I like this picture. Partly because it makes me smile, but also because it sums up the small business culture here in Uganda. UK football is huge here, and its associated sponsorships appear on TV continually. So why not get some free advertising for your phone top-up business?
There are no benefits for poor people here, so for most people in these rural communities, starting something yourself from more or less nothing is the only option.
Today we went to a village called Willa, (might be pronounced Wheel-uh – there is disagreement within our group), where the community have been going through the PEP process, supported by Tearfund, that I have been talking about on the blog this week. This effectively means being trained in starting their own businesses using whatever resources they have.
We went to a hot, lengthy, but inspiring meeting in the church (below) and heard a number of people telling us more about the particular businesses that they have begun (Liz has more on the individual stories).
The emphasis is on getting away from relying on free handouts and instead making change happen themselves. I have found it all incredibly inspiring.
The photos below are from our wander around in the village, and show the kinds of small businesses that people here might start.
Above: selling fruit and veg (There are four more market trader photos in my Uganda Flickr set – I asked whether I could take the pictures).
Above: bicycle repairs. Sorry – I can’t resist a bicycle picture as you will have noticed.
Finally: ‘Friends and Lovers’. Phone charging while you have a haircut, or a haircut while your phone charges. Either is fine.
Tomorrow is our final day in Soroti and our final visit to a village. Sunday will be spent driving down to Kampala before we catch a flight back to London overnight Sunday-Monday.