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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.