Uganda: Vocational Training and Tailoring Shop Program

PVTI Welcomes Dignitaries for World Refugee Day: Q2 2019

September 09, 2019

Sylvia Nakiirya and Daniel Wakibi

Summary of Activities
  • On May 13, 2019, Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) publicized its programs in order to enlist applicants for the new enrollment period and to select the trainees most suitable for each course at the institute. The community was mobilized through advertising and posters displayed at the most strategic places within the settlement and the host community, including the town councils.
  • During this quarter, 69 new trainees were recruited into the program and are currently undergoing training.
  • Orientation is held at the start of every intake to ensure that the trainees are acquainted with the vocational
    programs and activities. Before the start of the training schedule, a one-day trainee orientation was conducted on June 28, 2019, led by the principal and PVTI, with assistance from the instructors.
  • During the orientation, trainees were guided through the institute’s 3-month training program and briefed on expectations for students, such as a high degree of concentration, as the programs run on a tight training schedule.
  • The theory and practical elements of the courses were described to the students. They were also informed about the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) examinations, which will they will undergo to attain a nationally recognized certificate at the end of the program.
  • The previous intake of trainees took their DIT examinations on May 2, 2019, in all four departments (Bricklaying, Carpentry, Hairdressing, and Tailoring). The examination was managed by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) assisted by the instructors. All 70 students who took the DIT examination passed successfully.
  • A total of 73 students finished their studies at Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) in one of the
    school’s four departments: Bricklaying and Concrete Practice, Carpentry and Joinery, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, or Tailoring and Garment Cutting from the January to March intake.
  • The vocational training program has helped enhance peaceful coexistence between refugees and nationals, as PVTI accepts applicants from both communities.
  • 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.
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Results &


Enrollment of New Students

June – September 2019 Intake

After publicizing its programs, RMF received 170 applications for the PVTI program. RMF’s vocational training instructors formed the interviewing team. Candidates were grouped by department, and at the end of the day, the interviewing team shortlisted the best candidates. The lists were given to the PVTI principal for consideration. Of the 170 applications received, 100 applicants were called for interviews, and 69 trainees were accepted.

World Refugee Celebrations

PVTI Welcomes Dignitaries

World Refugee Day is celebrated every year on June 20. This year’s function was attended by many dignitaries from Kiryandongo District Local Government, Bweyale Town Council officials, the Office of the Prime Minister, UNHCR, and all implementing partners within the camp. PVTI participated in the organization of this day by creating exhibitions. They also organized a drama performance for guests at the World Refugee Day celebration, which was about female student retention in school.

Carpentry and Joinery

13 New Trainees

During the reporting period, 13 trainees began their training in Carpentry and Joinery (CJ). The training continued according to the syllabus. The CJ department has one instructor guiding trainees. The curriculum covers 6 modules, and at the end of the 3-month training period, trainees are expected to observe all safety and health requirements in their workshops, use and care for timber, maintain and repair measuring and marking tools, etc. The modules cover the making of 7 types of joints, as well as chairs, beds, and stools.

Bricklaying and Concrete Practice (BCP)

12 New Trainees

During the reporting period, 12 trainees began their training in Bricklaying and Concrete Practice (BCP). The syllabus has been followed so that the trainees can gain key building skills. The BCP department has one instructor who guides the trainees. The curriculum covers 5 modules, and at the end of the 3-month training period, beneficiaries are expected to be able to comfortably handle construction tools and read sketches while at any construction site. The modules cover the use of tools, equipment, and wall bonding techniques.

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy (HBT)

22 New Trainees

During the reporting period, 22 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 begun to learn the art of hair treatment, shaving, and plaiting various fashions. The HBT department has two instructors who guide the trainees. The curriculum covers 12 modules, and trainees are expected to know how to observe all safety and health requirements within their work premises, demonstrate hospitality to customers and use tools appropriately.

