Rebecca is 17 years old and was identified through the annual door to door mapping of child domestic workers by PLA staff in September 2011 She is the third born in a family of eight., Mr. William and Ms. Akirot, are her parents and farmers staying in Okutu Village in Bukedia district.
Rebecca studied from P.1-P.6 (2001 – 2007) at Okutu Primary school, a government school in Bukedia District. During her second term holiday in primary six, She was picked by her auntie and brought to Kampala in the disguise of offering her better education. This did not happen as she started working as a domestic worker for Mr. Vincent, a police officer in Nsambya barracks.
After the mapping exercise and final verification, Rebecca was one of the children who were placed with Nile Vocational Institute in Jinja District for training. While here, she undertook a course in catering where she had the passion which was coupled with hard work. After her period of training, she was awarded a certificate in catering and she is now gainfully employed at Millennium Hotel in Zana, Kampala district. When our team visited her at the work place, Rebecca was happy to tell us that she earns Uganda Shillings ninety thousand shillings (90,000/=) a month, an equivalent of USD 35 plus accommodation and meals Unlike in child labour where she was not being paid for 4 years. Rebecca is very happy and grateful to Platform for Labour Action as the skills acquired have greatly contributed to her improved quality of life and she hopes for the best in future.
She prays that PLA continues helping children like her.
With support from GlobalGiving, Platform for labour Action is implementing a project “Educate 200 war and HIV/AIDS orphaned ugandan girls”, with 37 girls being supported with school lunch worth USD 555 every child receiving lunch worth USD 15, scholastic materials US 194 and physiological support in all aspects of their lives. The girls go to government owed schools in Lira district, Northern Uganda.
The year 2012 has ended with hope and more progress for our beneficiaries and the project, 11 beneficiaries successfully sat their primary leaving examinations and await confirmation by end of January 2013 about their results, this will determine whether they get to join secondary school this year 2013 or redo primary seven for better results.
Most of the time this year was spent in interacting with the beneficaries and the people that surround them in their day to day life such as their guardians and teachers, because of this, other parties’ especailly the schools got on board to encourage the girls to concentrate in achieving their dreams.
Generally most of the girls self esteem have improved and they can now express themselves before fellow pupils, their class performance also improved compared to their pervious experience where they feared to particpate in class.
In the months of October, November and December, the beneficaries spent more of their time writing their end of year examinations and preparing for the school hoildays. During this period the organisation sent each of the beneficaries success cards to encourage and strengthen them during their examinations.
BENEFICARIES WHO FINALISED PRIMARY SCHOOL
11 beneficiaries finalized final Primary Leaving examinations. The were; Amule Doreen, Ouni Fiona, Odyek Rachel, Sitina Amuge, Atai Sandra, Akot Rebecca, Awor Faith, Acan Zaitun, Awio Cindrella, Rita Nadudu and Ocida Harriet.
With the examinations that the girls wrote, they will be able to get to another level of education that will eventually see them attain their future dreams.
This year 41 school visits were made to: Lira primary school, Lira Modern Primary school, Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school, Lira Police primary school, Ambalal primary school, Lira parents’ primary school, Lango Quran Primary school, Starch Factory primary school, Adyel primary school V.H Public school and Railways primary school.
During these visits PLA Program Assistant Lira Susan Ejang discussed the beneficiaries’ welfare with the teachers and school administration and asked them to contact the PLA Lira office in case of emergencies.
The school visits helped us this year to keep track of the girls performance in both school and class, this therefore gave the school teachers a starting point in supporting the girls perform better in their academics, which turned out to be encouraging as most of the beneficaries were promoted to the next class.
HOME MONITORING VISITS
18 home monitoring visits were made in this year to different girls including Akello Susan primary 5 Starch Factory primary school, Ocida Harriet primary 7 Modern Primary school, Atai Sandra p.7 Lira primary school, Ateng Rebbeca primary 5 Elia Olet Primary school, Ajwamg Monica primary 5 of Adyel Primary school, Awor Asha primary 5 of Lira police primary school, Ayugi Ketty primary 5 Lira modern primary school, Nebila Kabdija primary 5 of Lango Quran primary school, Awor Faith primary 7 of VH Public school, Rebbeca Akot primary 7 of VH Public school and Racheal Odyek primary 7 of Ambalal primary school, Acen Jeniffer and Apio Susan Senior 1 of Almond college school Lira.
The visits were made to monitor the girls conditions while at home and to discuss their dreams with the guardians and how they can help the beneficiaries become better citizens.
The visits made to the beneficaries got the guardians on board to support the girls in their education by encouraging them to read their books while at home, as they carried out their house chores and had time to play with their friends too.
The girls also shared with PLA program assistant some of the activities that they hoped to carry out during the holidays, such as helping their guardians in the gardens and house hold chores.
PLANNED ACTIVITIES FOR 2013
In the year 2013, we plan to continue offering counseling support, providing school lunch and distributing scholastic materials to our beneficaries.
We shall also continue to conduct both school and home monitoring visits to keep an eye on the beneficiaries’ education and social progress.
On behalf of the organisation and the beneficaries, I would like to express our utmost appreciation for your contributions to this project in 2012 and hope for better as we work towards educating war and HIV/AIDS orphaned girls in Northern Uganda.
Ms. Betty Akingol aged 15 years old is a former graduate from Nile Vocational Institute Jinja who was identified in 2011 by PLA working as a domestic worker at Nsambya police barracks. Betty a former child domestic worker has three siblings with both parents but separated. Her mother is a farmer / peasant staying in Karamoja while her father stays in Jinja and works as a policeman. Betty attended school up to Primary two but since her mother could not afford supporting her, she was brought to work at Nsambya police barracks as a child domestic worker.
Fortunately, during the mapping of the child domestic workers in the area, Betty was one of the identified children who needed PLA's support. With the help of a task force member, Betty was withdrawn and placed at Nile Vocational Institute where she took a six months course in hair dressing. After completion, Betty got a job at a task force member's saloon in Nsambya police barracks where she is currently gainfully employed. On a good day she earns 2 USD and when the saloon is not so busy she is paid around 1 USD.
During one of the recent monitoring visits done by PLA team, Betty was found busy and happy at her work place and extended her sincere thanks to PLA - (I thank PLA for with drawing me from Child domestic work, from the skills that I gained, I am now employed and in position to cater for my living materials like pads, cosmetics and clothing's.) Currently Betty is faced with the challenge of the saloon where she is employed not being so busy , and if a day goes by without her attending to a customer then she will not get paid since she is paid on Commission, which is calculated per customer worked on. Betty is looking for a better job that can pay her better so that she can be able to help out her siblings in the village as well. The one dollar she earns helps her in catering for her living materials as a young girl like buying pads, cosmetics and clothing's which she was not able to do before acquiring the hair dressing skills.