Success Story: Momma Helena, First WEEPs Success


[Background Information:  Momma Helena, 90 years of age at the time she began in the WEEPs program, is a widow with two disabled sons.  Additionally, she is responsible for six orphans that belonged to her daughters’.  In total she supports 56 children of her family. Furthermore, she had no source of income and no hope for any in the future. She relied on people giving her a few coins and with that she fed her family no matter how little it was.]

The first time we met Momma Helena was in 2008.  When we arrived at her home, she was concerned and did not want to let us inside her hut because she had no furniture in it. After persuading her that it did not make a difference to us, we met with Momma Helena and her family in her home.During this visit with Momma Helena, we decided that the best way to help her was not to give her money to buy food; but, to give her capital to start a business.  As a result, we sowed $100 USD into her home for poultry.  Raising chickens in that area and selling eggs would be a good business opportunity for her and her family. When we presented her with this idea, her eyes had hope and her sons knew they could help her in this business. That same week they made the chicken coop and the chickens were delivered.In the spring of 2009, we returned to see Momma Helena and to follow-up on how her business and family were doing.  When we arrived, we saw such a wonderful sight!  The whole family welcomed us and they were all healthy. This was our first WEEPs project and it was a success!She was very eager for us come into her home and sit on her new furniture. The business had many challenges; however, they have been able to stay in business making enough income and profit to sustain their lives. We decided, at the time, to give more capital into this home and sow enough money for her to purchase six goats. The family knew they could raise and sell goat meat which is a common meal in Uganda.

Over the last six years, her business has grown to include the selling of kerosene, goats and vegetables.  In the Spring of 2013, Momma Helena moved into her new home with metal sheets off of her profits.  She went from a thatched roof hut to a metal sheet roofed home.