Tailoring and Garment Cutting (TGC)

23 New Trainees

During the reporting period, 23 trainees began their training in TGC. Training has followed the syllabus, and trainees’ skills have progressed. The TGC department has two instructors who tirelessly work to see that the trainees obtain fundamental knowledge of tailoring over the course of 9 modules. After the theory sessions, the trainees start the practical sessions, which include gathered skirts, elastic pajamas, elastic back shorts, round skirts, high-waisted skirts, shirts, pinafore dresses, kitenge skirts and blouses, and basic short-sleeved shirts.

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& Objectives


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
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Direct Beneficiaries

April – June 2019

69 Newly Enrolled Trainees

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Nancy Lamaro at her workplace

Nancy Lamaro

2016 PVTI Graduate

Nancy Lamaro graduated from PVTI in 2016, and with the gift of a start-up kit, she began working in Bweyale
market in a friend’s shop. Her initiative has contributed to earning about UGX 10,000/= per week, and with these
earnings, she is able to contribute towards her family’s basic needs and pay her siblings’ school fees. Nancy is also
helping her parents in their garden work. She added that her sewing machine has started causing some problems
in her work, and she spends part of her earnings paying repair expenses. Despite this difficulty, Nancy appreciates
Real Medicine Foundation for equipping her with the skills which have enabled her to become self-reliant. “My life has greatly changed due to the earnings I make,” says Nancy.

Hellen working on a customer’s order of a kitenge dress

Hellen Anek

2018 PVTI Graduate

Hellen Anek graduated in September 2018 with a certificate in Tailoring and Garment Cutting. Hellen was one of the best trainees in her intake, demonstrating a lot of interest in what she was doing during her three-month training at Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute. Hellen opened a workshop in Bweyale market where she buys and sells
kitenge materials and also employs other trainees who help her with the orders. She designs clothes according to
customers’ needs.

Hellen explained that she earns about UGX 20,000/= per day, which has greatly helped her family. She is married
with three children. She provides school fees for her children, pays rent for the whole family, and provides for their
basic needs.

Joseph and Justine at their construction site

Justine Omal & Joseph Okewa

2018 PVTI Graduates

Justine Omal and Joseph Okewa graduated in May 2018 with certificates in Bricklaying and Concrete Practice, and they have been working together since finishing the course. During their interview, Joseph and Justine said they have achieved a lot, as they have established customers who now only call them for building projects. At the time of the interview, they were building in Bweyale Town Council, where they are being paid UGX 15,000/= per day. They attributed their success to the Real Medicine Foundation and the entire staff of Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute, which made this future possible for them.

Sunday Kodra constructing a shelter at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement

Sunday Kodra

2018 PVTI Graduate

Sunday Kodra is one of the successful trainees among the 14 who graduated in May 2018 with certificates in
Bricklaying and Concrete Practice. He is a hardworking young man interested in his work. At the time of our visit,
we found him constructing a shelter in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, and he said that he has been working on various projects, including construction of the health center, which have enabled him to acquire more skills.

Sunday said that he is very proud of RMF for the knowledge he got from Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute.
When Sunday graduated, he began been looking for ways to help at home, since he lives with his uncle. Since
then, he has managed to help his family members, and currently he earns UGX 15,000/= per day. He also said he
has been able to open up an account with Post Bank, where he keeps his savings.

Jada with a wardrobe he is making

Jada Opi Gore Ferdinand

2019 PVTI Graduate

Jada Opi Gore Ferdinand graduated in May 2019 with a certificate in Carpentry and Joinery. He is married with
one child and lives in Bweyale Town Council, where he is renting a room with his family. He said that as he waits
for contracts to make furniture for his customers, he works part-time at a friend’s workshop in Molokonyi.

Jada shared with PVTI’s coordinator that he is always proud because of the skills acquired at the institute. He said
that his family is very happy today due to his efforts, adding, “I have added some tools like planing gauge and
mortising scissors, which I didn’t have, with the money I earned. Thanks a lot!” He further thanked RMF for giving
him knowledge and supporting him through career guidance that has made him who he is today, a self-reliant man.