Emmanuel Logworong, a resident of Palorinya refugee settlement in Obongi District in Northern Uganda, often came across Masai traders selling sandals. He admired them. He interacted with them out of curiosity and learned that the sandals are handmade with local materials.
This episode triggered Emanuel's interest for sandal-making and trade, however he realized he did not know how to transform his wish into reality as he lacked the expertise and the means to learn. “I wanted to make sandals and crafts like the Masai traders but had no starting point. Who would teach me? How would I pay for school if I found one where I could learn?” Emmanuel wondered.
One day during a village meeting, the local leaders announced that there was the possibility to participate in a skills training organized by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Emmanuel instantly knew this was his moment, he applied and luckily fitted the required criteria for learners. In 2021, Emmanuel enrolled for a three-month sandal-making course in the Bellamelling vocational institute.
Turning dreams into reality
After his graduation, he converted the small retail shop he was initially running into a sandal-making workshop. He hoped to earn more income thanks to the new skills he had acquired through the training. Emmanuel started the sandal-making business with an initial investment of 350,000 Ugandan shillings (€ 87.5).
His sandals range from 5,000 shillings for a pair of children’s sandals to 15,000 for adults (€ 1.5 - 8). Emmanuel makes a monthly income of about 250,000 shillings from sandal making (€ 62.5). “So far, business is good. I also do shoe repairs” he affirms. To date, he estimates his business net earnings at 1 million Ugandan shillings (€ 250).
Emmanuel has since gotten better and faster at sandal making. Now, he is able to create a pair of sandals in about 45 minutes. In the future, “I want to buy a machine to help me cut faster so that I can move from retail selling to wholesale”, says Emmanuel.
More on the RISE project
Emmanuel benefitted from a training part of the RISE project, implemented by GIZ in Northern Uganda (Arua, Terego, Madi Okollo, Moyo, Obongi, Adjumani) and financed thanks to the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funds.
One of the priorities of this EUR 20 million project is to enable greater resilience and self-reliance among both refugee and host communities by creating economic opportunities. Since 2018, the project has provided new skills to 3,166 persons – such as Emmanuel - through the organisation of various trainings.
- Publication date
- 10 March 2022
- Horn of AfricaUganda
- Greater economic and employment opportunities