Changemaker: Joseph Munyambanza
Country of Implementation: Uganda
In a community of more than 20,000 refugees, roughly 50% are women and many of whom are below the age of 25. The majority of these women (including hundreds of young girls who are victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault) have not had access to education to learn skills to sustain themselves or their families.
Skills For Life is comprised of four main activities carried out by women of the Anti-Violence Young Women Group (AVYWM) with the aim of unlocking the potential in young women who never had the opportunity to go to school.
1. Tailoring: young women are trained to make clothes of all kinds, but most especially traditional clothes to sell in the community and to tourists as a means to exchange culture and to interact with outside communities.
2. Small holder farming, the main source of food and income in many in Uganda - women are trained in farming methods and supported to carryout farming projects to as a means to feed themselves get income from selling their surplus.
3. Business - to ensure that these young women are able to thrive and have diverse sources of income, they are trained in small scale business for the community. To strengthen the learning, they are provided with micro-loans after designing their community based projects as well as support and mentorship to manage it.
4. Leading seminars - to develop leadership ability, communication skills and build networks, participants are encouraged to share their skills with the community through leading seminars. In the cultural context of Uganda, having a certain skill increases your social standing and the hope is that, though hosting sessions, the stigma around the violence these girls have experienced is lessened. This is opportunity is offered to each young girl in the programme.