More than 1,500 women and girls living at three Uganda border posts have since 2012 received vocational and entrepreneurial training by a regional non-government organisation, Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Aancement of Women (EASSI).
The training seeks to create jobs and improve their livelihoods.
According to Ms Elizabeth Ampaire, the programme coordinator, Women and Girls Empowerment Project at EASSI, said the women have been undergoing trainings mainly in candle making, liquid and bar soap making, Jewelry making, peanut paste, farming, bakery and tailoring.
Such areas of training do not require academic papers before one is enrolled and involve less capital investments yet skills attained if applied, are vital for self-employment especially for a vulnerable group-women.
“We believe that when these women have stable incomes, they will be able to take their children to school and also reduce on domestic violence associated with poverty in homes,” Ms Ampaire said during a meeting with the trainees in Kabale this week.
The programme is also in other eight African countries of Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. EASSI was born in 1996 after the Beijing Conference
Ms Jackline Twebaze, the chairperson of Kicumbi Women Orphans in Development at Katuna border, said the soap, uniform and other products they make has ready market at the border point which has improved their incomes.
A study done by Action Aid International Uganda, Uganda National NGO Forum and Development Research and Training, recently, indicated that 62 per cent of Ugandan youth are unemployed, terming joblessness as a threat.
The report stresses that the unemployed youth are likely to become a source of instability if government doesn’t plan for them early enough
Ms Loy Musiimenta, the project assistant coordinator at Katuna border said the biggest challenge they are facing is illiteracy among the women and girls and high expectations for ‘quick money’ and gender violence.
“Also some husbands do not want to allow their wives to engage in such trainings but some have changed their attitude in the new programme-men engage,” she added.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor