Meet the girls on Our sewing program

The first term at the sewing workshop has ended. During this term the students have learnt about, Sewing machine parts & functions, Treadling, Hand stitches, Seam sewing, Measurements, Cutting material and Garment construction – skirt, shirt & dress.

The progress made by the girls is so impressive that some have started taking in paid work. This is good news as it means the girls can pay for their own course materials.  They report being very happy with their tutor as well as the team spirit within the class.

Here are some of the girls taking part in this program

KOMUHANGI OVIOUS

Obvious

Age: 18

From: Kahunga (Ntungamo Municipality)

Lives with: Her parents

Siblings: 3 brothers & 4 sisters – She’s number 3

Education: complete Senior 4 in 2015 (O’lvel)

Future plans: Would like to continue sewing

When not in class: She takes the 4 family cows grazing on the hills

 

NWENSHABA EVELYN

Evelyn

Age: 22

From: Ngorogoro (Itojo)

Lives with: Her mother

Siblings: 3 brothers & 2 sisters – She’s number 5

Education: Senior 3 – Completed in 2014

Future plans: Would like to continue sewing

When not in class: She digs in the family’s farm – matooke (green bananas), beans and millet

 

KANSIIME DAPHINE

Daphine

 

Age: 18

From: Rwemihanga (Ruhanga Parish)

Lives with: Her parents

Siblings: 4 brothers – She’s the first born

Education: Primary 6 – Completed in 2014

Future plans: Would like to have her own sewing workshop

When not in class: She cooks at her mom’s restaurant Kikamorie (translation: Look Left and Eat) in Itojo town

 

NUWANSHABA PHIONAH

Phionah

Age: 18

From: Migorora (Ruhanga Parish)

Lives with: Her parents

Siblings: 3 brothers & 5 sisters – She’s number 3. She has a 2 year-old son, Jack.

Education: P7 – Completed in 2013

Future plans: Would like to continue sewing.

When not in class: She farms and cooks for the family

 

ARIHO RONAH

Rhonah

Age: 19

From: Ruhanga (Ruhanga Parish)

Lives with: Her auntie

Siblings: 3 brothers & 3 sisters – She’s the last born

Education: Senior 2 – Completed in 2013

Future plans: Would like to continue sewing.

When not in class: She digs in the family’s plantation – millet & beans

 

NAMARA RONAS

Ronas

Age: 15

From: Kakiizi (Ruhanga Parish)

Lives with: Her auntie

Siblings: 2 brothers & 3 sisters – She’s number 5 (one of her brothers lives with her)

Education: Primary 7 – Completed in 2015

Future plans: Would like to continue sewing.

When not in class: She takes her auntie’s 11 goats grazing

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Night Barema

On this year’s International Women’s Day we launched the Send a Chicken program for 29 women and their families in Ruhanga. The program aimed to provide an asset to ultra poor women that they could use to generate an income and working  capital that they could reinvestment. One of those participants was Night Barema.

Night

Night spoke with one of our Program Managers and here is how they got on,

What is your name and how old are you?

 N: Barema Night and I am 58 years old

Are you married?

N: I am  a widow. My husband passed away 25 years ago

How many children have you got?

N: I have 6 children. They are all out of school. I live with my last born, Anita, who completed Primary 4 and then dropped out.  

night
Night and three of her children. From left to right: Anita (the last born), Mevis and Deivis

What is your level of education?

N:  I didn’t go to school. My father didn’t think educating daughters was important so only the boys were sent to school. Night thinks her father didn’t go to Heaven because of this. 

What was your life like growing up

N: I used to help the family in the gardens and raising animals. I was born in a village in Ntungamo sub-county and moved to Kakiizi when I was married off at the age of 16. I had my first child a year later. 

How did you hear about LTHT?

N: I belonged to Kakiizi post-test which is a group of women concerned about HIV and I found out about LTHT when they called us  for a meeting

Why did you join?

I wanted to be part of the chicken program because I thought it was an opportunity to learn something new and get additional income

What was your income before you joined the chicken program?

 N: I used to make 10,000-20,000 UGX  (£2.43- £4.87 per month)

How did you earn that income?

N: I had a sugar cane garden which I used to take care of and I sold the sugar canes by the road

What did you spend it on?

N:  I spent it on soap, salt, sugar, and other basic needs for the household

What are you currently earning?

