Hammock from Ngora

Income Generation Through Mosquito Net Hammocks

Aigi Mary-Immaculate and Obote Denis showing off the hand-sewn bags that each hammock comes with.

Finding employment is difficult for youth in Ngora parish, located in eastern Uganda. Many haven’t completed their schooling and do not have the financial means to do so. The Ngora Parish Harmack Company is a community based organization founded in February 2011 by PCV Matthew Boddie and his counterpart Denis Obote. The goal of the organization is to help students continue their education by providing life skills training and assisting with school fees. Among these trainings, the NPHC teaches business skills and the fundamentals of microfinance to local youth.

Boddie is currently working with NPHC on a project that teaches youth to produce various types of hammocks, including some with built-in mosquito nets, to sell to local Ugandans, tourists, and companies. In addition to learning invaluable technical skills, the youth also manage the company’s profits. Selling the hammocks to local clinics that face bed shortages, the project both addresses healthcare needs and creates a sustainable income-generating project.

The NPHC decided on the “Off the Ground, Under a Net”  initiative after realizing the number of children who sleep on the floor, without a mosquito net. It is their mission in Ngora to provide every youth, especially those under the ages of 5, with a bed and a net to sleep under. The organization is able to help these children by using left over material to make additional mosquito-net sewn hammocks and selling them at a reduced price.

To date, about 63% of the hammocks sales come from companies and tourists, and 37%  from locals. The NPHC is trying to market more to locals through sensitization campaigns about the foreign type of bed and malaria prevention.

NPHC staff work through the night to complete a large order for a Ugandan resort. Several companies within Uganda buy NPHC hammocks for re-selling.

Currently, the organization is run completely by the youth who were trained in its first year. The project has now received funding from the U.S. Embassy Small Grants Office  to scale up their project.  The grant will be enough to create a two-room building complete with sewing machines, computers, and solar power.  Once complete, the NPHC will start to teach the skills they have learned to other at-risk youth within the area.

To date, the NPHC has sold 473 hammocks. 7 kids have been sent off to a full years’ education, one of whom was able to purchase a laptop for his college education.  Once the scaling up is complete, NPHC is hoping to increase their production 5-fold.  Stay tuned, because the NPHC also hopes to start selling globally soon!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s