May 23, 2018

CAKE BAKING SKILLS TRAINING FOR LGBTQ EMPOWERMENT IN UGANDA.

Our Executive Director during the training
Our Executive Director during the training

Report on the training of 80 additional LGBTQ community members.

 

CAKE BAKING SKILLS TRAINING FOR LGBTQ EMPOWERMENT

IN WESTERN UGANDA.

 

In December of 2017 Mbarara Rise Foundation embarked on a crowd funding fundraiser through the GlobalGiving platform to raise $5000 to empower its rural LGBTQ community members in Western Uganda through trainings in cake baking and bakery management.

MRF Executive Director Raymond Twinamatsiko and Programs Director Janet Mutesi organized all the trainings in four districts together with the facilitators from local bakeries. Two days training were conducted in each district at a respected venue.

Thank you for your generous contributions which made it possible for us to conduct our project activities successfully as planned.

 

 Description

 

The planned activities were to run in four Districts where we operate Mbarara, Rukungiri, Ibanda and Ntugamo for two months from March – May 2018.MRF partnered with bakeries to ensure that the trainings were professionally facilitated by resourceful and skilled persons.

Our target was to train 100 LGBTQ persons aged between 18 – 35 years from all the five Districts we serve and to ensure fairness in our community we agreed that gender balance was key across all the marginalized members. To achieve this we assigned each District 20 members. We also made sure that we balance the representation in terms of sexual identity. Of the 20 participants in each district, each letter was assigned 4 members- Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer. The purpose of this was to close the gap of what would be seen as bias against a certain category of our community members.

In all the four trainings, Mbarara Rise Foundation’s Programs Director Janet Mutesi welcomed participants whereas the Executive Director Mr. Raymond Twinamatsiko gave opening remarks and a brief description of the cake baking project.

Our objectives for the trainings were to ensure that at the end of the day participants will be able to:

  • Increase knowledge and skills in cake baking and bakery management.
  • Improve household income.
  • Provide life skills.
  • Foster self-reliance.
  • Increase job creation.

 

Activities

 

      i.          Rukungiri:

On 5th-6th of March we carried out training in Rukungiri overall number of registered participants was 20 and of these we had 6Lesbians, 3.Gays, 5 Bisexuals, 5Transgender and 1 Queer. Among the Trans genders we had 3 Transgender women and 2 transgender men.

    ii.          Ntugamo

7th to 8th we held our third training in Ntugamo district with 20 participants including 12 lesbians, 3 gay men, 1 bisexual man, 4 transgender women involved in a two days training.

 

  iii.          Ibanda district

26th to 27th we held our fourth training in ibanda district including 8 lesbians, 3 transgender men, 5 transgender women, 2 bisexual women and 2 gay men 

 

  iv.          And on the 28th to 29th we held our fifth training in Mbarara district where he had a huge turn up of 22 participants for the training than the number we had budgeted for, participants included 5 lesbians, 9 gay men, 1 transgender man and 7 transgender women.

Overall the participants were in the age range of 18 - 27 years and from all districts, we had 31 lesbians, 17 Gay men, 8 both bisexual men and women, 25 both transgender women and men and I Queer person who will begin interning at local bakeries in each of the four districts to exercise their newly acquired skills to work. At the end of their internship we hope they will be able to start small scale businesses, acquire lifetime cake baking skills that will guide them to be self reliant. This means we would have increased income hold income levels and reducing unemployment under this initial project, the organization would have strengthened the social and economic capacity of the LGBTQ community to become financially independent and to overcome challenges of poverty and unemployment.

Topics and activities carried out during the training included an introduction to cake baking, baking hygiene and baking management, among others. Trainees had a chance to engage in an open discussion where they shared business ideas as a way to be self-reliant.

