and it couldn’t support me enough.  So, I continued struggling. I couldn’t become independent at that level,” explains Atai.

The Covid 19 outbreak worsened her situation leaving her desperate for help. Fortunately, she came in touch with ActionAid International Uganda, in Kumi district. This encounter changed her life. 

She was one of the 122 women who were trained in enterprise selection and development. They were also given assorted start up kits to help them engage in alternative livelihood sources.

“I was selected by ActionAid to benefit from the distribution of sewing machines that were given to women who had been affected by COVID 19.  So, I got a machine and since then, I have been able to open a shop where I sell clothing material. This has made me independent,” explains a beaming Atai outside her shop. 

Atai is now independent and can take care of herself and her family through the money got from her tailoring business.

“I am also making uniforms for various schools. And I have been able to get money to support my family, pay tuition for my child, and pay utility bills. I have become independent,” says Atai.