Dorcas has been part of Cents for Seeds since it began. Her and her family were scattered through IDP camps during Joseph Kony’s reign of terror, a civil war that lasted 20 years. His army would spread terror and commit atrocities throughout communities. The very same war that saw Julius taken as a child soldier. When she returned to her home, Barr, in 2006, it was nothing but desolate bushland. All the houses had been destroyed by war. They had to begin the process of rebuilding, but with nothing.
“My name is Dorcas – my land is over that side (Dorcas pointed to behind the meeting hall)
I have four children. 1 boy and 3 girls.
15 years old (boy), 12 years old (girl), 8 years old (girl), 6 years old (girl).
I have been in Cents for Seeds since the beginning. I was one of the first 110 people.
Before the project we were not together as a group like this. There were a lot of challenges, a lot of problems. When we came together as a group, our life was changed because of the support Love Mercy was giving us. We were able to get our own food, our own capital, our own clothes. No more borrowing, no more working with dirty clothes because you can buy soap.
Before this our life was not good.
How has it changed your life for your children?
My children for example, my daughter is now sleeping in a boarding school. My baby girl is in nursery. Before the project they did not go through nursery.They did not go to boarding school. When the project came, their life was changed. We could pay school fees, so they can go to school. We can look after our children when they are sick. Our children have a better life. My daughter would like to be a nurse one day.
How has Cents for Seeds helped?
Love Mercy is helping us to get seeds in time for planting. I have planted beans, simsim and soya. I have harvested it to keep for our consumption and to sell, to pay for school fees and school clothes.
As a group we are saving. We are part of the savings group and contribute to that. If you have a problem, like to pay for school fees, and you do not have enough, you can borrow it from the group. Then after 3 months you take it back and pay the interest.
We are taught how to plant, how to grow, how to preserve them in the store. Love Mercy has taught us how to do everything we need. Before we knew little. Before Love Mercy our mind was small, we did not know how to farm. But now, we are now farm managers. We manage our garden ourselves in the best way. We are experts.
“I am very grateful for all the skills that I have learned,
and the fact that I no longer live in fear
of how to send my children to school
or how to provide for my family”
Dorcas also looks after two orphans from her community.
She has learnt English over this time, and was able to communicate herself with the interviewer.
To learn more about Savings groups, click here.
To learn more about how Cents for Seeds works, click here.
To contribute to a life like Dorcas’ and help offer a hand out of poverty, click here. Join our Change Maker Community and change the world.
On our trip in 2018, we gifted Dorcas with a photo of her from holding two pineapples. Taken by the incredible River Bennett in 2017 on a team trip, the print was part of an exhibition we held to raise money for our Cents for Seeds project. Dorcas’ story is incredible, and a a representation of perseverance in the face of hardship.
Her smile is lights up people who are near and her laugh full of absolute and infectious joy. We admire her and love her. She is now our friend.