IMG_0392Olivia felt like “a problem in the community.” As a mother of two children in Kampala District, Uganda, Olivia relied on her husband’s meager income from hawking plastic shoes and bags for living. The family could hardly afford daily meals. Even worse, they were thrown out of their rental house due to failure to pay the rent.

The turning point took place in 2012 when FXB conducted an assessment of Olivia’s situation and devised a household development plan for her family. Stranded in extreme poverty, Olivia started FXB program with much hope.

Nutrition is important, especially for the children. Olivia gained knowledge and skills to improve her children’s health and nutrition with the available food.

The bigger challenge was to build her income capacity and to achieve self-sufficiency for the family. Olivia started with the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) training. Although her savings were little, this initial attempt boosted her confidence. In 2013, she enrolled in apprenticeship in hairdressing and salon management, and managed to land a job in hairdressing, earning approximately $56 USD per month. This represents about four times the amount of her husband’s income before the start of the program.

The family no longer skips meals. Olivia bought furniture for her children’s room and sends them to school. She can now afford furniture and appliances for her home — a sideboard, TV set and a sofa. With a saving of $140 USD in the bank, Olivia and her husband are planning to start their own hair salon business.

“I work hard, and I can follow my dreams and goals. My principle now is to never give up” says Olivia, full of hope for the future.

Read more stories for International Women’s Day 2017