The number of children in school keeps increasing, due to continuous sensitization of the community on the value of education. Currently, a total of 9,809 schoolchildren are supported by RMF/WCF funding in nursery, primary, and secondary schools including South Sudanese, Kenyan, Rwandan, Burundian, Ugandan IDP, and Congolese children/students. First term school fees were paid in all sponsored schools, as we wait for the 2017 enrollment exercise to be conducted this term.
Total Children Supported: 9,809
We continue to provide financial support and guidance for the four departments at RMF’s Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI). During this reporting period:
In this new 2017 semester, 87 new students were accepted at the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI):
9,808 schoolchildren were supported for the first term of 2017, including South Sudanese, Kenyan, Rwandan, Burundian, Ugandan IDP, and Congolese pupils. The number of youths and children who used to loiter in the settlement has reduced.
During the reporting period, RMF/WCF provided medicine and medical supplies to the health centers in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. This was supplemented by medical supplies from Kiryandongo District’s local government and the UNHCR.
The construction of the two buildings continued steadily, and both buildings are being painted. In less than five days, the contractor anticipates finishing the work. RMF will then schedule the handover of the two buildings.
Before RMF’s involvement, one of the biggest challenges faced by the Precious Children’s Centre was a shortage of food. Because the children were not well fed, some would run away from the center and return to the streets. In order keep the children healthy and happy in the Precious Children’s Centre, RMF stepped in with funding to provide food for the children. Since then, school operations have stabilized and the children are growing healthier and can concentrate on their studies.
Today, March 23rd, 2017, Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) joined with the communities of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement and the neighboring area of Bweyale to celebrate with PVTI’s graduating class upon their successful completion of our three-month skills training program. The students graduated with a certificate in one of four fields: Tailoring and Garment Cutting, Bricklaying and Concrete Practice, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, and Carpentry and Joinery. A total of 59 students graduated.
The Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Uganda, is a UNHCR managed refugee settlement that provides shelter, land, and support for more than 100,000 people. They are comprised of refugees from Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. RMF has partnered with UNHCR in supporting Kiryandango Refugee Settlement, the surrounding community of Bweyale, and the greater Kiryandongo District (an additional 266,197 people) with health care, education, and vocational training since 2008.
Santa has been featured several times in our success stories, because she is one of our most successful students with her own business. Santa has achieved many things with the skills she learned at Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute, and has invited other colleagues to join in her business so that they can also earn a living. Santa owns three sewing machines currently, after her other machines were stolen. Santa explains that the loss didn’t make her give up, because the thieves couldn’t take her skills. She continues to earn a living from her skills and hopes to buy additional sewing machines for her business.
Santa says that having fewer sewing machines has slowed her business and lowered her income, so she looks forward to buying new machines. She said that on a daily basis, her shop receives around four orders; that is to say four sets to be made, and a set contains around 10 pieces. From selling the pieces she and her colleagues sew at her shop, Santa has managed to buy land in Bweyale, where she expects to build her house soon.
Nora owns a salon in Bweyale, where she runs her business of braiding and hair reformation. She also sells weaves, oils, and braids to customers. Nora has been able to make a living from her skills since she left Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute. She also farms a nearby field in Bweyale, where she can pay workers with money she earns from her business. Nora pays UGX 100,000/= per month to rent her workspace, and explains that the rent in these areas has increased, which has somewhat affected her work and made it hard for her to run a business properly.
Nora has been able to raise her inventory of supplies; she is able to buy more with her increased savings from the business. She says that when she saves more, she will be able to open up another business selling shoes. Nora would also like to form a consortium with her friends to ensure that their businesses are well represented and so they can combine efforts towards the competition of the work they do. Challenged by many factors, Nora is quite optimistic about the future. Nora says that due to the time she has been in business, the challenges she has faced can no longer make her weak.
With a growing business, Irene has stood her ground to challenge the youth within Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement that everything is possible if we can realize our potential. Irene runs a boutique in the Mulokonyi business center of the settlement. She started with her skills and one sewing machine (provided by RMF through the startup kit initiative), and with her savings and a loan from her relative, Irene increased her stock, selling secondhand clothes to the people in the settlement. Irene has been able to open up another kiosk in Bweyale, where she also sells secondhand clothes.
Irene experiences challenges similar to our other students in business, but these have not deterred her from progressing in her work, as she has kept on struggling to see that her business stands. Using her certificate acquired from her training at PVTI, Irene has applied for an advanced course, where she expects to expand on her skills and exposure to different areas of design.
One of RMF’s first students at Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute, Martha has continued in the spirit of RMF, “Friends Helping Friends Helping Friends,” by inviting several women to come to her shop and be trained in tailoring. So far, 15 women have learned tailoring skills at Martha’s shop, which has helped make a name for her in the area, earning her the reputation of an expert tailor with a good heart. A mother of two, Martha now has expanded her shop and is sewing Bitenge for men and women.
Martha has been receiving orders from South Sudanese vendors who come to the settlement, and this has made her business expand, and she sees to it that her savings increase. A young woman of Martha’s age rarely thinks of creating more jobs for others to benefit, but she is thinking of buying a sweater machine so that she can employ workers to make sweaters for her shop. Martha is glad for the skills she attained when still at PVTI.