This blog post was written by our Creative Communications & Events Officer, Megan Henderson.
I’d like to introduce you to Joyce, one of our members. I had the pleasure of meeting Joyce in October 2018 in rural Karamoja, Uganda.
Joyce is the Secretary of her Five Talents Savings Group in a remote village. She takes great pride in helping lead the group, and sees herself as an example to other members. At 36 years old she has two children, both are of school age and Joyce has to pay the fees. Joyce lights up when she talks about her children. Providing for them, and ensuring their future, is incredibly important to her.
As Secretary, Joyce collects and counts the money for her group meticulously, making sure everything is accurate. Joyce trusts the other women in the group, as they trust her and she enjoys the friendships that she has built through the group.
While she has pride in her children and leadership responsibilities, she also loves her pigs!
Joyce owns 15 pigs, raising, caring for and selling them is how she makes a living for her family. The pigs provide her an income, and she has been raising them for just over three years. She can sell one piglet for 25,000 Ugandan Shillings which feeds her family for two weeks.
One of Joyce’s greatest challenges in raising pigs is having a proper enclosure and containing them. She has a small mud and stick structure which she corrals them in, but she finds the pigs often break out. Sometimes they will eat the crops her neighbours are producing, and they can be difficult to track down and bring back on foot.
As part of the group, Joyce enjoys having a safe place to save her own money, and soon hopes to take out a loan to create a better enclosure for her pigs. This will keep them from escaping and causing damage, but it also means she will be able to raise more of them, which will add to her income!
“The pigs are challenging, but I love what I do.”