Cash grant beneficiary expands her business to earn $1200 monthly

Koma standing in front of her restaurant located in Pagirinya refugee settlement


At only the age of 32, Night Koma a South Sudanese refugee living in Uganda’s Pagirinya settlement in Adjumani district has risen from destitute to self-reliant, courtesy of the Reconnecting Lives, vision and Empowerment (ReLiVE) project.

The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) -funded ReLiVE project implemented by the Lutheran World Federation provides vulnerable refugee and host community households with cash grants to set up income-generating activities as part of the livelihood empowerment support.


Having arrived in Uganda as a refugee in 2016, the government of Uganda allocated Koma and her husband a small piece of land where they constructed a small grass-thatched house alongside the temporary tent for accommodation and also received non-food items. 

“This house condition was not to my satisfaction. Life was tough, and I could not see any better tomorrow anymore,” Koma says.

 To supplement the food rations provided by World Food Program and meet other family basic needs, Koma started a mobile juice business with the Shs4000 (about$1.09) she received from her husband. For two years, she was hawking juice but could only partially meet the daily basic needs of the family until she joined the LWF supported Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA)


“I happened to join one of the LWF supported Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) group and started saving a weekly Shs5000 ($1.37),” Koma says 


 In return, Koma could borrow Shs 150,000 (about $41) at 10% interest payable within two months that she managed to expand the business from mobile one to a small retail kiosk. 


In 2020, Koma qualified and received the ReLiVE project’s cash assistance ofnShs1,000,000 ($273.40) and started a restaurant business alongside juice selling.


“I later constructed another shelter alongside the smaller house which initially accommodated only six customers because the business was expanding,” she boasts.  


“My daily earnings have also increased from Shs80,000(about $21.87) to Shs135,000 (about $37). Life has improved, and I can ably meet my financial needs,” she adds 


With her monthly savings of up to Shs 460,000(about $125.76), Koma is confident that her business is still expanding and the sky is the limit