Maimuna is no stranger to tragedy. She lost her home, her farm, her livelihood. A number of years ago she lost her husband.
One of the many victims of a decade of devastation that followed the occupation by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army of north-western Uganda, Maimuna spent over four years taking refuge in an internal displacement camp. While there she was raped, and contracted HIV.
Camp life was tough. Maimuna’s memories are of food shortages, scarcity of water, bad sanitation and awful, cramped living conditions.
When it was finally safe for her to come back home, she found that her house had been destroyed; her land had returned to bush. “When we got home, there was nothing. My husband passed away soon after that,” she recalls.
Support that she received on a Self Help Africa project provided Maimuna with goats, and with groundnut seed, and cassava cuttings. She also attended training courses in farming, and with the help of her children, started re-cultivating her farm.
“I was able to grow a surplus of crops, which I sold to rebuild my house. I also used my income to pay for school fees for one of my daughters,” she explains.
“The project helped me to get back on my feet. Today we are eating enough and are healthy. This support also gave me a voice. I used to have low self-esteem but now I feel confident about the future,” she concludes.