Amone Tito is proud of his new small business – a banana plantation.
Northern Uganda can be a difficult region. Poverty, civil unrest, and even war have troubled the residents of this expanse for as long as most can remember. Because of the formidable challenges in their country, many northern Ugandans have little hope that conditions will change in their lifetimes.
In January of this year, IAS began a community development and empowerment program in the Pader district of northern Uganda. In part, the goal of the project is to encourage and educate residents in their ability to initiate change in their lives and communities.
Through a self-help group initiated by IAS, one Pader district resident, Amone Tito, was able to begin realizing a life-long dream. Prior to the arrival of IAS, Amone was extremely poor. He felt hopeless in his ability to affect any improvement in his personal problems. Amone told an IAS worker, “Before the IAS project, people in the village were traumatized because of the war. They did not have any concern for each other. IAS started building hope in people.”
IAS built hope into Amone as well, inspiring him to stop his negative thinking and to look positively at the opportunities before him. Through resources available, Amone received training called FaaB (Farming as a Business). The idea of FaaB is to select one agricultural item and then grow it large scale. Examples of such cash crops include growing sorghum, millet, or rice; others start a poultry or goat farm. Amone decided to grow bananas.
“LIKE COLD WATER TO A WEARY SOUL
is good news from a distant land.”
- Proverbs 25:25 (NIV)
Now, Amone has a profitable business selling bananas in the local market. According to Amone, his most profitable product is the “suckers,” or banana tree seedlings, which he sells for approximately seventy-five cents each. Amone uses his profits to help pay the school fees for his children and to purchase medicine when needed. He also built a nice brick home and reinvests much of his profits back into his banana plantation.
Amone Tito and his bananas.
But Amone’s business venture has not been without difficulty. Because of the extreme heat and lack of rain in northern Uganda, many of Amone’s banana trees have died. But Amone is not discouraged. Thanks to the help of IAS, he now believes that he can overcome his circumstances. Amone has begun to dig a shallow well in order to irrigate his banana trees. He knows there’s water down there, and he is determined to find it so that his business may flourish.
Like Amone, IAS refuses to give up. Every family that we can empower creates a ripple effect of education, health and prosperity. With your assistance, we will continue to transform lives across the African continent through water, business and hope.
President, IAS America
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