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Joe Frank Operemo South Sudanese refugee

Introduction - Written by our field partners

Joe Frank Operemo, 47, is married and has four children aged 5, 7, 10 and 12 years.  Joe Frank is seeking a loan so that he can increase his stock of cassava, onions and potatoes to meet the demand he has generated. He dreams being able to give him family security.

Joe Frank is a member of the Emmanuel lending group, made up of 5 individuals who live in Abaita in Northern Uganda. The members of the Emmanuel lending group are all refugees from Southern Sudan and because of this, none of them are able to qualify for a bank loan in Uganda. Being part of the Emmanuel lending group gives Joe Frank increased financial security, as all members collectively share the responsibility when it comes to repaying each person’s loan. By lending to Joe Frank, you will not only be helping him build a business, you will be enabling him to support the other 4 members of the Emmanuel lending group. As each Deki loan impacts upon at least six people’s lives, the Emmanuel lending group has the potential to lift 24 people out of poverty.


Field Partner: Hope Ofiriha

Hope Ofiriha

Hope Ofiriha was originally set up by 12 widows in 1996 to provide agricultural workshops to other widows living in the war torn Magwi county in South Sudan. These powerful women worked together to transform the lives of local women and children and the organisation has now expanded to helping Sudanese refugees stranded in slums in Kampala's outskirts (Uganda).
A half-century of near constant civil war has made South Sudan one of the poorest and most neglected places on Earth. Hope Ofiriha's mission is to promote positive change in South Sudanese women's lives through socially and financially sustainable programmes. As well as providing microloans it offers various support structures and skills training such as bookkeeping and data recording.

Also lending to this entrepreneur

Deb oneHumanist Sara Dick mark Rob Michael susanne Lender wishes to remain private Bill Jonathan Nicola Richard John Lender wishes to remain private Barry stephen geraldine Nurseline

Key information:

  • Name: Joe Frank Operemo
  • Trade: Vegetable seller
  • Total loan required: £380
  • Repaid so far: £0

Fundraising progress:

Only £380 left to repay

Location - South Sudanese refugee, South Sudan

South Sudan is a landlocked country in East Africa, which only recently gained independence from Sudan, with whom it engaged in a 21 year war (Africa's longest running civil war). As a new country South Sudan starts life poor but optimistic, and full of determination to make independence work.

Despite adopting the majority of Sudan's oil reserves during its secession (75%), South Sudan lacks in key infrastructure to capitalise on this wealth. This contributes to it being one of Africa's least developed countries; it faces a number of development challenges including the fact that 15+ literacy stands at a tiny 27%. There are over 60 indigenous languages spoken in South Sudan with the official language being English. An array of religions are followed including indigenous beliefs, Islam and Christianity.

Hope Ofiriha is a partnership between European, African, Australian, and North American volunteers who work together to transform the lives of women and children in Magwi County in South Sudan one of the most poor, remote, and neglected places in the world. They have a mission to empower women and children living in rural communities to overcome social injustice, disease, illiteracy, and poverty. The main office is in Torit, a town southeast of Magwi County. Torit is situated close to the border with the Republic of Uganda.

Some statistics:

  • Capital: Juba
  • Official language: English (official) Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants)
  • Regional languages; Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk
  • Population: 10.31 million (2011)
  • GDP: US $1, 505 (2010)
  • Percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day: 19.8%
  • Adult literacy rate: 27%
  • Estimated adult (aged 15-49) HIV prevalence: 3.1% (2009)
  • Life expectancy: 62 years