Aloyo married in 1994 and says her marriage was initially a good one, but when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacked their village, killing three of her brothers-in-law, the couple was left under immense strain to care for Aloyo’s orphaned nieces and nephews.
Together with her husband, Aloyo worked hard to see that their family had everything they needed. They bought animals and concentrated on farming, but then Aloyo’s husband sold all the animals and she never saw any of the money. At the time, Aloyo kept quiet.
Her husband also objected to family planning, and when their sixth and seventh children arrived, the family’s experience of poverty was at its peak. Aloyo says life became miserable. All the money she received from her husband was to pay school costs for the children and medical bills, and her husband would beat her. “Life had lost meaning to me,” Aloyo said.
In 2015, Aloyo reported her case to the Community Development Officer (CDO) of Amuru Town council. The CDO then visited her home, saw what she was going through, and referred her to ActionAid for support.
“I was counselled, my case mediated, and ActionAid Uganda kept visiting my family,” Aloyo said. “I was trained in small business skills enterprise management and agro-business. I was supported with IGA items including an initial stock of dried silver fish. When I sold the silver fish I was able to raise money and changed to the sale of onions, which I bought and sold with a profit of UGX: 80.000 (~32 AUD).”
Aloyo is now engaged in agro-business, selling tomatoes and vegetables to generate her own income.
“ActionAid brought change in my life,” Aloyo said. “My husband has also changed, he is now a good husband and father. We are able to do a number of things together, we share and plan together and am able to save some money and I want to open up a bank account.”
Aloyo asked ActionAid to continue supporting women in her community. She says there are so many women suffering, but that when a woman is empowered and not dependent on a man, that man is more likely to value her.
Although her life was not easy, Aloyo says that with support, she was able to change her livelihood and is now able to stand on her own.
Read about Srey, from Cambodia, who learnt about her rights through ActionAid’s Safe Cities Campaign.