As initial challenge we encountered in implementing the bushenyi cake baking activity, were participants primarily spoke the local language of Runyankole, which required the use of a translator between facilitators and participants which future slowed down the dialogue. This time around we were able to identify facilitators who speak and are used of the beneficiaries local Language of Runyankole. This created equal and enjoyable participation during the training as the participants easily communicated with the facilitators and asked questions.

At the end of each of the first day, participants, facilitators and MRF met to evaluate the day’s activities and this allowed for feedback from the participants to the facilitators and MRF. The issues raised in these meeting were addressed during the next day’s session.

Among the training programs as per our evolution forms, the cake baking and bakery management skills was an active sessions for the participants compared to other programs like baking hygiene.

 

Next Steps

 

Just as the first 20 trained participants who are currently interning at a local bakery in bushenyi for a period of four months, also the 80 participants, that is 20 people in each of the districts of Mbarara,Ibanda, Ntungamo and Rukungiri will soon begin interning at their selected local bakeries to put their newly acquired skills to work and learn more professional skills. Upon completing their internships in period of four to six months, MRF is hopeful that over ten participants from four districts are likely to be full time employee of some bakeries and others will be able start their small scale business, based on the participants, they shared thoughts and ideas on what they are planning to do moving forward upon completing their internship like get self-employed, get employed.

We will do Follow ups, visiting the bakeries to see the progress of participants interning at each of their local bakeries and how many still  turn up or completed their internships as well as trying to secure opportunities for them.

With your support, MRF will continue sensitizing the LGBTQ community about the importance of learning skills like cake baking, bakery management and entrepreneurship, as well as providing trainings. With these skills trainings, LGBTQ people are able to start businesses on their own, to be self-reliant, pay their bills and not be seen by society as waste products or mad persons as they always call us.

 

Achievements

MRF-Uganda is Growing stronger & Better

 

  • Through its lobbying and constant dialogues, MRF has managed to bring on board health care providers to provide health services to the LGBTQ in western Uganda without discrimination and stigmatization.

 

  • MRF has been able to train over 149 LGBTQ youth in Cake baking and income generating activities reducing unemployment levels to 48.2% from 85%. The training has resulted into formation of members gaining skills in bakery and management.

 

  • MRF has mobilized the rural LGBTQ community. Over 420 members now across western districts in Uganda.

 

  • Have held several dialogue and meetings with members about health and rights + wellbeing.

 

  • Documenting Gender Based Violence cases (GBV) and responding to them in all western parts of Uganda.9% GBV cases have been responded too.

 

  • We have well trained peer leaders who bridge gaps btn health service providers and the LGBTIQ, MSM, Sex Worker communities, over 16%have accessed services, 1% refereed and on ART.

 

  • We have built strong partnerships at both national and international levels.

 

 

Majority of the LGBTQ in western Uganda are unemployed and very much economically disenfranchised and the need for food, a place to live and paying house rents and bills overshadows the concern for safer sex and making them more desperate for money despite dangers of exposure. In sum, the project has succeeded in addressing the issue of poverty, poor numeracy skills and unemployment by means of community based training and local institutional capacity. Mbarara Rise Foundation identified and selected 100 beneficiaries in five districts i.e. 20 LGBTQ in each district namely, Mbarara, Ibanda, Rukungiri, Ntugamo and busenyi. In total over 100 LGBTQ have been trained and equipped with Cake baking skills and management skills.

 

The Project is making Substantial progress towards the achievement of the strategic development objectives, as evidenced by its results, benefits to target groups and impact to date, the project has trained 100 beneficiaries in Cake bakery and management.

We identified 2 skilled trainers in each of the five different districts from different cake bakeries who trained participants the basics and preparations to a successful cake baking and management, 100 LGBTQ identified and selected from five districts have been equipped with Knowledge and skills in cake bakery and management, We have improved house hold income for some participants. Only one of 100 participants who are so far interning at their respected local bakeries has so far been employed at a local bakery in bushenyi district to bake bridal cakes.

