We are working with this beautiful Acholi mom to help her start her own business so she can take care of the children that are in her home. Her name is Tereza, she is 32 years old, a mom of 7. In the photo she is in white. She has two biological children John (16) in blue, Mercy in pink (9). She is also raising five children, Julianne (16), Rubonga (12), Pamela (10), Rufina (4), Pinto (1). These 5 children have been abandoned by their mothers, whom are wives of her former husband. Tereza works hard to provide, but she no longer has means of steady income. In therecent past she ran a clothing business but sold it to pay for her
son Jons school fees last year, which left her with no consistent income.
Tereza was a victim of the civil war that devastated northern Uganda for 25 years. She was in 3rd grade when the war made it unsafe for the Acholi children to continue their education. She worked at home during this time helping her parents out. She was able to go back to school for a short time for 4th and part of 5th grade. The war brought great poverty to Northern Uganda, and her family was also affected. Her parents could not continue to pay her school fees so 4th grade was the last year she attended school up to now. When she was 15, she saw marriage as the only way she could be provided for, so she married a man of 18 years. She gave birth to her first child when she was 16. Her husband and her were separated in 2001. He remains in south sudan to this day with his 3 other wives, while Tereza lives in Gulu with all his children.
She is hardworking and loves these children so much. She cannot afford to raise these children well, and says often that she is a bad mom because she cannot take good care of her them. We recently found out that there are many days where the children and her have nothing to eat. Yet they do not complain. She spends her nights crying when she has been unable to provide even one meal for her children, which consists of rice and beans. The cost of this one daily meal is 9000 shillings or $2.50. Some of her children cannot attend school for lack of money for school fees and this is very hard for Tereza as she understand the importance of education. There are times she doesn’t have the money to pay the fees but she sends the children anyways. The kids will get caned by the teacher for not having payments and are then sent home. Somedays, however the teacher will allow them to stay, this is why she continues to send them. Each day they can be taught is so important to Tereza.
Tereza is very talented in many areas of crafting. She can do needle work, plate hair, basket weaving, beading, sewing, glass bead work and now friendship bracelet making. God has given her so much talent and she will use these talents in her own business. We are so exited to see Tereza independent and successful and all her children in school again.
We don’t believe in disabling her by doing the work for her. She needs to know that she is a good mom, who can provide for her family. She wants to work for it and be proud of what she has done. This is how we decided to make bracelets and sell them. She works hard on these brackets and they are made with her own two hands. They are broken in places just like she is, beautifully flawed. As she gets better at making the bracelets her heart gets better also because she knows she is one day closer to starting her business.
She currently earns money by plating hair at her home. One person takes 8 hours and she receives 8000 shillings, (2.3 dollars) per day, enough to buy food for one meal. Sometimes if she doesn’t have a client she and her children do not eat the next day. She desperately needs our love and support.
We are also discipling her in Gods word. She is so excited to have someone teaching her how to read the bible and understand it. She is gaining so much wisdom and wants her children to also be taught so she passes on to them what we are teaching her.
There are several ways you can help support Tereza. You can purchase a bracelet yourself by contacting Tracy McKim or Gloria Widiker. You can also sell bracelets for Tereza to your friends and family. We are also looking for donations to help cover the cost of shipping the brackets back to the Unites States, and material costs, and money transfer fees. Right now Tereza is responsible to pay these fees and each dollar that is covered by donations is one she can save to start her business. Bracelet costs are whatever you feel led in your heart to give. Tereza will be grateful for any amount you can donate.
Your donations will go towards her initial start up costs. Her greatest expense is the purchasing of a building to sell her items out of. The cost to have one made is 1.4 million shillings ($425.00). We are looking at her purchasing a container instead of renting so she will not have the monthly rental expense. She will also have products and supplies that she will need to purchase for the salon and craft goods she will sell. With all expenses we are looking to sell enough bracelets to cover 2 million in start up costs ($606 U.S. dollars). The hope is to have her business up and running, and have her self sustaining by the end of September.
Thank you for prayerful considering supporting this loving, strong, beautiful Acholi mom. Please pray that she continues to grow in the Lord and that God would provide for all her needs. For the Lord knows the plans He has for her,plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
You can message me if you are interested in supporting her through buying or selling of her bracelets to help raise money for her business.