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At Bwendel Diary
and Fabrication farm in Hoima, the duo Chris Byamukama, and Yudatha Agonzebwa,
both graduates of St. Simon Peter's Vocational Training Institute in Hoima, are busy
carrying out assigned tasks.
Bwendel, 23, grew up in Kyangwali seeing many of his seniors operate machines at a nearby printery. To him this was magic. This affected his craving to become a teacher.
“I always wanted to do something practical and sophisticated,” he says.
His dream turned into reality when he chanced upon a radio announcement that was mobilizing for the enrolment of students in vocational training in Hoima. “When I came here, I wanted to become a motor vehicle mechanic but the course did not seem so “hi-tech” so I settled for welding because of the opportunity presented by the construction boom in the town and availability of machinery at the training institute,” he affirms.
The story is not very different for Yudatha. The 21-year-old lady wanted to be either an Electrical engineer or a teacher. This decision became easier to make when the principal of St. Simon Peter's VTI Hoima, passionately gave a lecture on skilling at her local church after mass. “This motivational talk about ready employment particularly enticed me to quickly make a decision,” she says with a smile.
Out of over 40 students who were on an internship, four interns were retained for employment at Bwendel and Yudatha was the only lady.
The duo earn UGX 240,000 ($80) per month and Yudatha dedicatedly spends half the money to her young sister’s school fees. Chris is saving up to realise his dream of venturing into real estate (rentals) in the far future. He believes that rental space is easy to manage and he has the skill to do part of the work needed.
Yudatha and Chris said that their biggest challenge is that they work 7 days a week and have no time to run personal errands. They, however, believe that the chance and opportunity to gain employment immediately after school has given them the needed exposure in the world of work.