Angella Atim was a young girl when she was forced to flee her home. Today, she is a young mother trying to overcome the trauma of war and violence and rebuild her life in one of the poorest and most troubled places on earth, a district called Teso in northern Uganda.
Teso is still recovering a decade on from years of violence and destruction at the hands of warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. Many people were murdered, women raped, their villages burnt, their crops destroyed, and their children stolen away to become child soldiers.
Angella lost her parents to this apocalypse at 13 and had to flee her home, taking on the care of her three younger siblings. Ten years on she’s back, starting her life again, from scratch, with courage, hope and determination. She found her home had been burned down and her family’s small land had returned to bush: “We fled with nothing, and we returned to nothing,” she says.
In Teso, there is not enough to eat all year – families eat just once a day, and endure ‘the hungry months’ when food run out. Children experience malnutrition, and miss out on school.
Since her return to Teso, Angella has cleared her one acre land and has planted cassava, sweet potatoes and sorghum. But Angella still only grows enough food to feed her family once a day.
With your support, families like Angella’s can work their way out of poverty for the long term, producing more food to feed their family and earn an income from their surplus.
Self Help Africa is working with 1,000 farming households in Teso to improve their livelihoods. Along with seeds and livestock, we are providing the training and practical support to small farming families like Angella’s, so they can farm more productively and become more resilient.
Angella says: “I love Teso, the soil is fertile here. If I had the right tools and skills to farm more land, I could grow more crops and make an income from my work. I would be able to afford school fees for my siblings and pay for medicines when we are sick.”