Platform for Labour Action through the Global Giving donors has impacted on many youths’ lives in Uganda particularly in Kampala. PLA identified 99 (68 girls and 31 boys) CDWs in 2011 from Nsambya police barracks, Kabalagala, Katwe and Kibuye. Who were withdrawn, rehabilitated and placed at Nile Vocation Institute to take on six months courses in hair dressing, motor vehicle, catering and tailoring. During their stay at the institution, monitoring visits were carried out to check on their progress and provide psycho social counseling as well as deliver requirements like soap, shoes, clothes, mosquito nets, sanitary towels, bed sheets, and blankets among others.
PLA through her partnerships with SCD Darling, a cosmetics company, visited PLA beneficiaries at NVI taking hair dressing and taught them how to make different hair styles, hair maintenance, colour selection, saloon maintenance and customer care. The company also provided aprons and posters showing different hair styles and t-shirts to the said beneficiaries. .
After six months, the beneficiaries graduated and were resettled with their guardians. They are now involved in meaningful employment in saloons and garages. During follow-ups made, they were happy to be involved in work that does not exploit them.
Platform for Labour Action through the Global Giving donors has opened doors of hope to a better future to over 45 girls: 5 old and 40 new, currently living in Lira district. The project provides support to war and HIV/AIDS orphaned girls in the form of school lunch, counselling and scholastic materials such as books, pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers and school uniforms.
A total of 11 school monitoring visits were made to V.H Public school, Lango Quran primary school, Elia Olet primary school, Lira police primary school, Savor secondary school, Akia primary school, Jack and Jill primary school, Ojwina primary school, Adyel primary school, and Railways primary school.
These monitoring visits give PLA a chance to interact with the beneficiaries` teachers to assess academic and social progress, and monitor the beneficiaries’ lunch and use of their scholastic materials.
3 homes visits were made to Ateng Rebecca, Awor Faith and Atai Sandra during school holidays. They were undertaken by the PLA Lira field officer to monitor the beneficiaries` living conditions and counsel them.
The visit to Sandra was to see if her aunt was treating her better and not overloading her with household chores. Unfortunately, the situation hadn’t changed.
Other visits were to Awor Faith and Ateng Rebecca to ensure that they were effectively taking their medication and were on proper balance diet as required due to their status. Rebecca was connected to another organization called Cosbel by the field officer; Cosbel has started supporting Rebecca with food and other basic needs such as clothing.
A total of 45 girls were counselled: they shared their future dreams, discussed the need to move past the effects of conflict and loss of parents, and the need to work hard. The girls were glad for the meeting, as many needed the help of the organization.
LUNCH AND BOARDING FEES
During the quarter USD 125 Atai Sandra was facilitated with boarding fees and USD 20 worth of uniform. Lunch fees worth USD 695 was made for the whole year 2012 for beneficiaries Ateng Rebecca of Elia Olet primary school, primary seven pupils Akot Rebecca and Awor Faith of V.H Public school and Abeja Eunice senior three of Savior secondary school.
50 girls were met during the monitoring visit to interface with the guardians and discuss the challenges they face as they support the orphans. All the girls were counselled and encouraged to have hope for a better future. The girls’ ages ranged from 11 to 16 and classes from P.5 to P.7.
STORIES OF NEWLY IDENIFIED BENEFICARIES
Asha is a13-year old orphan who is under the care of her uncle Ebong Rashid. “My father died before my mother had given birth to me and then my mother died in 2010 leaving me in the care of my sick uncle Ebong Rashid”, narrated Asha.
“At school the teachers know my condition so they let me seat examinations but I don’t get my reports at the end of each term,” said Asha. Asha has only one sibling, a 14 years old Emmanuel. “I would like to become a doctor so that I am able to diagnose patients rightly,” explained Asha.
Asha is in primary six at Lira police primary school and her farvorite subject is Science. “I want PLA to support me in school and at home, because I’m sure that the condition that my uncle is in will not change and our relatives don’t want to help,” sadly said Asha.
Ouni Fiona is another 14-year old orphan girl. Father and mother died in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Since then, they have been living without an adult to cater for them. She has 5 siblings. The eldest dropped out of school while the rest are being supported by an organisation called children of Peace Lira. Fiona is now left with the responsibility of taking care of other children as her oldest brother left to look for a job in Western Uganda.
Fiona is a good student and was in 34th position out of 284 pupils in her class. Her best subjects are English and social studies. “I want to become a lawyer, so I can put all the guilty people in jail, like the people who mistreat children,” said Fiona.
Holiday get together since school will be closing and we shall provide scholastic materials for the new beneficiaries.
SCD-Darling Ltd is a company that manufactures Beauty products in Uganda specializing in Hair products. During the January to March 2012 they visited the former child domestic workers in Nile Vocational Institute. During the visit they conducted training on how to use the hair products - hair extensions and a variety of creams and shapoo. They were trained on hair dressing by the Darling hair technicians.
Peter Mukabire, sales executive of SCD-Darling Uganda said, "As a company we have done this to carry out our corporate social responsibility to help improve on the standard of living of children. We do these by taking our hair specialists to train vulnerable girls like the beneficiaries of PLA on how to use our products." This helps them to understand how to use the beauty products for better results on their future clients. In addition to the training the 48 girls were offered aprons by SCD darling. In appreciation of the support, one beneficiary, Atuhairwe Winnie, thanked PLA for the session because it's one way of showing beneficiaries that they care about them. In her remarks she said that, 'I had always heard about Darling company on radio but didn't know that I was using their products, thank you Darling company for teaching us, thank you so much my sponsors may God bless you people'. The aprons donated are worth USD 155.
We are planning to engage more companies like SCD-Darling in Uganda to support our cause. These children have completed their training at the Nile Vocational Institute. We intend to follow them up and see how the skills they have acquired better their lives.