Irene: Overcoming the Impossible

Thursday, December 5, 2019
Irene Lamwaka, holding a container of rice, walks past her helpers.
Anna-Maija Mattila-Litvak, USAID/Uganda


Seventeen and head of her household. That’s Irene Lamwaka, a tall and slender girl from the Northern Ugandan district of Gulu, who dropped out of school last year to make sure her younger sisters were fed and clothed, and could continue their education.

Every day, Irene prepares large pots of pilao, a hearty dish of rice and meat, that she sells to customers in her neighborhood to be able to support her family. She gets up early to go to the market to buy the ingredients, lights the charcoal, cooks the meal, and gets it to the hungry customers by the afternoon. She works long days, but she has a dream that keeps her going.

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Last updated: December 05, 2019

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