WHERE: layibi, uganda
TRADE: wood serveware
Charles has a family-run business creating wood products such as serveware and animal figurines. He went to a technical school where he was trained in building furniture, but soon after perfected the art of detailed carving while working as an artisan with the Roman Catholic Priests at the Gulu Cathedral. During the war, there were many Congolese refugees living at the Cathedral who had a lot of knowledge in making wooden products and trained Charles in how to carve detailed items like Rosary necklaces, sculptures of the Virgin Mary, and animals. He fell in love with the practice and eventually opened his own business. He got married and three sons. As his sons grew up, he taught them how to carve and they joined the family business.
They source high-quality wood in a village along the Nile. They have a workshop by their home shaded by a big mango tree. The whole family is hardworking and have developed a deep bond by working together. Charles told our team, “We believe time and quality are the most important factors in production. We know that if we continue to create quality products, we’ll be able to achieve our goals and that brings us so much joy and happiness.” Eventually, Charles wants to buy land for a new workshop and commercial farming. He’ll pass his current workshop onto his sons and continue mentoring his sons in the business.