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.
Sharon is 17 years old. She grew up with her grand mother in a family of 5 members in Mubende. The family consisted three granddaughters and two grandsons. She is an orphan and has no siblings. Sharon never had a chance to see her parents. The father died when he had gone fishing and her mother was expecting her. Unfortunately, the mother also died just after giving birth to Sharon.
She also never had a chance to go to school because her grandmother could not afford paying her school fees. She would stay home doing domestic work and tendering to the garden. Her grand mother always encouraged her to work hard by telling her that orphans too can have a bright future even though they have never gone to school. This forced Sharon to work hard and have hope for a bright future.
In April 2011, a friend to her grandmother requested for Sharon to go and work as a domestic worker. It was agreed that she will earn USD 10 per month and the grand mothers accepted. She was taken to Nsambya police Barracks and worked for Kagusa. Sharon used to take care of 8 members (2 adults and 5 children).She used to wake up at 7am to prepare the children for school and after take them to school. She also used to do all the domestic work like mop the house, wash utensils/clothes, cooking and general house duties etc.
Sharon worked for 9 months and was not paid salaries for the 5 months; instead she was battered, abused by the employer and their children.
Sharon knew about PLA when she escaped from home to come and attend the awareness session that was held at Nsambya police barracks. It was after this session that she knew her rights. She then and got the courage to report her case to Child Family and Protection Unit (CFPU) office which was forwarded to PLA office. She was denied the opportunity of being withdrawn from domestic work by her employer yet she was interested.
When the case reached PLA office, Sharon was forcefully withdrawn and kept under the care of one taskforce member until the day of placement. The employer was summoned, and she accepted to sign an agreement that she will pay USD 60 which was later paid.
Sharon enrolled in hair dressing course at Nile Vocational School for six months. She was sponsored by Platform for Labour action. She completed the hair dressing course in March 2013. She is self employed, braids client’s hair and earns around USD 5 to USD 15 a day depending on number of customers. She braids different styles in twist, pencil, wigs etc. Because of her skills; she is some times called by clients at their homes to braid their hair. She says, `my challenge is lack of money to buy driers and other requirements. These need retouch and treatment of hair for her to earn more money a day’.
Sharon thanked PLA for giving her an opportunity to go to school, withdrawing her from domestic work. Since she was an orphan and had lost hope. She further says that she can now believe her grand mothers words, “even orphans can have a bright future even though they have never gone to school”
There many girls involved in domestic work like Sharon in Kampala. These girls are abused and sometimes go without pay. With the help of well-wishers we will be able to empower more domestic like Sharon.
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.
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.
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.
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