To the best of our knowledge, at CPAR Uganda, among the young adults undertaking our mentoring programme Bency Sharon Acio is probably the most directly negatively impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19 induced lock down in Uganda. Read more about our mentoring programme here.
As part of her mentoring journey, Bency graciously allowed to move her restaurant business into our Lira Learning Centre and to transform and merge her business into CPAR’s Kitchen, which she was running on our behalf. Through CPAR’s Kitchen, Bency was providing catering services to our visitors, library clients, meeting and training groups using our learning centre.
When the lock down and curfew were put in place, we had no choice but to lock down our centre and entrust it to our Learning Centre Caretaker and unarmed security guards. Unfortunate for us, bad people took advantage of the lock down and curfew, and they executed a break-in into our Lira Learning Centre, vandalized it and stole property. Read more about the break in into our centre here.
Among the property stolen from our learning centre was Bency’s. They stole her plates worth Ushs 180,000; flasks worth Ushs 120,000; and half a bag of charcoal worth Ushs 30,000. A loss of capital assets and fuel worth Ushs 330,000 is huge for such a small business as Bency’s was.
Be that as it may, this did not break Bency. She innovated and last week, Bency checked in with us, writing:
“I am a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet. Currently, I am struggling to raise money to re-establish my business. I am doing so through farming in the village with my parents. I am looking at opening a small retail shop just where I am living now due to the COVID 19 situation. And to achieve this, I am looking at having a minimum capital of Ushs 500,000.”Bency Acio Sharon, Innovator
We, at CPAR Uganda, are in awe of Bency’s tenacity and are inspired by her. Utilizing donations given to us, we have thus decided to provide a grant to Bency of the minimum capital that she requires to rebuild and re-establish her business.
In addition to the small financial grant we are giving to Bency, we will continue to mentor Bency and to provide her with technical knowledge and linkages as articulated in our mentoring programme, the best as we can during these trying times.
We celebrate Bency for being a great role model to her peers. Read more about Bency here.