European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) - Support Programme for Refugee settlements in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU) Livelihood and Labor Market Relevant Skills Development for Refugees & Host Communities

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Stella is determined to diversify her restaurant menu!

  • determined to diversify her restaurant menu

Stella Foni came to Uganda from South Sudan in 2017 when she was in Senior Two. She was settled in Yumbe district in a refugee camp. Stella, who is now 28 years old and married, did not get a chance to continue with school after arriving in Uganda. She got married not long after and began planting and selling greens such as ‘dodo’ and ‘sukuma’ for a living. She used to earn about UGX 5,000($1) whenever she would sell her greens at the market.   

Her desire to increase her income drove her to apply for cookery training that had been advertised by Windle International, an implementing partner of Enabel. She chose cookery because she wanted to open a restaurant. Stella had noticed that the market for restaurants had gone up because more people were ordering food from restaurants within her settlement than before. So, she wanted to tap into this growing market.     

She got accepted into the 3-months training course where she learnt how to boil, grill and fry different meats and how to make snacks like mandazi. She also learnt how to cook food such as potatoes, cassava, matooke and rice in other ways rather than just boiling them. In addition, Stella learnt how to fry eggs with vegetables like onions, tomatoes and green pepper.    

“I also attended a business skills training where I  was taught several business concepts but what I remember most was how to attract and retain customers”.     

The training took place at Adjumani Youth Center for training. It was hands-on training where she was involved in cooking food for large groups of people that used to come to the center for events or meetings.   

“I picked up very fast and I was contacted to be retained, but I could not because I fell sick.” 

After 2 months of staying at home to recover from sickness, Stella opened up her restaurant inside a market called green market. She acquired a piece of land at UGX 40,000($11) and constructed the structure that houses her restaurant. She used the savings that she had acquired from selling maize and sorghum, which she had grown herself.    

Stella currently serves only breakfast at her restaurant. She serves tea, fried cassava and ‘Anyoi’, a local dish made from a mixture of maize and beans. She started off with a saucepan and 2 plates that she received as part of her start-up kit from Windle International. Most of her customers come from a nearby health center and school. In a day, she can make UGX 18,000($5) from the sale of ‘Anyoi’ and spiced tea which she uses to support her family. She saves 2,000/= a day so that she can venture into serving lunch and supper.    

“I have many customers. They love my tea which I spice with ginger, a trick I learnt from the training. I am hopeful that within a short time, I will start serving lunch and supper and start cooking the dishes I learnt during the training.”   

Through funding from Belgium, the Embassy of Ireland, European Union and German Cooperation, about 14,200 people have been trained through the Skills Development Fund implemented by Enabel and the ministry of Education and Sports: 57% of the trained people are female and 65% are now self-employed after the training.  

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