N: I am now making 70,000 UGX  (£17.03 a month) from selling the eggs the chickens produce. I am no longer able to take care of the sugar cane garden so I have lost the income from selling sugar canes. 

What percentage of your income is from the selling of eggs?

N: 100%

What has this income allowed you to do that you were not able to do before?

N: I am now saving 9,000 UGX (£2.19) per month and I have bought a goat. I am reinvesting most of my income in buying high quality feeds for her chickens

Do you  consume some of the eggs?

N: No, I haven’t had a single one

Night with her goats
Night with her goats

Why did she buy a goat?

N: I bought a goat because they’re easy to raise and reproduce quite quickly

How do you hope to benefit from the goat program?

N: I would like to crossbreed my female with one of the dairy males so I can start drinking milk as I currently don’t 

What are your  aspirations?

N: I would like to have a more comfortable life, not having to work so hard anymore to cover my family needs. I would like to learn to write and read as I feel I missed  a great opportunity in the past. I would also love learning to speak a bit of English. 

 What do they hope for their children?

N: I hope my children have a better life than me: get a good paying job, have a healthy family and live comfortably.

What changes would you like to see in you country in your lifetime that would affect you or the girls/women that follow?

N: I would like some factories to come to the area to produce sugar from sugar cane or dry pineapples, so jobs would be created and farmers would have easy access to market. I would also like to see more people having access to water. 

 

Menstrual Hygiene Management in Ntungamo secondary schools

On 28 May 2016, we launched a Menstrual Hygiene Management program (MHM)  in Ntungamo district SW Uganda  with a view to ensuring that women and girls manage their monthly period in a hygienic way. This involves ensuring that girls and women have access to information about menstruation as well as access to clean and safe menstrual absorbents.

As part of the access to information aspect of  the program, our Program Manager and MHM ambassadors  visited 12 secondary schools within Ntungamo district  SW Uganda over a course of 4 weeks. The team spoke with 1175 girls in all as well as some of their female teachers. Their findings are summarised below

Ntungamo

On average:

  • 53% of the girls didn’t know what menstruation was before they experienced it
  • 61% of the girls have felt ashamed or embarrassed due to their periods
  • 42% of the girls miss days of school during their periods because they don’t have access to sanitary products
  • They miss 2.6 days of school a month which impacts negatively in their performance.
    Students change their sanitary products every 9 hours.

Ntungamo

Our team looked into how girls in Ntungamo secondary schools manage their periods and how they access to menstrual hygiene absorbents, and these are their findings;

  • 48% of the students feel bad or very bad during their MPs
  • 73% of the students use reusable pads but on average they change them every 9 hours which is not hygienic or healthy
  • 13% of the students use reusable sanitary pads at school and a cloth at home
  • 9.1% of the students use a cloth
  • 4.4% of the students use leaves, mattress stuffing, toilet paper or nothing at all.

These findings are challenging to say the least.  We cannot allow this situation to persist as it has direct implications for poverty.

We want to offer these girls  a hygienic and sustainable  way to manage their periods. We also want to ensure that girls do not miss school days  because of a lack of access to menstrual absorbents.  We however cannot do this without your help  and you can make a difference for as a little as £1.

  • £1 provides a girl one pod that include a napkin and a holder
  • £5 provides a girl a full kit
  • £10 provides two full kits
  • £20 provides 4 full kits

The pod and kits last for three years making this a cost effective way of managing periods. Please donate to our Sanitary Pads 4 Girls program today via our Virgin Money page

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/sanitarypads4girls

You can also donate via our paypal account


The goats are here

After weeks of preparation the goats finally arrived.

goats

Keeping them on the truck was not an easy task

Widows waiting for their goats
Widows waiting for their goats. Some of the widows are so elderly, they sent their sons to represent them.

 

deworming
deworming

Before distribution all goats had to be tagged, deworm them, provide a preventative antibiotic treatment to ensure their adjustment to the new area and environment goes smoothly and trim their hoofs.

goat

This is Lydia from Nyamuhani.  Lydia is one of the widows that received a goat from the goat loan project. She is also one of the people looking after one of the bucks for the goat breeding program. Her female goat is mature enough and she was encouraged to keep her together with the male for a couple of days… We may have our first kid on the way pretty soon.

 

Maria
This is Maria from Migorora. Her daughter died right after delivering her baby girl so Maria used goat’s milk to feed her for almost a year. She’s now a beautiful young lady. Maria is the program’s strongest ambassador for this reason.

