Denis lost his father at 15 and after the death of his brother he took responsibility for his niece Theopista. Life was a struggle as Denis used to work on other people’s land for very little pay. That was all he and Theopista had to live on.

Denis is grateful for the hand-up he got. When Theopista joined the Amigos Child Sponsorship programme, enabling her to access education, Denis wasn't forgotten either. With the weight of Theopista's immediate needs lifted from his shoulders, Denis was able to join a conservation farming group to set about changing his and Theopista's long-term future.


He learned how to make use of the two acres his father had left him and soon began a cassava business. "We started a savings scheme from which we were allowed to borrow money. I put my own land to work and I started to earn from cassava which I had planted after drying and grinding it by selling it as cassava flour. I soon realised that I no longer had to work on other people’s land for money as working on my own land would earn me more."

But he had another dream as well. "With our immediate needs now met, I made a deal with a garage owner to be a volunteer labourer so as to learn from him. I would sweep, wash customers’ vehicles, and do any other related casual tasks at the garage for free for about 2 years. This was a long time but I kept recalling the training in the farming group where we were taught about perseverance. This is what kept me going as I continued my hands-on apprenticeship training in motor vehicle mechanics in Lira town. I am proud to tell you that today I am also earning as a skilled motor vehicle mechanic."

"In the farming group, I learned about saving and I joined the membership savings group where we save and borrow. This step has helped me to start building a two-roomed brick house instead of our grass-thatched mud hut. I’m now married with two children."

Denis, Theopista and the whole family now have a secure future.

Theopista with the family's goats