 

“I have been unemployed for the last two years, had it not been acquiring cake baking skills from the cake empowerment project of MRF, I would still be unemployed” says Benjamin

 

Challenges

 

The organization faced some challenges in the course of the three months of implementing the project.

Finances: Our initial budget was to cater for 100 LGBTQ community members but we noticed that there is need for training of new members.

Language: Most of our participants are illiterate or semi illiterate and they preferred or understood the local or mother tongue better – Runyakole /Rukiga. The facilitators had difficulty explaining certain baking vocabulary into the local language and some facilitators were not able to conduct the training in the local language.

Because of this some, the facilitators rose in costs as we had to identify or transport a bilingual facilitator.

Demand: There is still high demand from members to get trained and yet the organization had only budgeted for 100 participants, we preferred the small number because it’s easy to train and also monitor progress so as to evaluate the effectiveness of the training and that’s why we selected 20 participants from each of the five districts.

Literacy: With evidenced data about the rural LGBTQ people, some of the participants never knew how to read and write which nearly slowed down participations during the cake baking facilitation but later identified local Trainers who speak and used to our Ruynakole language.

As an LGBTQ community we go through a lot of struggle in a country that criminalizes same sex relations and actions. Punishes us and denies us our rights to live freely express ourselves freely and love those who we chose to. We are faced with challenges of being disowned by families , ending our education , losing jobs and we only have hope in empowering ourselves to become employers or self employed.

Mutesi Janet.

During a group work facilitation
During a group work facilitation
Feb 26, 2018

Cake Baking Training for LGBTQ in Western Uganda

Executive Director emphasizing on self reliance
Executive Director emphasizing on self reliance

Our Valued Donors!!!

 

Special Regards from

MBARARA RISE FOUNDATION – UGANDA (MRF)

WESTERN UGANDA- EAST AFRICA

 

CAKE BAKING SKILLS TRAINING FOR LGBTQ EMPOWERMENT

IN WESTERN UGANDA

 

Report on the training of 20 LGBTQ community members in

Bushenyi District February 5-6, 2018

 

 

Introduction and Background

Mbarara Rise Foundation (MRF) is a grassroots, community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organization based in Mbarara,western Uganda.Incorporated in Uganda in 2016, MRF isa registerednot-for-profit company limited by guarantee, bearing the registration number 80020000015131, MRF was formed in 2016 by a group of social activists and educators led by RaymondTwinamatsiko, who serves as MRF’s Executive Director. Experienced in the fields of development and social education, we have come together as MRF to give our services voluntarily, with the vision of a society that understands, appreciates and accepts diversity. MRF's mission is to foster a united voice for the rural, grassroots LGBTQ community in western Uganda, empowering and raising awareness on equal rights for all.

In 2016, MRF trained 49 young transgender women and men in cake baking and income generating activities, resulting in members gaining skills in commercial baking and decorations. The project supported MRF members to have real life experiences in starting businesses and also earning income for them and their families. Under this initial project the organization strengthened the social and economic capacity of the LGBTQ community to become financially independent and to overcome challenges of poverty and unemployment.

With the support of Global Giving and their Accelerator Program, from November 28 – December 31, 2017 MRF set out to raise $5,000 from 40 unique donors. This money was targeted to fund a program that would train 100 additional LGBTQ people in baking, bakery management and other means of self-employment in five districts in western Uganda. Donations poured in from all across the globe and in total MRF raised $5,323 from 72 donors (https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/cake-baking-for-lgbtq-empowerment-in-uganda/).This project will build skills in baking, bakery management and other means of self-employment for 100 LGBTQ people in western Uganda that have lost or been denied employment due to their perceived or real sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

Activity

As the first of five trainings, from February 5-6, 2018MRF carried out a two-day training in cake baking and bakery management in Bushenyi District for 20 LGBTQ participants, including5 lesbians, 9 gay men, 1 transgender man and 5 transgender women. MRF Executive Director Raymond Twinamatsiko and Programs Director Janet Mutesi organized the training with bakery trainers Anne Miriam and Robert Amanya. The training was held at Busiime Gardens, a local meetings and conference center.