 

Jovanis

Jovannis is from Kakiizi. She’s got experience raising goats and currently has 2 female goats that she’s hoping they get on heat soon so she can take them to Alejandro one of the  pure breed male our project manager is hosting

Kalanzi from Joy goat

Kalanzi, the JOY goat development trainer, has taught Osbert how to handle the goats for the different treatments – especially hoof trimming and injecting them.

 

follow up training session

Following the goat distribution, there was further training about the care of goats as well as record keeping, in particular how often the goats mate as well as proper feeding.

Keep an eye on this space for updates

 

 

Diary Goat Crossbreeding Program

It has been exciting day in Ruhanga. The goats arrived.

goat
Widows waiting to receive a goat

As well as the goat loan project for widows, we have a dairy goat crossbreeding program. This program will enable owners of local goats in Itojo Sub-County to crossbreed them with purse breeds to produce 50% diary goats which ensure owners can access milk..

goats

This is Ronaldo. he is a 9 months old Saanen  and he will spend the next year and half in the village Kytinda mating goats from Kytinda and Rwentojo

goat
Force

This is Force. He is a 10 month old Toggenburgh. He will spend 18 months in Nyamiko and will mate with goats in Nyamiko, Kibingo and Rwemihanga.

goat
Alejandro

Alejandro is a 10 month Alpine buck.  He will be looked after by Os the program manager and will mate with goats in Migorora, Nyamuhani, Ruhanga and Kakiizi

goats
crossbred females

These are some of the 50% females that were distributed to the widows.

goats

The goats had to dewormed and tagged and treated for stress due to change of environment

goats

The program manager will visit each goat tomorrow and provide a multivitamin shot to ensure proper transition to the new area.

We will provide further updates in the next few days. Keep an eye on this space..

 

Sewing classes : End of term one

It is end of term at the Skills development initiative. The girls  Not in Education, Employment or Training are learning about fashion design and how to sew. At the end of term, the results are amazing

sewing
Maria and the girls

As part of their assignment during term one. The girls are pictured here in the skirts they’ve made this term. According to Maria, the girls  are so happy and proud of their achievements.

sewing
Makline and the girls

Makline the teacher, deserves credit for taking the girls from zero sewing skills to where they are now. New friendships have been formed and the girls have grown in confidence

sewing class

Credit to these girls for taking up this opportunity to learn a new skill. At the end of the course, they will have a choice to either start their own enterprise or work for someone else using the skills they have learned.

We would like to offer this opportunity to many more such girls in Itojo Sub-county. You can support our efforts by making a donation to our fundraising at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/skills4girls

 

Goat project- Training gets underway

The Diary goat project has kicked off in earnest. This week a trainer from Joy Goat Development arrived to provide training to the widows as well as those in the community who will benefit from the crossbreeding program.

goat
Kalenzi- Inspecting a goat shelter

Kalanzi Med, from JOY Goat Development, assessing the buck stations and providing guidance on how to build the feeding platform

Osbert -LTHT Project Manager and Joy Goat expert visiting Maria’s buck station. There is still a bit of work to do on her female goat house but now she’s got the knowledge how to finalise it properly

Osbert

LTHT Project Manager explaining attendees about the type of fodder suitable to grow in our area which they can feed to their goats

Buck -keepers

Buck keeper training session – These guys are the role models of the cross breeding program. They will be responsible to keep our males healthy and active, identifying suitability of goats for mating and are empowered to turn down mating partners if they’re too young, too small or not healthy. 

Buck-keepers photo op

Buck keepers group photo in front of LTHT buck station + male kid collection pen.

In the next village, it was mostly women who turned up for training

Widows' training session

These are the widows who are signed up to the goat project. They will receive a a female halfbreed kid to look after until it gives birth. The grown goat becomes the widow’s personal property and the kids are then passed on to another widow in the group

buck station

We anticipate that some of the kids will be male and this is where they will be looked after

Keep an eye on this space and  our Facebook page for updates

Send a chicken : We have eggs

If you have been following our progress on the Send A Chicken to an African Woman , you will be pleased to hear that we finally have eggs, 750 and counting.

It has not been easy getting here. Our Program Managers will share lessons learned in due course but one of the challenges we encountered was the fact that,  some of the chicks turned out to be cocks. This reduced the number of eggs the women can expect.

2016-07-01 11.41.03-1Betice is the lady with most eggs so far, 75! She still has one cock with the hens but it seems he’s encouraging the ladies to lay consistently. She and her family are extremely excited.

