Uganda: Vocational Training and Tailoring Shop Program
73 New Students Enrolled: Q1 2019
May 22, 2019
Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
Since RMF took on the management of Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) in 2011, over 1,000 trainees have graduated and are actively employed, either running their own businesses or working for someone else. Most of our graduates are refugees, and they are taking advantage of the Ugandan government’s “free employment policy,” which allows refugees to secure employment and move to other locations where their services are needed. Many PVTI graduates testify that this training has changed their lives from being dependent to being independent.
- 70 students are registered to take the DIT exams on April 25, 2019, to earn certificates that will facilitate further studies and/or employment at reputable businesses.
- RMF/WCF has financially sustained Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) and the operation of its four departments.
- The vocational training program has helped enhance peaceful coexistence between refugees and nationals, as PVTI accepts applicants from both communities.
- PVTI has been able to attract additional partners to contribute towards the success of the program, including JICA, which has supported PVTI with the purchase of additional training materials on several occasions.
- Staff salaries were paid in a timely manner, which enables PVTI to maintain a highly motivated team.
- Both theory and practical trainings were carried out successfully, and the syllabi were all completed on time.
- The premises of PVTI were maintained through routine mowing, trimming, and sweeping, thus sustaining a clean environment conducive for learning.
- The team conducted follow-up visits to PVTI graduates to observe their working situations and listen to their joys and sorrows.
- Training materials for the semester were purchased in the required quantities and within the required timeline. Scholastic materials such as books and pens were also distributed.
- On February 18, 2019, PVTI received visitors from the USA who were accompanied by the country director and program officer of RMF Uganda.
- On March 31, 2019, Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute also welcomed visitors from Manchester University. They came with the Kiryandongo District NGO Forum team leader. The visitors were doing research on livelihood, and they also appreciated RMF’s efforts.
Enrollment of New Students
During the reporting period, 73 students were enrolled as part of the January–April 2019 intake at PVTI. A one-day trainee orientation was conducted on January 7, 2019. New trainees were guided through the institution’s 3-month training program, briefed on student expectations as well as PVTI’s rules and regulations, and informed about the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) examinations.
Election of Trainee Guild Representatives
15 Representatives Elected
On January 25, 2019, the trainees elected guild representatives from their intake. The students chose the positions they considered vital to the institution, and those who were interested submitted applications to the principal. Trainees whose names were proposed and then seconded were given an opportunity to campaign.
Bricklaying and Concrete Practice (BCP)
17 Students Begin Training
During the reporting period, 17 trainees began their training in BCP. The syllabus has been followed, and trainees have gained key building skills. The modules cover use of tools and equipment, wall bonding techniques, and mortar techniques. Training is both practical and theoretical to ensure that graduates understand and apply standard building practices in their work.
Carpentry and Joinery (CJ)
13 Students Begin Training
During the reporting period, 13 trainees began their training in CJ. The training continued according to the syllabus, and the trainees are now conversant with key joints used in carpentry and joinery. Trainees have started producing items such as chairs, beds, stools, and tables.
Tailoring and Garment Cutting (TGC)
22 Trainees Progress
During the reporting period, 22 trainees began their training in TGC. Training has followed the syllabus, and trainees’ skills have progressed. They are now able to make several garments, including a pair of shorts, a shirt, and a skirt.
Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy (HBT)
21 Students in Training
During the reporting period, 21 trainees were admitted for training in HBT. The class steadily followed the syllabus so that trainees can take the DIT exams with confidence. Trainees have learned the art of hair treatment, shaving, and plaiting various fashions.
In April 2011, RMF initiated the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement after being presented by the refugee community with issues surrounding the lack of skills and vocational training for students graduating from the settlement high school.
After researching which skills would provide the quickest earning opportunities and the most efficient economic investment requirements for RMF, we narrowed the programs down to:
- Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
- Bricklaying and Concrete Practice
- Carpentry and Joinery
- Tailoring and Garment Cutting
- To train the refugees with relevant vocational training skills
- To prepare the refugees for the work world with entrepreneurial skills for both employment and self-employment
- To prepare refugees with basic skills that they shall use for nation building when returning to their home country
- To foster a cycle of improved economic stability and opportunity in the region
2016 PVTI Graduate
Dorcus Amero was a student of Tailoring and Garment Cutting who graduated in November 2016 with her certificate. She received a startup kit and joined her friends in the Bweyale market, where her customers find her. She is a mother of one and has two dependents.
Dorcus said that she has earned a lot of money from her skills, which she has used to pay school fees and provide basic needs for her dependents, since she is a single mother. She shared with the PVTI coordinator that she is always proud of the skills she acquired at PVTI. Dorcus said that her family members are very happy today due to her efforts. “I have added some tools, like kitenges, which I didn’t have, with the money I got. Thanks a lot!” Dorcus said. She further thanked RMF for giving her the knowledge and startup tools that helped made her who she is today, a self-reliant woman.
2016 PVTI Graduate
Samuel Akena graduated from PVTI in 2016 with a certificate in Bricklaying and Concrete Practice. He was provided with startup kit, which has enabled him to earn money to support his family. Samuel has been getting contracts both inside and outside the camp. He was one of the trainees who was taken to Bidibidi Refugee Settlement to build houses for the staff there. He is a very hard-working and dedicated trainee.
Samuel is grateful to the RMF team for the work they are doing to equip the trainees with skills that enable them to become self-reliant, and he attributes his own progress to these efforts.
2016 PVTI Graduate
Janet Asiimwe graduated in 2016 from the Department of Tailoring and Garment Cutting. She works in the Bweyale market, where her clients find her. This has enabled her to continually use the tailoring knowledge that she gained from her vocational training as well as earn some money.
She shared that she is at least able to save about 5,000 shillings per month with a nearby savings group. She says that if she accumulates enough money, she would love to buy more tailoring materials, rent a shop, and get trading materials. Most of the time, her clients bring her repair work, and she has also made a few custom-designed dresses. She also gets orders from a school to make uniforms for children.
2018 PVTI Graduate
Concy Apio graduated in 2018 from the department of Tailoring and Garment Cutting. Concy works in the Bweyale market making designs, kitenges, bedsheets, pillowcases, and various types of clothing. The money she earns has enabled her to buy her own machine and assists her in buying food and other necessities. She said that the only problem she has is a lack of funds to buy material. A single mother with one child, Concy expresses her appreciation to RMF.