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Meet Susan in the Acholi Quarter

Another beautiful day today in the Acholi Quarter! Meet Susan, one of our main designers in the Acholi Quarter. She is carrying around her sisters baby, whose father was a french soldier that disappeared in the battle. Susan has three kids herself of which she takes care all alone. Her first husband, a soldier, died in 1999. Her second husband went to Somalia in 2007 with the peacekeeping force and never returned. During that period, Susan became so sick and stressed that her sister took her to the hospital in Kampala. There, she was diagnosed with HIV, cancer, and tuberculosis. Because of the stigma surrounding HIV she had to be creative in making a living for herself and her three children … She searched for something she could do from her home and so she started paper bead making. Now she is teaching the other women how to make beautiful designs and with the money she earned she even could afford to go back to school herself.

Last May I visited Susan’s mom and brother in Gulu in Northern Uganda. (Susan is one of my main designers from my previous post). It was so amazing to meet her family and see where she came from. Her mother is such a warm carrying lady who invited us into her home and gave us food. A long time ago Susan’s mom had 11 houses which she rented out.. But then the LRA came and burnt down more then 8 of the houses, stole their food, and Susan’s sister had to witness how their uncle got chopped into two pieces. So the whole family fled to Kampala. Susans mom returned to Gulu at one point, but Susan is still living in the Acholi Quarters in Kampala. We also went to Gulu to search for Susans 13 year old daughter who ran away, luckily we found her and she is now happy to go back to school in Kampala.
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