The market is the community center of the refugee settlements. It’s full of greetings, colorful kitenge (local fabric), laughter of women, the smell of drying fish and ripe tomatoes. Let’s journey inside!
Uganda, thankfully, is a unique host country, giving refugees land to cultivate and allowing them the right to work and the freedom to move in and out of refugee settlements.
The majority of Seed Effect’s members are women and, on average, each member cares for an estimated 5 children.
And then the work day begins.
Let’s go to the Market!
While these markets aren’t typically as large as the ones you’ll see in the neighboring towns, they are often bustling with a variety of businesses from women selling produce from mats on the market floor to small restaurants and salons to larger and more permanent retail shops that sell food stuffs, clothing, and other imports.
Stella had been a Seed Effect member many years prior in South Sudan and then, after fleeing, she joined a new Seed Effect group in the refugee settlement in Uganda.
“I have joined a Seed Effect savings and loan group so I can access loans to grow my business so I can pay school fees for my children. When I take a loan from my Seed Effect savings and loan group, I invest the funds in my business. Then from the profits, I use part of it to repay interest and the other part to support my family.”
She’s been empowered to give her children a more secure future by providing them an education. And, even as she rebuilds her life in the refugee settlement, she is surrounded by community and has the support she needs.
“My favorite thing about my Seed Effect savings and loan group is the encouragement I get from the other members. It makes me strong.”
With no chain restaurants or fast food joints, even global McDonalds, to be found nearby, South Sudanese refugees and Ugandans either have to cook all of their own food (which can sometimes involve catching, killing, and cooking a chicken) or visit a local restaurant.
If you visited a local restaurant in a refugee settlement market, you might be offered beans and rice, posho (a cornmeal or sorghum based dish similar to cream of wheat), stewed chicken, goat, or beef, chips (french fries), or greens with g-nut sauce (peanut sauce).
Thank you for choosing to empower these Seed Effect members, so that they can use their gifts to love others and provide for their families with dignity!