Platform for Labour Action (PLA)

We are an NGO that promotes and protects the rights of vulnerable and marginalised through community empowerment, action oriented research, policy dialogue, and legal aid in Uganda.
Oct 31, 2013

From unpaid domestic work to a fulfilling hairdress

Nakintu is 17 year old girl who graduated in hair dressing from Nile Vocational Institute Jinja in March 2013. She is a former child domestic worker at Nsambya police barracks who was identified by PLA during the 2012 door to door annual mapping exercise. Nakintu has five siblings and her mother was widowed and she struggled bring up her seven children single handed.                                                      

Her mother a peasant farmer could not afford supporting her since her father passed away during her P.7.  After completing primary school, she could not continue with her secondary education. In 2009, her elder sister got her a domestic work job in Kazo - Bwaise a Kampala suburb, where she was promised a monthly payment of UGX 20,000/=(Twenty Thousand) Ugandan shillings equivalent to 8 dollars, she worked there for two years and received payment for only three months. In 2011 she left her job and joined her brother who was working in Nsambya barracks.  At her brother’s place she was doing housework and was paid in kind where beddings, food and clothing were availed to her. According to Nakintu working for a stranger without pay was better off working for a relative (her brother) who was giving her better treatment.

With the help of a task force member, PLA rescued her and placed her at Nile Vocational Institute Jinja in July 2012 where she took a six months course in hair dressing. After completion, In May 2013 Nakintu got a job as whole sale seller of women’s hair pieces. At her place of work she also plaits ladies’ hair, she further says that she rates the customer depending on the hair style ranging from (10,000/= to 20,000/= UGX) equivalent to 4 to 8 USD and the money got out of this is shared together with her employer. She is paid on a weekly basis between (20,000/= - 30,000/= UGX) equivalent to 8 to 12 dollars), depending on the profit gained. She also gets a working benefit of housing where her employer pays for her accommodation.

During our two Monitoring visits, we realized that she has a decent work place as well as good accommodation. Nakintu expresses her sincere appreciation to PLA- (I thank PLA for giving me a future; I am now in position to stand as a woman and support my poor mother , before acquiring the hair dressing skill, I was not able to do so)

Nakintu is currently faced with the challenge of a few customers since she is still new in the area, she further defends it by saying that through the entrepreneurship skills that she acquired, she says that she plaits customers at a reduced cost so as to attract more and with such a strategy she believes more customers will come up.  She commends her boss for allowing her to plait ladies to add on her take home and with this she has been able to save something and send to her mother, who uses some and saves the rest for her.

In future Nakintu believes that her working station will turn into a big saloon since her employer promised to buy the necessary hair dressing tools to improve her workplace and she believes that this will attract more customers, which will expand her services thus increasing on what With this she will be able to cater for her own accommodation by paying rent elsewhere unlike to date where she stays at her workplace.


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Aug 5, 2013

From a domestic worker to a waitress

Khainza is 17 years old. She grew up with both her biological parents in a family of 15 members in Bulambuli district. Both her parents are peasants and she has 7 siblings. She started school in 2002 and went to Muyembe primary school where she completed her primary seven in 2009.She got 17 aggregates (second grade) in primary seven and this gave her parents courage to continue her in secondary. In 2010, she joined Muyembe high school for her senior one and dropped out of school in her second term because her parents could no longer afford paying her school fees. In 2011, she came to Kampala to work as a domestic worker for a police officer in Nsambya barracks. The police officer is a friend to the mother. She worked for 3 months and was paid (UGSHS 20,000) an equivalent of USD 8 per month. While at her work place, she was treated fairly but was always being abused whenever her employer got drunk like" her mum was a prostitute and it's the reason why she works as a domestic worker." In her second month at the work place, Khainza met one of the PLA staff who interviewed her. After the interview, and from what she had been going through as a domestic worker, she accepted to go back to school. She later joined Nile Vocational Institute-Jinja on 28th September 2012 and enrolled in a catering course for six months. She completed school in April 2013. She then wrote applications to different hotels and got a job at Katikati restaurant after sitting home for 2 weeks. Khainza has worked at Katikati restaurant for 3 month now. She works as a waitress and earns Ushs 120,000 an equivalent of USD 48. She works from 1:00pm to midnight. Her aim is to save money and open up a hotel. She thanks PLA forgiving her an opportunity to go back to school, withdrawing and rescuing her from domestic work. "She says she will work hard to help street children so as to improve on their way of living". There are very many cases of child domestic workers in Uganda. With the help of GlobalGiving donors we can assist many children and have success stories.


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Jul 29, 2013

Asha's Story

15 Years old Asha is now in primary seven at Lira police primary school with support from PLA. She is one of the girls who were identified last year 2012 by PLA as vulnerable orphaned girls affected by HIV/AIDS.

 Asha faces many problems at home, but she is still interested in education and she performances well in class, she managed to score 77 in English subject. “Currently the major problem that I am facing is lack of food at home since my uncle Ebong has now been hospitalized for 2 months and one week, its hard for me and my younger brother to get food even the neighbors are now tired of us sadly narrated Asha”.

 Asha lost both her parents to HIV/AIDS and she is now under the care of her also infected uncle Ebong who stays in Adyel division.

 At home Asha has to move in the neighbor to pick leftover food for the rest of her family including her uncle.

During the visit at Asha's home, she explained that she is now the one taking care of the home since her uncle is still at the hospital.

“I dont know how what I will do this school term, since my uncle doesn't seem to get better,” sadly mentioned Asha

We have started searching for other relatives Asha could have through the area local councils hopefully they will be talked to start taking the responsibility of the Asha and her brother upbringing.

 To Asha, she is grateful that despite all the hardships, she is able to go to school where she also receives lunch.

“At school everything is fine since I get to have my lunch and happily study, and so gratefully to PLA for this and I hope they never stop helping me even after I have finished my primary seven,” explained Asha.

 To Asha, she is grateful that despite all the hardships, she is able to go to school where she also receives lunch.


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