People born into poverty in Uganda often think they’ve been cursed. And if you’re cursed, what’s the point in trying to change your life?

To break out of poverty, to break the curse, requires a complete change of thinking.

Living under a curse

Young Abdul knew what it meant to be cursed. He was born into poverty and raised by his single mother who made a living selling food in the local market.

Money was tight and Abdul was invited to join the Amigos Child Sponsorship programme when he was in Year 1.

When he wasn’t at school, Abdul would help his mum with washing the dishes in the market, and as he grew up he learnt how to bake and make chapattis and donuts.

After he completed his O Levels (GCSEs), with the support of his sponsor, he embarked on a vocational two-year course in motor vehicle mechanics.

Spotting opportunities

To get to college, which is 15 miles away, teenage Abdul jumps on the back of a motorbike taxi. One day the motorbike broke down, but fortunately Abdul had some tools with him and was able to repair it.

While he was working on the bike another motorbike broke down, which Abdul also repaired – and the same thing happened again with a third motorbike!

No longer believing he was cursed, thanks to his education, Abdul spotted an opportunity and decided to set himself up as a roadside mechanic.

On the first day he was delighted to make a few pounds profit, so he decided to keep working and with the money he made he purchased more tools. Within a short time he had all the equipment he needed to set up a motorbike repair workshop in town.

Today, this enterprising young man hires a local mechanic to take care of the repairs while he’s at college – which means he’s earning at least £5.00 a day profit while he is still studying. Remarkable!

He is also providing valuable and much sought-after apprenticeships for two young people in the area.

Expanding his empire!

Realising there’s no street food available in the town, Abdul decided to put into practise the skills he learnt in his mother’s kitchen and invested in a frying pan and a charcoal stove.

Abdul then hired an unemployed young person and taught him how to make a snack called kikomando - a mixture of chapatti and boiled beans.

From his takeaway business Abdul has not only created employment, but he is making a further profit of over £5.00 a day. Not bad for a college kid!

Abdul still has a few months of study left and yet he has achieved so much already – there’s no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him.

Thanks to the Child Sponsorship programme Abdul realised he wasn’t cursed, he discovered he could break out of poverty, and as a result he has set up two thriving businesses and created employment for two young people and two apprenticeships. And this is just the beginning!

Big thanks to Larry who sponsored Abdul and supercharged his life!