Families in Uganda’s slums are some of the most vulnerable to extreme poverty. In the slums, there is a high dependency on informal work and 85% of those employed in the informal sector live below the poverty line. COVID-19 and multiple nationwide lockdowns have further reduced income opportunities just as families in our communities face yet another crisis with the rising cost of living.
Skills development is one of the most important ways for communities to overcome poverty, yet there is often a shortage of available opportunities. Through our skilling projects, we are tackling poverty by offering free vocational training and business skills across Kampala’s slums. These workshops support people to generate an income for themselves and their families and become more financially self-sufficient. Some of our recent projects have provided skills in carpentry, craft making, and tailoring and knitting.
Unemployment among men in the slums can also lead to crime or drug and alcohol abuse so our Carpentry Training Project provides critical training for young men, increasing employment opportunities and improving outcomes.
We recognised the demand for these courses and a new vocational centre would mean that many more students could access vocational training.
In November 2022, as part of the 'Big Give Christmas Challenge' we launched a campaign to develop a new centre. Our vision was to increase the capacity of our skilling courses, providing more vocational skills training in knitting and tailoring, carpentry and business courses to support sustainable income generation for more young adults living in Naguru.
With the generosity of our community we fundraised to make this project possible. Now over 6 months later, the vision has come to life, thanks to everyone who donated to this campaign, we are now about to open our brand new 'Hope Centre' in the Naguru slum.
We take a moment to reflect on the development so far. Swipe through the photos below to see our progress ...
As with any big project, along the way we encountered some snagging. We found there were drainage issues on the land due to the slum conditions on low lying ground. This meant we needed to work on the drainage channel which delayed the construction and opening of the building. We have also built a toilet at the back of the building for staff and students to use.
This September the new cohort of students will be beginning their skills training in the Hope Centre, with space for more students.
Through the new centre, we can DOUBLE the number of women and young adults who can access tailoring, knitting, sewing and business skills, from 200 to 400 students a year!
Now, more families will be able to lift themselves from poverty and move from surviving to thriving.
Our vocational courses support young adults, particularly women, predominantly single mothers to gain new skills and start their own businesses and income generation projects. These projects not only support women with much needed income and skills, but they also help to empower them, building friendships and strength as a community of women who all support each other.
Let's hear from an inspiring woman who has already seen the benefits that this Hope Centre will offer …
“My name is Maria*, I heard about the Tailoring project through our local leadership chairman and at that time I was just at home with no employment. When I joined the course, I had no idea about how to do tailoring, I could not even operate a machine on my own. I am so proud that I have been able to learn a number of things. I can make different items on my own such as dresses, pinafores, shirts, skirts and a lot more. I am planning to buy my own machine and start earning money.”
With your support, we can ensure more women like Maria can access vocational training and skills development to transform their futures. To support more women like Maria, follow the link below.
Thank you to all of our supporters who made the Hope Centre development possible.
We are really looking forward to this year’s Christmas challenge and can’t wait to tell you all about it later this year …