Cafe Staff

Lawino Paska


When Paska was growing up in the village, she used to help her mother in the garden and spend the evenings chatting with her family after dinner. Attending school was difficult because she had to pay the fees herself by fetching water in the neighborhood.

While living in a different tribal community, she became fluent in English and eventually learned about Elephante Commons through friends who worked there. “I liked the café because it was run efficiently and the service was quick,” she says. She applied because she knew she would be treated better than she was at former serving jobs. “Here, I feel cared for by management. I really like how I get off-days (café staff work a rotating schedule) and I am allowed to rest during my shift.”

Paska views her role as a server to build positive relationships with members of the community; she wants to make Elephante a friendly and welcoming space to enter and for Gulu to eventually look more like Kampala, with more residential development.

In her free time, she participates in physical activities like playing football, running, and dancing to traditional Luo music. In the near future, Paska plans to start a small business to bring in additional income for herself. Her enthusiastic and self-assured manner, which she’s carried with her since childhood, are evident in everything she says and does. “Selling juice, making clothes, I can do upholstery,” she lists confidently, leaving a space full of potential at the end.


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