Elisabeth’s story from the Gambella Ngunyyiel Refugee camp


“I am so glad with my new shop, it gives me hope for the future. Before, I used to simply sit and wait for small rations”. Elisabeth Nyachoat Korgan, 63 years old, Ngunyyiel refugee camp.

“In 2016, I fled South Sudan because of a terrible war in my district. I travelled with my family on foot to Gambella, it was a long and exhausting journey. I now reside in the Ngunyyiel refugee camp with my four grandchildren and another relative.
After a month in the camp, staff from the refugee camp contacted me and spoke to me about starting a business. I was happy and willing to participate in the project. Together with other refugees like me, they gave us an introduction in how to start a business. They told us how to run it and record our profits. They also gave me 3,000 ETB [106 USD] for start up costs.
The first idea that came to mind was to have a small shop in the camp. My son who also resides in this camp and was able to help me build it. The shop is built with mud, wood and corrugated iron. In the shop, I sell biscuits, milk, cooking oil, chewing gums, and cigarettes.
I am so glad to have my shop, it gives me hope for the future. Before, I used to  simply sit and wait for small rations or to collect firewood and sell it to the camp community if I needed money urgently. But that was a very hard work for me as I’m getting old.
With the skills I’ve been given, I am now managing my own expenses and profits. When possible I use the profits to buy clothes for my children, but for the future I woud like to buy goats and a cow and expand my business. I hope that will be possible.”