With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Makerere University School of Public Health–ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) is implementing the Agency for Self-Reliance Project activities in Mayuge and Lamwo Districts in Uganda. Two projects are being implemented in Mayuge District including; Gema Kumuino Asome Twezimbe Project (GEKAT) and Mama Eyetengereire Mukusomesa Abaanabe (MEMA) projects. Two additional projects are being implemented in Lamwo District and these include; Palabek Sacco for Skills Enhancement for Sustainable Livelihood and Bed Ki Woro Youth Group: Bakery Skills for Employment. After a 6 months period of implementation on January 25th 2022, part of the RAN team visited the project implementation sites for monitoring and support supervision. We must attest to the fact that these projects are progressing very well. “Thank you, USAID, for funding efforts to realize self-reliance in Uganda, we are committed to working with you leaving no one behind to execute project activities in Uganda and beyond” noted Prof. William Bazeyo, RAN Chief of Party.
A Highlight of Projects being implemented in Mayuge District
Two projects are being implemented in Mayuge District in Uganda and these include; GEKAT and MEMA projects.
The GEKAT project: This is a project aimed at skilling the youth and children in Mitimito primary school in Mayuge district and empowering mothers on how to raise and save money to be able to provide school fees and other needs for the children.
This project also empowers mothers through skilling in stitching and making hand-made clothes using needles and threads. The project has three peer support groups with 167 children and youth enrolled. Their products include; re-usable pads, papyrus mats, and vegetable planting. One of the project beneficiaries, a pupil from Mitimito Primary School said “We use these pads when we get our periods”.
Other project products are being sold by the children and youth. They save the money they earn and later use it to buy scholastic materials and uniforms. These activities are fun for the children and help improve their retention in school, one of the challenges earlier being faced in the community.
The MEMA project
The project empowers mothers with entrepreneurial skills and saving to support their children in raising money for scholastic materials. The project has empowered 49 mothers with different skills including tailoring and making books from reams of paper.
This group has also obtained loans as start-up capital for different projects from which they are able to earn more money and save with the Sacco. The project is currently enrolling the second cohort of mothers for the skilling course. The mother with the biggest saving currently has Uganda Shillings. 110,000 only and the lowest has Uganda Shillings. 45,000 only.
A Highlight of Projects being implemented in Lamwo District
The Bed Ki Woro project
The Bed Ki Woro project aimed at training 140 youth in baking skills as a way of contributing to efforts towards job creation for the youth. The team embarked on implementation of its project activities and has onboarded a fellow youth expert to train project beneficiaries in bakery. This team is also producing bakery products including cakes, shortcakes, cookies and bread for the communities around them. These products are being sold at relatively cheaper prices though not compromising project operation processes.
The Palabek Sacco for Skills Enhancement for Sustainable Livelihood
On the other hand, the team operating the Palabek Sacco for Skills Enhancement for Sustainable Livelihood aimed at training 65 youths in entrepreneurship and empowering them to save money which could later be channeled to funding the start up of several ventures. For publicity and visibility purposes, this team designed, developed and erected a project signpost. This team has mobilized 65 youth; including 11hair dressers, 24 youth trained in catering and hotel management, and 30 youth mechanics of motorcycles, generators, and other simple machines, and held a 5-days long workshop.
It was exciting to learn that this project team had held a radio talk show on November 18, 2021. This was an opportunity for the team to sensitize youth on skills enhancement while highlighting required skills for success of started ventures. They also used this opportunity to further create awareness of the duration of the project. The project team is working towards scaling up the Palabek Sacco project in other sub-counties and increasing the number of skills being targeted.