From Drinks to Bricks and Freedom!
Musa was frustrated! He worked on a foreign-owned sugarcane plantation for five years, where he earned only 85 cents a day. In 2021, he gave up hope, stopped working, began drinking home-brewed alcohol, and influenced other young men to do the same.
It was easy for Musa to find companions. Unemployment has become a real challenge for young people in Uganda and many other countries, especially since the start of COVID. Even those fortunate enough to find a job earn very little, often less than $1 a day. This has discouraged and demoralized a whole generation. As a result, many have resorted to apathy, addiction, and even crime.
Due to the frustration of the lack of jobs and adequate pay, Musa and a group of ten young men from the village of Madhimasu soon became drunkards. They roamed the streets, bothered shopkeepers and passersby, and became a burden to their families. The cycle of hunger, disease, and poverty starts here.
But when FARM STEW trainers arrived in Madhimasu, Musa and the young men were curious enough to listen. They were intrigued by what they heard and frequently asked questions as they attended each weekly FARM STEW session. They were especially interested in Attitude, Temperance, and Enterprise. Daniel Ibanda, the FARM STEW Country Director in Uganda, connected with these young men. He helped them look past their current situation and stretch to see new possibilities for their lives.
After one training day, this group of young people, led by Musa, came together and decided to combat the problems of low wages and unemployment by starting their own business making and selling bricks to construction sites. They named their business the Katupakase Association, meaning "Let Us Work," and work hard they do, making mud bricks by hand and selling them for 5 cents per brick.
Soon, Musa and his ten (now) hard-working companions stretched their capacity. Currently, they supply over 20,000 bricks each week to local construction companies, earning enough money for them each to provide for themselves and their families and put some aside to continue to grow their business.
"We thank FARM STEW and Daniel for removing us from darkness," said Musa, who is now the leader of "Let Us Work." "Now, we are focusing on training other unemployed youths to be self-employed."
With the help of God, FARM STEW, and our generous supporters, Musa and the young men of his village were able to stretch towards a brighter future for both themselves and those around them!
Click below to watch the video and see how Musa makes the bricks.