Lucy Sagal and Pascal Sagal are sisters from Matany in Napak District. Esther trained with St. Daniel Comboni Technical institute as a tailor under the Enabel Programme.
When she completed the skills training, she opened up a fashion store in Matany town and is now training her Lucy sister to learn the same skill. “Before Covid 19, business was good, I had signed up 3 orders, to make uniforms for St. Daniels Comboni Technical Institute, Kalalong and Longalong Primary schools. But no sooner had I delivered 150 uniforms for Kalalong than the President announced total lockdown” Pascal Narrates. It was difficult to survive because they were not allowed to work for about 2 months and we started spending our small capital on food. Rent arrears were also piling up. But hope was restored when the Lorengechora health center in Matany ordered for 58 masks.
The two sisters were allowed to open their tailoring store and since then, they have never looked back. They also got another tender to supply over 100 masks to the Truck driver’s association in Matany. Individuals who can afford can also acquire a mask at UGX 1000 on display at the store. While COVID -19 Lock downs in Uganda and beyond has affected many businesses, survival of most small business has been mainly hinged on skills innovation and personal service delivery. Esther used just that to survive.
The duo has now diversified to subsistence farming to save on the cost food. “we have grown some G nuts, sorghum and cassava to save on our expenses on feeding” The sisters say that biggest challenge during the lock down was access to raw material.