Irene
26
Uganda
Bead Maker
Married
3 children

My name is Irene and I am 26 years old. I am from Mayoge Jinja where I grew up with my 20 sisters and 5 brothers. My childhood was very difficult when my parents separated. Growing up I had three different step mothers. My biological mother rented a small house that held all of the kids. My mother was too poor to pay the school fees for the kids so I decided to go back to my father’s place and see if he could educate me. My dad accepted but every time he gave me money to pay off my school fees, my step mothers would take it and never pay for my education. I was chased from school for not paying and after missing so many exams I decided to drop out and get married. I am currently married with 3 kids (2 boys and 1 girl). Their ages are 1, 3 and 5. I started beading with All Across Africa in 2010. There were no consistent markets to sell in before I started working with All Across Africa, so I would have to sell what I made at a cheaper price (500ugx). This ended up holding me back from being able to plan and accomplish my goals. Personally, working with All Across Africa encourages me. I have helped support my mother and husband since I started working. I bought a plot of land and was even able to open a savings account. Soon we will start building a new home for our family! My hope for the future is to have a happy family that has a home of their own.