Most of the girls and boys that live in the slums have failed to complete formal education because of one or many reasons. Many drop out because of lack of school fees, teenage pregnancies, lack of study materials but also it is a common practice for parents to give priority to boys over girls, sending off their daughters into early marriages. YSU decided to equip these youth with skills that can help them start up some businesses for sustainable living and reduced inequalities.
Within this project, the girls and boys are taught basic tailoring skills for a period of 6 months. They learn machine work, pattern drafting and cutting, fashion illustrations and practical sewing. After the 6 months, they are attached to a clothes company for internship after which they are awarded a certificate. We have so far put out 600 graduates and this is our 8th intake. With this skill, the student is able to earn money even at the veranda of their house.
Hair dressing and cosmetology project
The program runs for 6 months as well with the students leaning both hair dressing skills like weaving, styling and plaiting, and cosmetology. The students in this program also do an internship after the 6 months, and are awarded a certificate. With this skill, the student already has job awaiting them in the mushrooming hair parlors and they still are able to start up their own mobile salon at the convenience of their clients
The Beads Project
The Beads Project is a group of 50 women between the ages of 15-25, living in the Acholi Quarter slum of Kampala, who have come together to make beads and crafts. This project provides a vital source of income for these at-risk women. It often covers their school fees in addition to helping to provide for themselves and their families. Their colorful bracelets and necklaces are sold in markets throughout the city. This project does more than provide an income; it is also a place for these girls and women to develop friendships and gain guidance and support from the group. The Acholi Quarter is a slum in Kampala formed mostly of people from the Acholi tribe who were forced to flee northern Uganda during the fighting that took place in the early 2000’s. Many people in the Acholi Quarter work in a local stone quarry, where men haul rock and women break it into pieces. Young, uneducated women in the slums have very few choices: work in the quarry, marry young, or work in the sex trade. The Beads Project was started in 2012 to give the young women in the Acholi Quarter independence and a chance to complete their education, while earning a steady and secure income. Through the project, the women also learn about women’s health issues, and gain friendship and support from each other.