End of Semester 2 at the sewing class

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On 14 December Paige and I finally got to  meet that are part of our Skills Development Initiative in person.  It was end of semester 2 and we were in for a treat. The girls had to make something to wear for our visit as part of their end of semester 2 exams. 

Group Photo- as the girls show off their creations

We were treated to a fashion show too.. this was such a fun afternoon . The girls told us what it means to them to be part of this program as well as their aspirations. It was interesting to note, that most would like to go into business as teachers so they can pass on the skills they have learned to other.  girls like them.  

 


Ovious- I am impressed with what I have achieved here. I was in the village with no prospects nor future to look forward to. I had no skills and my parents had no money to fund further education or training for me. I dream of owning my own sewing school
Daphne- I had no skills and I never imagined I would ever sew anything let alone on a sewing machine. I would like to teach others who to sew a business
Rona- I am an orphan and had no skills or money to continue my education. I am happy that I can now use a sewing machine to sew. I will work hard and hope to get a job as a sewing teacher
Phionah- I ham happy to be part of this program. I would like to use my new skills to make clothes for children
Evelyn- I didn’t complete my O’levels and was not sure what the future would be like. I am happy to have been included in this project as well the sanitary pads projects
Ronas- I am  happy to be part of this program. I am especially happy that I can make my own dresses. I would like to get a job as a seamstress or teacher
Evas- (head Girl) – I am now competent in the use of a sewing machine and can make clothing for others. I would like to see this program scaled so that other girls in the community can access it.
Paige looking through Evelyn’s project work book. Impressive progress

 

Evelyn’s work- Evelyn has done so well that is now employed on our menstrual hygiene project 

 

Maclean- Teacher- She is to be congratulated for the work she has done with these girls in such a short space of time.  The girls’ achievements are a credit to her.

The girls have one more semester to go before they out and  out those skills to work.  Keep an eye on this space and we will keep you posted as to their progress. 

If you would like to support these girls get started on their new journey once they graduate please consider making a donation at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/skills4girls

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International Day of the Girl Child

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11 October is International Day of the  Girl Child.. One of the reason we exist is to ensure that girls are not disadvantaged socially and economically because of their gender. Whilst I am happy to celebrate the Girl Child, I really wish we didn’t need days like this.

The reason for this is articulated by the UN

The world’s 1.1 billion girls are part of a large and vibrant global generation poised to take on the future. Yet the ambition for gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights the preponderance of disadvantage and discrimination borne by girls everywhere on a daily basis. Only through explicit focus on collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data, and using these data to inform key policy and program decisions, can we adequately measure and understand the opportunities and challenges girls face, and identify and track progress towards solutions to their most pressing problems…..

sewing class
Girls from our sewing class showing off the skirts they made as part of their homework

We have been doing some work with adolescent girls in Itojo district SW Uganda. These girls are not in employment, education or training , the so called NEETS   and form part the 14 Million young people in Uganda that are without a job due to lack of skills. The life outcomes for such girls are well documented but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We have shared with you the outcome of our Skills Development program for these girls and they have been learning about fashion design and the results are amazing

girl
From left to right: Ovious, Evas and Evelyne.

As part their training, the girls are provided with fabric to experiment and design something. At the end of  the first semester the girls were able to design a full outfit. As you can see from the photograph above they are now proficient in dress making.

Our aim with this program is to ensure that girls acquire skills they can use to either create their own employment or seek employment elsewhere.

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

Menstrual Hygiene Management and the Girl Child

Access to hygienic menstrual absorbents has implications for the Girl child such as missing 2.6 days of school each month in the short term but in the long run this absenteeism may and does lead to girls dropping out of school altogether.

Our work on Menstrual Hygiene Management  in secondary schools in Ntungamo District in Uganda indicates that we have a long way to go to change outcomes for the Girl Child

NtungamoOn 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

It is 2016 and the fact that this is still the situation in some of the schools means that we will need days like for sometime to come. But it does not have to be this way if we work together.

Help us make a difference by supporting our MHM work 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

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Meet the girls on Our sewing program

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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Not in Education or Employment -NEETS

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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/

 

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International Women’s Day 2015- Jobs for girls

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This is an interesting year from the point of view of International Development. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will end in September this year and a new set of development goals will be unveiled following years of debate as to what the new goals should look like Read more

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When the girls received their bike pumps

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Dear Friends it has been very quite here lately and by of an update the bike pumps you kindly donated were received in Ruhanga and here are some photos from that event.

George appreciating (Small)

This is Michael on of the volunteers from the UK handing over the pumps to the girls’ head Teacher
George recieving the pumps (Small)

The rest of the volunteers join the girls at the handover

Girls happy with the donation (Small)

Michael handing over the pumps to the girls

Other volunteers involved (Small)

Group photo- what a moment

The girls exited about using the pumps (Small)

Our next challenge dear friends is to construct a permanent working space for the girls so they can put their new skills to work. Such a working station will cost £6544.00.

Please consider supporting us by making a donation

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When the girls received their bike pumps

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Dear Friends it has been very quite here lately and by of an update the bike pumps you kindly donated were received in Ruhanga and here are some photos from that event.

George appreciating (Small)

This is Michael on of the volunteers from the UK handing over the pumps to the girls’ head Teacher
George recieving the pumps (Small)

The rest of the volunteers join the girls at the handover

Girls happy with the donation (Small)

Michael handing over the pumps to the girls

Other volunteers involved (Small)

Group photo- what a moment

The girls exited about using the pumps (Small)

Our next challenge dear friends is to construct a permanent working space for the girls so they can put their new skills to work. Such a working station will cost £6544.00.

Please consider supporting us by making a donation

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