FWIS: Rebecca Nyakuoth: Life has changed for myself and my children


Rebecca Nyakuoth is a 58-year-old mother of 6 children living in the Rubkona Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in South Sudan. Before 2021, her family had no income, but she now operates a successful restaurant in the local market.

Rebecca Nyakuoth at her restaurant in Rubkona, South Sudan (photo: UN Women/James Ochweri)
Rebecca Nyakuoth at her restaurant in Rubkona, South Sudan (photo: UN Women/James Ochweri)

Life has changed for myself and my children. Before I joined the Village Savings and Loans Association (VLSA), I didn’t have a way to support my children to go to school. They were just sitting around the house. I didn’t know how to save money or how to turn my ideas into a viable business. Feeding my family was a challenge as well, and I couldn’t take them to hospital when they were sick.

But now, I’ve taken all my children to Uganda to be educated. I can now be able to sustain my life. The trainings helped me to start a restaurant in the market. I opened the restaurant in 2021, serving a selection of local dishes like fried goat meat, wal wal [porridge) and kisra [flat bread) to my customers throughout the day. I’ve been able to employ a few other women to help me with cooking the food and serving the customers.

UN Women and Women Vision taught me how to save money, how to make money, and how to work with others to grow my business. We were also taught about preventing gender-based violence in our community and that making peace with those who have wronged us is better than resorting to violence. I am so happy, the VSLA opened my eyes and brought light to my life. It showed me the power of having savings from whatever little I make.  I can pay school fees for my children, feed my family, help my family members in emergencies, and have a hope for our future. My dream for the future is that I can expand my restaurant and open an even bigger branch for my customers.

With funding from the Government of Japan, UN Women through partner Women Vision has established village savings and loans associations to empower women in the IDP camps empowering women with good savings culture and start small businesses. The project promotes SDG goals 5 and 8 by enhancing women empowerment and gender equality while also encouraging women’s transition to productive employment and decent work.