Youth makes a fortune from cash grants

MaKosso* attending to his shoe selling business in Kyangwali settlement


28-year-old Makosso*, a refugee in Kyangwali settlement in Western Uganda, boasts of a successful shoe selling business worth Shs1.5million (about $421), two years after he arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo penniless. Makosso not only lost his parents and siblings during the war but also his livelihood.

“I arrived in Uganda in September 2018, after I was robbed of all my properties and the business stock I used to have in my shop. I was very distressed and traumatized,” Makosso recollects.

The experience combined with his subsequent captivity by the rebels who held him before he escaped and fled to Uganda made it inevitable to fall into depression.

“I thought of committing suicide, but I asked God to be with me during that trying moment,” he recollects. 

Having composed himself, Makosso thought of reviving his business and take care of his basic needs but had no start capital.  

 “I could hardly afford two meals a day,” he recounts.

In 2020, LWF came as a saviour when they passed out an advert calling for vulnerable youth to train entrepreneurship and business management and, he was selected. 

The program implemented with funding from the United States Government Department of State, Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration (PRM), also provided conditional cash grants to the youths, including Makosso to start income-generating activities. 

“I was supported with a conditional cash grant of Shs1,000,000 (about $280) that I used to start the shoe selling business in May 2020. LWF also extended another booster support of the same amount of money in December 2020,” rejoices Makosso

With this kind of financial support, Makosso says he is optimistic that the future is bright and hopes to expand his business further and employ other youths.

The cash grant has not only empowered him financially but also improved his mental health. He has since recovered from his past financial losses.