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Age of Zinc is proud to present the thirteenth instalment in a new memoir from the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Check back every week to catch the next part of the story!

When we work as a team we are able to get many things. We can’t sit back and say: “I’m poor, I can’t do anything.”  No, you have to start small and then you can grow.

The federation saved my life. I was almost gone and had a lot of stress. I had three children at that time. I was finding life hard with these children because I was not working much and the money was not supporting us. I had my shop but we still couldn’t save money. All the expenditures were going to pay off the loans and trying to survive. When I went to Owino I was able to start a new business and then with the federation I was new person. I was free.

With the federation women we are thinking big – we want businesses. We are also planning – we can buy a piece of land and we can acquire a loan. We can become a society and do things for ourselves. We do not have to sit and wait or beg.

We focus on improving our lives and changing the image of the slums. Instead of thinking that slums are places of useless people, we want the government to think that slums are part of development. This is what they have to focus on how we develop.  Slums have always been around and are growing everyday. They need to understand how we can find a solution – together with the slum dwellers.

Today people are informed. Even if I’m gone there are thousands of other people who know what they want and they can get it. So for me, I’m satisfied that I’ve at least worked. I’ve done something. So even if I leave now, tomorrow my children who are still slum dwellers will find the movement moving on.

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