2016-07-01 11.41.03-2Jane’s hens have just completed their first tray (30 eggs). Jane is one of the 9 ladies who still have 10 hens and she’s foreseeing a brighter future now that they’re all laying

2016-07-01 11.41.03-3

Caroline is the only group member who opted for a free range system once the feed LTHT provided finished. She has 9 hens and so far they have laid 20 eggs.

2016-07-01 11.41.02Sylvia has 7 hens (2 cocks and 1 died). She’s got so far 18 eggs – in the picture only 13 – but the next day she got 5 eggs so she’s really happy that her hens even they are few they’re consistently laying.

I hope you can agree with me when I say that our Program Managers have done a fantastic job, in mobilising the women, training and getting them to this position.

The women have an opportunity to generate income from the sell of eggs and hopefully save enough money to restart the program without further intervention form LTHT

 

Not in Education or Employment -NEETS

In 2014 nearly 69% of Uganda’s population was under years of age, and this has implications for unemployment and poverty amongst young people. The Uganda’s National Bureau of statics (UBOS) reports that amongst 18-30 year olds 57% are self employed, 24% work for some one, of those in employment 63% work in agriculture, 29% in the service industry whilst 8% are in manufacturing.

In addition, that unemployment amongst the youth in Kampala, Uganda’s capital stands at 15% and is three times higher than the national average and at least 14.1 Million young people in rural areas are unemployed due to lack of skills.

The situation in Ntungamo district where Itojo Sub County is located, is that 85% of the population is aged between 15-30 years and the incidence of unemployment amongst this age group is 90%. The young people from Itojo Sub County suffer from under employed mainly due to lack of skills. Amongst these youth are young girls not in education or employment.

NEETS
2016 participants

NEETS

Over the next two years of these girls will benefit from our Skills Development Initiative and in particular, the Free sewing lessons for girls not in education or employment. This is an annual course to enable girls to learn the basics of sewing and fashion design. The main objective is to give these girls an opportunity to gain skills that they can use to create their own employment or work for someone else and get a salary.

The reason we focus on girls is because we believe that the, lack income contributes to rural to urban migration and consequently to cross border migration for women and girls without skills the outcomes can be tragic as reported in several Ugandan papers earlier this year.

If you would like to keep up with the progress of the girls, please sign up to our Newsletter or like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LetThemHelpthemselves/

 

The dairy goat project for widows

In 2015 we set out on a journey to establish types of interventions that improve the livelihoods of girls and women from rural villages in Itojo Sub-County, where Ruhanga parish is located.

As part of that strategy we have worked with  a local women’s group KAMINYA TUKORE to set up 29 Micro poultry farms under the SEND  A CHICKEN TO AN AFRICAN WOMAN program.

In our next intervention, we revisited an issue we had been working on since 2014- Menstrual Hygiene Management.  Our objective under this program is to ensure that girls and women manage their periods in a hygienic way. This involves ensuring that girls and women have access to information about menstruation as well as access to clean and safe menstrual absorbents.

This program also provides employment for three local young women. It is our ambition to ensure that this program is accessible to girls and women across the district of Ntungamo

Widows and the goat loan project

goat loan project
Widows from Ruhanga with Goat Program Manager Os Nyesiga

Under this project we are working in collaboration with the NGO Joy Goat Development, to introduce a new breed of dairy goats into Ruhanga parish. The main beneficiaries of this program are widows, who will receive a 50% cross breed female dairy goat as a loan. They will be responsible to care for the goat until it produces the first kid.

Once the first births are weaned, the off springs will be returned to LTHT and the women at that point will be given sole ownership over the initial goat. This goat will then become an asset that the woman can use to generate income, support herself and her family through;

  • continuous sale of the goat’s offspring,
  • sale of goat’s milk
  • or improve the nutritional intake of their family if they opt for personal consumption.

Once the kids have been returned to LTHT, the female goats will be given to the next widow, while the male goats will be sold, using the profits to purchase more female goats so the cycle continues even if on-going sponsorship is unavailable.

Crossbreed program

On top of that, the whole community will also benefit from this program via a cross breeding program. .

goat
Toggenburg buck

Local female goats will mate with pure male dairy goats with a view to creating  off-springs that can produce a meaningful amount of milk. This will improve  the community’s nutritional intake radically.

We will spend the next few weeks getting the community ready for this program before the goats arrive, Keep an eye on this space for updates.

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