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Susan Biira Kasese

Introduction - Written by our field partners

Susan Biira resides in Kasese, Western Uganda, with her husband and 9 children. Her children are aged between 2-18 years old, and they currently all go to school. Her husband works hard as a farmer, however doesn’t generate enough income to support the family alone.

Before setting up her own business, Susan was a subsistence farmer, growing food and raising cattle for the use of her family. Instead, she now has her own business selling Cassava flour. Cassava flour is a flourless, starchy ingredient, which is produced by treating and drying cassava root. Cassava is often compared to potato as its starchy, inedible when raw, and still reasonably tasteless even when cooked. Potato can be replaced in numerous dishes by cassava and is prepared and cooked similarly, for example you can boil, mash, fry, and bake it. However, cassava is a tropical crop, and in parts of the world such as Africa and Indonesia, they often use it to also create sweet desserts.

A Deki loan will give Susan funds to purchase sacks of cassava flour. More stock will allow her to expand and grow her business, improving profits. It will make her business become more efficient, and sustainable. Alongside her business, she still works hard crop farming, keeping up with domestic duties, and attending to her family’s needs. The loan will help to increase her income, helping her to save and continue to pay for her children’s education. ‘I wish to have a family free from poverty and illiteracy and this shall be achieved through buying more stock’

Field Partner: New Home for Community Rehabilitation

New Home for Community Rehabilitation

New Home was set up in 2014 to help the disadvantaged people of Kasese in Western Uganda. Their aim is to ‘support, promote and strengthen affordable and sustainable community based self-help initiatives tailored at improving human life’. New Home’s priority is to empower communities - of the elderly; women who have been widowed and who are living with HIV/AIDs; the disabled; young, single mothers and young people who have little or no education.

New Home is a registered charity and a SACCO which lobbies for human rights, conducts advocacy and aims to improve people’s lives through skills development, micro-finance and empowerment. They help people grow their small-scale business: many entrepreneurs run a stall, sell food, offer second-hand clothes; others are fishmongers, pig or poultry farmers or raise goats. Others process and trade cassava, coffee or maize. Many of the young men elect to offer transport on the back of a motorbike across the border (Boda-Boda driver) or train as bricklayers.

Also lending to this entrepreneur

Stuart Lender wishes to remain private oneHumanist david Anthony Amanda RC of Cardiff Llanishen paul Andrew Micha Ralph Corinne

Key information:

  • Name: Susan Biira
  • Trade: Sells cassava flour
  • Total loan required: £250
  • Fully repaid: £250

Fundraising progress:

Fully raised and repaid £250

Location - Kasese, Western Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria.

It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary.

The official languages are English and Swahili. Luganda is widely spoken across the country, and several other languages are also spoken including Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, and Luo.

Kasese lies to the north of Lake George and near to the Rwenzori mountain range and Queen Elizabeth National Park, at an elevation of 3,000 feet. It is 214 miles west of Kampala and just 38 miles from the town of Mbondwe on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is situated between the shallow Lake George, fed by streams from the Rwenzori mountains, and the much larger Lake Edward to the south west. The lakes are linked by the 20 mile long Kazinga channel which is a feature of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and attracts one of the world’s largest populations of hippos and many species of animals and birds.

The town grew as a result of the copper mines at Kilembe; the copper/cobalt is now depleted and many of the population currently rely on agriculture for employment.

Some statistics:

  • Capital: Kampala
  • Official language: English and Swahili
  • Regional languages: Luganda, Runyoro, Runyankole, Rugika and Luo
  • Population: 37.58 million (2013): Uganda has the 5th highest fertility rate with 5.97 children born per woman
  • GDP: $21.49 billion (2016)
  • Exports: coffee, base metals, fish, maize, cement, tobacco, tea, sugar, cocoa beans & sim sim (sesame)
  • Percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day: 37.8% (2012)
  • Adult literacy rate: 66.8% - 76.8% male and 57.7% female literacy (2002)
  • Estimated adult (aged 15-49) HIV prevalence: 30% (1980s) fell to 6.4% in 2008 but has been increasing since 2008
  • Life expectancy: 53.4 years
  • Infant mortality: 61 per 1,000 births (2012)