Empowering refugees in Uganda by helping them start coffee businesses while making disciples

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”

Akello connects business and ministry, citing Jesus’ example of using a boat for fishing before sharing a deeper message. Despite challenges, such as persecution in Eritrea, Akello remains resilient and has a heart for helping refugees settle and become self-sufficient. He spent a week in jail in Eritrea during a period of government persecution against Christians. The authorities accused them of making noise during worship. Although they faced harsh treatment and were asked to sign a pledge not to continue worship, he and his parents decided to leave Eritrea for Ethiopia. Many pastors and Christians remain in prison in Eritrea.

Akello was born in Asmara, Eritrea and holds a Masters in International Trade/Customs Administration. He grew up in an evangelical church and emphasizes the importance of sharing Christian values through actions and truth. Akello is involved in business, discipleship, and church planting through the All Nations Business For Movements platform.

Michael Amanuel

He joined the Pioneer Business Planting training in Kenya in 2022 and now operates in Uganda. He speaks Amharic, Tigrina, and English, currently renting a house in Kampala, Uganda.

He runs coffee and butter businesses in Uganda. The coffee business is aimed at empowering refugee women. The women receive a coffee pot and serve traditional coffee just outside of hotels and restaurants. The butter business started after receiving a gift at a training. Besides these two businesses, he also assists refugees in visa processes. These businesses serve as a means of communication, gathering, and spreading the gospel.

Despite the small scale of his businesses, Akello plans to expand, especially with the butter business. He shares the butter in his church and makes deliveries. The business of helping people process visas and coffee business are profitable.

Akello’s passion lies in helping refugees navigate settlement processes, providing them with encouragement, information, and a sense of home. He believes that by empowering refugees to utilize their skills, they can create sustainable lives. His journey has taken him from Eritrea to Ethiopia, Kenya, and now Uganda, where he continues to impact lives through a blend of business and ministry.

* The name of Akello has been changed for safety reasons.

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