Overcoming Hardships to Start a New Life


Abenoyo Phoebe lives with her widowed mother and siblings in Namalenya Village of Buwunga in Eastern Uganda. At 17, she became pregnant and dropped out of school.

Phoebe lost hope in life and was regretting why it was her going through all these challenges. She even felt like leaving her home. To make a little income, Phoebe worked 7 days a week at a rice plantation, earning 1,000-3,000 Uganda shillings a day (<$1 USD). The work was strenuous for such little pay. Then, during childbirth, Phoebe, unfortunately, lost her child. She was devastated.

However, Phoebe was identified and encouraged by a Community Labour Committee member to join the AYEDI project. During the club sessions, she made several friends and shared a lot with them about life and the different challenges. She became very active in all the club activities and leadership. Phoebe enjoyed agriculture and gardening sessions during the AYEDI club demonstrations. From the knowledge and skills she gained, she started her own garden at home. This brought the knowledge back to her home. Phoebe was also able to train her other siblings on how to manage tomatoes and ground nuts.

Phoebe is now able to also train her other siblings on how to manage tomatoes and ground nuts.

Phoebe sold her harvest for 150,000 Ugandan shillings (~$45 USD). She used the profits to buy 2 goats. She hopes to do more farming as a business, enabling her to purchase more goats. In addition, Phoebe chose to join the Integrated Functional Literacy Program (IFLY) class because she knew it will help her grow her business skills. She also enrolled in the AYEDI youths’ village savings group, and she hopes that her savings will help her do something tangible. Phoebe intends to save enough money to learn hairdressing as a vocational skill and start a business.

The AYEDI Program is supported by the United States Department of Labor. AYEDI is implemented by the Bantwana Initiative of World Education in partnership with the Government of Uganda, Straight Talk Foundation, Uganda Women’s Fund to Save Orphans (UWESO), RECO Industries, and communities, youth, and their families.