Lydia Misanya, aged 20 year

Lydia got pregnant at an early age of 19 years while studying Senior four in 2019. This ruined her relationship with her parents and was forced to drop out of school to marry her boyfriend and care for her child at 19 years in 2019.

Life was not easy; her boyfriend was just a casual laborer with no clear source of income, and had turned her into a house wife walking away from her future dream of becoming a secondary school teacher. In 2019 she was mobilized by fellow youth to participate in a shoe making project. She joined a project predominantly known for men but persevered because of her passion in craft making and determination to tap into a pioneering trade in her area. Due to her confidence, commitment and learning abilities, Lydia was elected the group secretary. She steered the members into writing a grant proposal that saw them win support of USD 822 from JIACOFE to boost their business.

Lydia, like any member of the group earns USD 30 a week from shoe sales, which she uses to provide for her family with basic needs and save in the group saving and credit scheme. She is very optimistic that out of savings, she will start her own shoe selling depot, train other girls facing the same difficulties and support her husband to do farming on a large scale. This will certainly increase her income to enable her live a quality life despite dropping out of school. “I hated myself and lost all hope the day I was chased out of home. This project has helped me acquire a skill, regain my esteem and work towards improving myself and family livelihood status”. Narrates Lydia