New Businesses and New Hope in Northern Uganda

Devex highlights TechnoServe’s work to help war survivors start businesses and find jobs.

When Christine Acan was just a child, she was abducted by guerrillas and forced to kill her own brother. Then, like millions of people across northern Uganda, she fled home in search of safety.

Whenever the world witnesses a refugee crisis, attention is understandably focused on the short term needs of refugees, like food and shelter. But what happens after the immediate crisis passes, and survivors like Christine return home to rebuild their lives? That question is the focus of a new article by Devex reporter Naki Mendoza about the work that TechnoServe’s STRYDE program is doing with survivors of the conflict in Uganda.

In its first phase, STRYDE, funded by the Mastercard Foundation, provided training on business and life skills to 15,000 rural young people in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda so that they could start businesses or access jobs. Now in its second phase, the project has a goal of reaching 48,000 young people and has expanded into the former conflict zones of northern Uganda.

“We are very conscious of the psychological impact of the conflict,” Dash Douglas, the program’s director, told Devex. “With the amount of bitterness and idleness that stews, the heart of the benefit of this is giving them something positive they can do in their lives and also be able to make enough money to take care of their families.”

One of those touched by STRYDE is Christine Acan. Now 25, she put the skills she learned in the program to use by opening a small bakery. Today, she uses the profits from her business to send her young siblings and two children to school.

Read the complete story on Devex, part of its #ConflictInContext series.