RAKAI. A visit to Carolina Namatovu’s home in Kayonza Village, Ddwaniro Sub-County, Rakai District, reveals that many grandmothers can be productive and avoid surviving on handouts, so long as they are mobilized and empowered.
At 75 years, Namatovu makes pancakes for a living. She exploits the business opportunity at Kayonza Primary School, which is just a stone throw away from her home.
“This has really transformed my life. I can pay for school requirements of r my three grandchildren as well as buying household items ” Namatovu happily shares as she attends to her customers.
But the genesis of this pleasing development, as the jolly aging mother shares, started after she joined Kitovu Mobile grandmothers and OVC project, where she was empowered, in terms of engaging in productive work, like craft making as well saving money.
“We were trained how to make good use of the resources in our vicinity, especially craft making as well as learning how to save. We formed solidarity groups saving dubbed Nazikokolima Kayonza Solidarity Group” She says
She says they save money and later borrow to invest in their small business as well as solving her immediate needs.
Namatovu says this move has given her a green light to have an improved livelihood. “Imagine the primary school where I sell pancakes had existed for many years, but I had no single idea to take advantage of it, until 2016 when Kitovu Mobile empowered us,” She says
She confesses how she was in slumber but was got out of it by Kitovu Mobile. “You can’t imagine that I earn Shs 10,000 (about$3.5 ) weekly as profits from my business,” Namatovu says
She says it is from this money that she gets what to save in the solidarity group, which has also seen her, realize harmony, unity among fellow grandmothers in the village.
“We share happy moments whenever we meet to save. It has also helped me to walk which is a therapy that is why my appearance is deceptive. I look like a 60 year- old woman yet I’m 75 years old”
Namatovu, who used to do casual work, digging in people’s gardens says she had already grown weak and wondered what to do for a living, but says Kitovu Mobile availed her with the right option.
“Long live Kitovu Mobile and our donors who brought me a mattress and a blanket, ” She says.