Bent over in the hot Ugandan sun, fixing a broken car engine for just a few dollars, Isaac thought back to his rural home district. While life there had been hard, his current life in the dusty, noisy, hot city of Kampala was not what he had imagined. And it was much harder to make money than he had anticipated.
“What I was earning was for survival, for food and shelter,” Isaac explains. “It was so little, I could hardly save any of it.”
Isaac had come to the city of Kampala to live with an uncle when he was 16 years old, because his family couldn’t afford to send him to school. For the next few years, Isaac did any job he could find – fixing cars, being a porter, or doing work around people’s homes. He earned just enough to keep him off the streets, and Isaac was losing hope that the future would look any different.
One day, as Isaac was fixing what he says felt like his hundredth car engine, he heard a landlord asking around for someone to empty his pit latrine. It was full of waste, and tenants were complaining about the smell and flies. Desperate to earn more than he did fixing cars, Isaac offered to clean out the latrine. It was a long and hard process – Isaac didn’t have the right equipment or any knowledge about latrine-emptying. He only hoped it might provide a better way forward for his life.