Ida Horner, 49, sits at the Inyamat Restaurant at the Capital Mall supermarket in Ntinda. Wearing a light white cotton blouse, Horner has presence. She is soft spoken but this does not dim out her strong conviction about her personal mission: Preventing young girls from getting married for the sake of it and not having financial independence because they do not have the skills they can take to the market.
Having lived abroad for more than 25 years, Horner has been coming to Uganda several times. Originally it was to visit family but now she mostly comes to oversee the community work projects she runs.
How the seed was planted
A 2006 visit to Kabale nudged at Ida Horner’s heart and triggered in her a desire to do something. As a Ugandan living in the United Kingdom, she had worked with London’s poor, providing affordable housing. So when visiting relatives in Kabale, the level of poverty she witnessed challenged her to use the skills she had acquired working with London’s underclass, to change and empower the people she had seen.
Horner did not want to join the normal aid bandwagon but rather preferred to offer trade opportunities for the women she had met. On return to the UK, she started Ethnic Supplies, an online enterprise that sells Ugandan crafts to the international market.