My name is Shanitah Nabuuma and I live in Nakulabye in Kampala, Uganda. I was attacked with acid in 2009 on my way home during my senior vacation. My ex-boyfriend attacked me due to relationship disagreements. Life after the attack changed. I had to change my dressing style to long-sleeved shirts, which could help hide my scars and put on sunglasses so people couldn't see the damaged eye.
Now I am married, and I live with my husband and four children. My husband supports us so much. He pays house rent, pays school fees, and looks after the family. I work as a shop attendant in Nakulabye but I also have skills in jewelry and bag making. The money I get from craft making adds to what I make from the shop to help support my children with basic needs. I sell my products to customers who find me at the retail shop where I work and friends who make orders. I also take some of my products to the church.
I learned how to make crafts from Beads for Life Uganda where we were trained how to make paper beads and jewelries. I also learned how to make different types of crafts in the craft training organized by End Acid Violence Uganda under the support of RISE. I also learned to make shoes in a training provided by EAV and RISE in 2018. I enjoy making crafts because I make them with a lot of passion.
My business goal is to empower other survivors by showing them that everything is possible when one is determined and to have a craft store. This fits into my goal of empowering my fellow acid survivors who think the world has ended with them.
In 2019, I participated in a business skills training and microloans program organized by EAV and RISE. After the training, I started a shoe and clothing shop.
I stopped making crafts last year so when the pandemic came I only used profits I got from selling clothes. American businesses can help me a lot by getting me market. The situation in Uganda has been hard. We have not been working much and have been looking for food constantly. Craft materials are too expensive, so I cannot make as many crafts as previously. The whole family has been affected- the children are not going to school and I have to constantly look for food for my family. I have not been able to get all needed masks because they require money.