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By Joseph Malinga

My name is Jackeline 23. I am deaf. I live in Kikwanana village, Nyayangahya Division Masindi Municipality. I am among the youth who were supported by the Connecting the Dots project. I received skills in hair dressing from Masindi Center for the Handicapped.

 I also received shs 100, 000 and other kits. Initially, I was already involved in mobile saloon work where I would move from house hold to household pleating individuals, so when the project identified me, it simply strengthened my skills and enabled me establish a Saloon business. Several Months after settling in my business, the project continued supporting me by bringing in interns. For every intern placed under me, I would be paid shs 200,000─ that was a great boost to my business. The money I earn from the business is helping me a lot. For instance, I have been able to bake bricks because I want to construct a house for my daughter and myself.  Part of the money, I use it to pay rent of shs 45000 per month, pay school fees for my daughter in pre-primary and also purchase more materials.

 I used to purchase items from Masindi, now I travel to Kampala myself to purchase the materials for my saloon. In a good season, I make up to shs 300,000 per months and shs 90,000 during a bad season. I also sell second hand clothes to supplement my income. The project has changed my life. Previously my life was really hard. Moving from place to place looking for people to pleat was tiresome. Now I just sit here, and people come. I believe my life and that of my child will never be the same. I have a green future ahead of me. 

My only challenge is that my relatives at times steal my money. They come in when I am out and pick the money. They have so far done it twice. Non-the-less, my family still believes in me now even when they steal from me. They consider me very useful because I have something to offer.

I am happy for the support rendered to me. I don’t know what I could be without the project interventions. I really needed it because by the time I was identified, I had just separated with the father of my daughter. He was not providing for the child. So life was really hard, but the help was timelier.


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