 

Topics and activities carried out during the training included an introduction to cake baking, baking hygiene and baking management, among others. Trainees had a chance to engage in an open discussion where they shared business ideas as a way to be self-reliant.

 

Mbarara Rise Foundation’s Programs Director Janet Mutesi welcomed participants. MRF Executive Director Raymond Twinamatsiko gave opening remarks and a brief description of the cake baking project. Objectives of the training included:

  • Increase knowledge and skills in cake baking and bakery management
  • Improve household income
  • Provide life skills
  • Foster self-reliance
  • Increase job creation

An initial challenge in implementing the training was the fact participants primarily spoke the local language of Runyankole, which required the use of a translator between facilitators and participants. This slowed down the dialogue between the facilitators and most of the participants. Moreover, there were English terms that had no direct translation in Runyankole. Thus, the translator had to create learning terms with individuals who could understand English, who then provided translations to other participants. These strategies allowed for greater interaction and dialogue among participants, including the use of small facilitated groups. For future trainings, MRF will anticipate the language needs of participants, including the use of translation and small group work.

At the end of the first day, participants, facilitators and MRF met to evaluate the day’s activities. This allowed for feedback from the participants to the facilitators and MRF. The issues raised in these meeting were addressed during the next day’s session.

The participants appreciated the training methodologies, particularly the structured learning experiences. These included the use of participants’ own examples and the sharing of their own experiences, and the setting of key words to establish and reinforce concepts.

The cake baking and bakery management skills training were most successful as the participants were interested and passionate about them. The majority of participants rated the various aspects of the training very helpful: both 95% of the participants and 93% of the trainers rated the skills training very helpful.

Overall Comments – Based on attendance, quality of participants and evaluation feedback, the training achieved and exceeded its objectives.

 

“I have learnt that we are unemployed just because we do not have any certain skills in anything,” Shanie (not her real name) explains. “I have now learnt the way how to bake cakes and be self employed and this is going to change my personality, am going to start a small business with which ever money, Am going to save enough money and be self employed. In the past I never had any skills and unemployed Staying back at my home making me be idle. I feel now am empowered since I have skills and can be a happy Transwoman

 

Next Steps

All 20 participants will soon begin interning at a local bakery, and they are super excited to put their newly acquired skills to work. MRF is hopeful that 20-40% of the participants will find full-time employment at the bakery upon completing their internships.

As per our project, we are also busy planning 4 additional trainings for 80 more people. That is, one training for 20 people in each of the districts of Mbarara, Ibanda, Ntungamo and Rukungiri.

MRF is working to save our LGBTQ communities from causes like poor education, poverty, unemployment, gender-based violence, human rights violations, insecurity and lack of access to quality health care services. And all the credit goes to all of you. Thank you for supporting and empowering members of the LGBTQ community in rural Uganda! Your support and donations allow MRF to have a positive impact on the activities performed for the LGBTQ Community.

As part of our activities, we are engaging the economically disadvantaged and poor in rural areas, where LGBTQ people face multiple challenges to run their lives and access safe spaces and timely medical support. From our analyses the majority of LGBTQ people are unemployed and economically disfranchised, creating a desperate need for food, a place to live and money to pay bills. Some transgender people are forcefully chased out of their homes because they are easily identified.

With your help, MRF is sensitizing the LGBTQ community about the importance of learning job skills like cake baking, bakery management and entrepreneurship, as well as providing trainings. With these skills trainings, LGBTQ people are able to start businesses on their own, to be self-reliant, pay their bills and not be seen by society as waste products or mad persons as they always call us.

 

Janet Mutesi

participants during the skills training
participants during the skills training
Sharing Business Ideas
Sharing Business Ideas
 
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