Docus (22) lives with her parents and siblings in Nyekakura Village in the Nebbi District of Uganda. She is a substinence farmer and helps her family around the home and in the garden.
Thanks to funding from BFSS (British & Foreign School Society), we were able to help our partner ARUWE (Action for Rural Women’s Empowerment) launch a Vocational Centre in Nebbi District, Uganda, to teach vulnerable young people tailoring and sewing skills.
Docus shares the impact that the Vocational School has already had on her life and her hopes for the future.
What was life like before the Vocational Centre?
When I dropped out of school in S.3 in 2019, I thought this was the end of my dreams in life. My parents were not in position to pay for my school fees anymore as they had to pay for my siblings’ school fees. With that, my fate was sealed to getting married.
I was worried and felt like a burden to my parents. All I could do was help them with the garden and house work. I had given up until I heard that there were free tailoring lessons and decided to come hurriedly to regrow my hope for future prospects of helping my parents.
How has life changed?
I now have hope. Hope that my future will be better than before because I am acquiring a skill to enables me to survive in life. I always look forward to the next day because I know that I will be coming to learn something new or at least improve on what I was taught the previous days/weeks.
After I help out with some work at home, I come here and get occupied with the assigned activities/tasks. This project has revamped my faded hope and I’m now optimistic that I shall be able to work hand-in-hand with my parents to uplift the standards of our home and also serve as a good example to my siblings so that they can also work hard in school and be able to obtain good results for the future.
What improvements have you seen?
Each person is allocated their own sewing machine which we use during the session so we have an opportunity to practice what we are taught. I can now tailor a number or fashions and I am learning more styles each day.
I made a dress for my cousin’s child and everyone admired it at church. Afterwards, two other women asked me to make dresses for their babies. I used to not earn any money but in 3 months, I have earned 30,000UGX (around £6 – equivilent to 6 days work at minimum wage).
What else can we do for your community?
Vocational skills can bridge some of the educational gaps in our communities.
Establishing a vocational centre offering more skills would be empowering to many young people in this community. Expanding training for skills such as hairdressing, baking, carpentry and mechanics so that the other youth who are not interested in tailoring can also equip themselves with such knowledge and practical skills.