My name is Shina Namatovu. I live with my daughter in Kampala, Uganda. My main source of income comes from the restaurant that I started after participating in the EAV and RISE business skills training and microloans program. RISE has helped me to learn how to come up with a business idea and I managed to start a restaurant. The profits help me to pay rent and also get other needs. I also learned how to make shoes and crafts through their training. I buy materials from Mukwano Arcade. I use boda boda's (motorcycles) to get to and from work.
It is important for me to sell my crafts because it enables me to earn some income and add it in my restaurant business.
When the pandemic started, I used the profits I made from crafts to help buy food and basic essentials. Most of my sales come from the restaurant because many people eat everyday and few people ask for crafts. Conditions in Uganda have been very bad during the pandemic. The biggest problem has been affording things to eat. I am still working in the restaurant trying to cook food for workers at the site. However, the government did not support me with anything. There is limited capital, lack of food and rent problems. I am not able to buy all the essentials. I have learned how to save for the future through the pandemic. I would like people in America to know that the crafts that we make are very unique and we make exactly what they want us to make. When people buy my crafts, the profits help me become self-reliant.