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Population: 35,918,915
Area: 92,098 sq mi
Capital City: Kampala
Capital City Population: 1,659,600
Improved Sanitation Access: 33.9% of population
Life Expectancy: 54.46 years
GDP Per Capita: $1,500
Population below poverty line: 24.5%

Abducted Ugandan Women are Liberated by Literacy and Business

Interweave, Engage Now Africa & THRIVEGulu are working together to impact the lives of vulnerable women.

In 1994 Jennifer Amony was 14 when rebel soldiers shot her parents and dragged her from her home in Gulu, Uganda.  For six years she was brutalized by soldiers as a slave of General Kony’s infamous “Lord’s Resistance Army” in northern Uganda.  At the end of hostilities in 2002, she was released from abduction. She is now as a single mother of three with no schooling or work skills. 

“I was the mother and the father of my children, and we had nothing.”

With intense struggle, she gradually learned how to read and to sew.  With this small foundation in 2012 she joined with other single mothers also traumatized by the war.  Through an organization known as THRIVEGulu they formed a simple cooperative tailoring business to feed their children.  With literacy and sewing skills, she and a few of her friends had started their path to self-reliance. 

In 2015 Thrive Gulu set a goal to reach at least 1,000 women in northern Uganda like Jennifer who were also victims of the war.  Interweave Solutions has since partnered with Engage Now Africa and THRIVEGulu to develop a comprehensive literacy and business program.

This three-year journey from illiteracy to self-reliance is based on Interweave’s tested materials and training.  Women are gathering together to form self-reliance groups. Promising peer leaders – women who have already moved from abduction to self-reliance – have volunteered to organize and facilitate these self-reliance groups.

Interweave director Lynn Curtis, Cecilia Amankwah – Engage Now Africa Literacy Director, and THRIVEGulu’s leadership team trained Gulu volunteer leaders, including Jennifer Amony, to reach more than 1,000 of their neighbors and friends. They are using their new Acoli language literacy manual, “Ryemo Can” (“Fighting Poverty”) to move from Acoli to beginning English literacy. Participants then learn from Interweave’s English literacy primers “The ABC’s of Business” and “English for Business Success!” which teaches business basics while also learning English. Finally participants will advance to Interweave’s full business program, “Success in Business.” 

Jennifer concludes, “I am happy to help with literacy, and I can see that I will also learn how to improve my tailoring business.”

Through Interweave, volunteers like Jennifer, who were beginning learners are now becoming leaders, and preparing to move hundreds of families in northern Uganda from poverty to prosperity through village self-reliance groups. 

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Jennifer Amony

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Uganda June 2016 summary – 17 active associations with 995 active members in Wakiso and Luweero Districts, (which included growth in the last 4 months of 7 new associations with 316 members).  That matched with 4 associations with about 400 active members in the Gulu district and about 5 associations with about 300 members from Moses’s active efforts in Kabale bring the total for Uganda to approximately 26 active associations with 1,695 members for all of Uganda.  That’s truly remarkable. 
Success Ambassadors Ruth Kyeyune, Moses Tumuheki and our partners in Gulu are changing lives and making a really substantial impact in advancing self-reliance throughout the country.  Congratulations on your shared achievements!

End of year Summary for the work done since April – December 2016 and 2017 plans


Groups Formed and Number of People mentored in each group

Group Name: Burambira Tukwatanise Group
Period of Engagement: 7Months
Number of Members: 102

Group Name: Rushebeya Soul Winner group
Period of Engagement: 8Months
Number of Members: 60

Group Name: Nyanja Kwetungura Group
Period of Engagement: 6Months
Number of Members: 85

Group Name: Kamuronko Tukorehamwe Group
Period of Engagement: 6Months
Number of Members: 40 

Group Name: Christ the King women Group (MBS 1)
Period of Engagement: 4Months
Number of Members: 29 

Group Name: Kizinga Interweave Group
Period of Engagement: 1Months
Number of Members: 30 

Group Name: Ahamurambi Abetereine Group A
Period of Engagement: 8Months
Number of Members: 97 

Group Name:Ahamurambi Abetereine Group B
Period of Engagement: 8Months
Number of Members: 101

Group Name: Ahamurambi Abetereine Group C
Period of Engagement:7Months
Number of Members: 136

Group Name: Ahamurambi Abetereine Group D
Period of Engagement: 6Months
Number of Members: 55

Group Name: MBS Class 2
Period of Engagement: 4Months
Number of Members: 4
Total Number of Members: 739 Members
Community Action projects
Activity Group Number of people Involved
Building a member’s house (Free labor for 2days)
Ahamurambi Group 62
Making the road to Ahamurambi church and repairing a bridge
Ahamurambi Group 220
Widening the road to Kabanyonyi market
Kamuronko Group 30
Leveling a widow’s ground for building a house
Burambira Group 65
Carrying building materials for constructing another widows house
Burambira Group 36
Clearing the road to the Kamuronko school and church
Kamuronko Group 32
Cleaning the road to Nyanja Church
Nyanja Group 33
Cleaning the water source
Kamuronko Group 25
2nd cleaning of water source
Kamuronko 34
Group and Personal Businesses established
Business Type
Business owner
Ahamurambi Group Business (Group Business)
Making Plastic Bags
Nyanja Group business (Group Busines)
Tea room and Hotel
Alice Kabumburi (Personal)
Piggery Project
Gilbert Bamwanga ( Personal)
Selling second hand clothes and beddings
Several Members from different groups (Personal)
Tree planting
Several Group Members in different groups
All groups (Peronal)
Salons for Haircutting by some members
Niwamanya Rauben (Personal)
Packaging and branding products
Christ the king women (Group Business)
Christ the King woman (Group Business)
Jewellery shop
Chrispine Musiimenta (Personal)
Successful and ongoing projects
1.Burambira Tukwatanise Group
3Million UGX (882USD)
2.Rushebeya Soul Winner group
Their savings are done through the church
3.Nyanja Kwetungura Group
2.1Million UGX(617USD)
4.Kamuronko Tukorehamwe Group
2.5Million (735USD)
5.Christ the King women Group
This group was already established and had their own savings scheme.
6.Kizinga Interweave Group
NIL (The group is very new and hasn’t started)
7.Ahamurambi Abetereine Group
5.2 Million UGX (1,529 USD)
Total savings in all groups UGX 12,794,200 (3,763USD)
Translated manuals are now in place and helping people to understand the training offered by Interweave and helping them fulfill their commitments
3Million (880USD) Loaned out to 1Group and 1 Repayment made so far. There are 20 Beneficiaries of this project with an average of 150,000UGX (44USD) and others are not taken care of due to lack of funds.
This Project exists in 1 Group (Ahamurambi) where they have used their savings to buy bee hives for the Apiary project. Expected income from honey will always be shared equally amongst the members. There is a projected income of more than 6Million UGX (1,764USD) per year after this project is effectively managed.
Nyanja group makes plastic baskets for income to replace environmental degrading polythene bags. The income is shared according to how many bags each person produces.
2017 GOALS
1. Forming more self reliance groups (Target 10) since the above are already firm and self supporting hence only require supervision and maintenance.
2. Facilitating community action projects in the old groups, mentoring and supporting projects being set up and others in pipeline.
3. Training another MBS group with individuals who volunteer to train others.
4. Graduation for the members since 10 Groups finished their training
5. Forming one association which unites all the groups. Sharing experiences and challenges as Interweave family.
6. Strengthening the village bank Scheme (Loans and savings). More funds are needed for loaning out to members to help them set up small businesses and help them yield more in their farming.
7. Mentoring the different small businesses established by the members and supervising the group projects being set.