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Support to the implementation of skilling uganda strategy

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Deaf teenager in Uganda tailors her way into becoming a business owner

  • Deaf teenager in Uganda tailors her way into becoming a business owner

As a deaf and dumb teenager in a hearing world, Masika Bridget from Kasese, who is now 18 years old, enrolled in a program in tailoring and garment making in February 2022. Bridget enrolled for a 6 months course with the Kasese District Union of Persons with Disabilities (KADUPEDI), a project funded by Enabel through the Skills Development Fund (SDF).

In the African society, particularly in Uganda, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) are often considered insignificant and little or no care is shown towards these people, due to lack of education or skills.  However, KADUPEDI decided to demystify this general outlook by providing a platform for disabled youth in Kasese and Bunyangabu districts to empower themselves. ‘Most of the disabled youth resorted to begging on the urban streets as a means for survival. Therefore as KADUPEDI, we decided to improve the standards of living of PWDs in the community through skills development,’ said Joshua Migyenyi, the Chairperson of KADUPEDI.

In a country grappling with youth unemployment due to lack of quality skills, Bridget is or rather was one of the statistics in this category. However, with the grant given to KADUPEDI by Enabel, Bridget is starting to realise her dream of becoming a business owner. ‘Despite my hearing inability, I hope to one day start my own business and employ people like me,’ said a cheerful Bridget, as she operates her sewing machine.

With the help of Biira Racheal, the sign language expert and interpreter, Bridget explains that she enrolled for this training due to a lack of tuition which forced her to drop out of school. Therefore, instead of sitting at home redundant, Bridget decided to respond to a radio advert calling for disabled youth to join skills development training. Bridget observed that this would be her chance to make herself useful and self-reliant.

Although Bridget has just started this training, she says that when she starts making money, she will advise more youth like her about the goodness of skills training and encourage them to join such programs.

The Support to Skilling Uganda programme has trained over 12,656 youth, women and girls in formal and informal courses such as Bakery, Soap making, Tailoring and so on, under the Skills Development Fund (SDF). The SSU programme is jointly funded and implemented by Ireland, Belgium and the European Union and operates in the regions of Karamoja, Albertine-Rwenzori and Northern Uganda, respectively. 

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