Beads-to-business graduate Prossy Nasekero is 30 years old and a mother of five. She began her work running a vegetable stall, having little formal education or experience. She first sold beans, tomatoes, corn and sweet potatoes in the community market while trying to salvage every schilling to provide for her family. She struggled to pay her children’s school fees, rent for her home and business, and simply provide the basics for her family.
Prossy joined BeadforLife in 2014 and things began to turn around. She learned to save income from bead-making and her business, acquired record-keeping skills, and gained more specialized business skills. After becoming a member, her income increased six times from 32,000 UGX ($9 US) to 200,000 UGX ($54 US). Due to coaching she received from BeadforLife, she invested in a plot of land for a future home and also rented seven acres of land, as her big dream was to become a farmer. Through BeadforLife she attended a farmer’s practical training program where she learned about commercial farming. With 1:1 coaching from BeadforLife, she realized she could earn more by cutting her rental and purchase costs. She then moved her vegetable stall business to her home, where she didn’t have to pay rent.
“I learned the culture of saving from BeadforLife, this culture has empowered me to invest what I earn from bead making and sales into my produce and farming business,” says Prossy. From her bead-making savings, Prossy used her first $102 together with savings from her husband to buy a piece of land and they constructed a three-room house. She also uses her income from bead-making to rent the seven acres of land, where she is living her dream of practicing commercial farming. It’s this same produce from her farm that Prossy now sells at her vegetable stall at home and uses excess produce for home consumption.
Prossy practices conservation farming, a set of soil-management practices that minimizes the disruption of the soil’s structure, composition and natural biodiversity. Conservation farming has improved the quality of Prossy’s crop yields, while also improving the long term environmental and financial sustainability of farming.
“Farmers need to continuously practice non-harmful environmental practices to improve soil fertility in order to yield good produce,” says Prossy. Prossy loves the favorable weather and fertile soils in Uganda, which also contributes to her star farming power. She plans to stop renting land and to eventually own her own large piece of land to increase production and earn more money. She will also distribute to the large local markets within Kampala. Prossy is beading with her inner “spark,” constantly finding new ways to improve the lifestyle of her family through her passions.
In honor of Earth Day, help support Prossy and women like her to build better lives for their families.