Parents Meeting

Parents Meeting

We today had a meeting with all the parents and staff in the newly renovated Livelihoods room that we will use as our Salon. This is something we do regularly throughout the year as we are a Community Based Organisation (CBO), which means our beneficiaries are members of the charity in Uganda. Coincidentally, the Council representative in charge of re-registering our CBO licence (who we had been expecting for the past three months) turned up during the meeting. 

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Furbishing the Salon

Furbishing the Salon

We are excited to be installing our latest purchases for the Salon in the Livelihoods centre. We are excited for being able to better equip more women towards living a self sufficient life. Massive thanks to all those who donated towards seeing the salon and equipment, including all those who contributed through coming to our 5th Birthday in 2016. 

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Tailoring Graduates Meeting

Today Francis (Uganda Director), Maureen (Livelihoods Officer) and Daisy (Education Officer) have been meeting with the graduating tailoring class to continue working through the transition from vocational training to entrepreneurs. Hope for Life Katanga is a CBO (Community Based Organisation) in Uganda, which means our beneficiaries are also members of the organisation. Their input both positive and negative is valued greatly in how we construct our programs going forward.     

The Complexity of Livelihoods

The Complexity of Livelihoods

At the start of this school year in Kampala, Hope for Life was able to provide formal schooling for 42 children and young adults from Katanga. This was the most we have ever sent and this is amazing! It is also, currently, almost completely useless. That’s right, I said, and meant, useless. I chose that word carefully though because I certainly do not mean to say pointless.

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Today's Tailoring Pictures

Today's trainee tailors working hard in the Hope for Life vocational training centre.  

#MatchitMay starts today!

Today is the start of a month where UK residents will be voting for their next Prime Minister, One Direction will be getting ready for their European tour and Will and Kate will be hoping that their newborn child (Girl, Charlotte, 7lb 6oz) will arrive at some point in May, earlier the better.

May is also the month where many will be Matching money spent & donating it to the families we support in Uganda.

Last years raised money was used to provide 60 individuals in Uganda with training and loans to help develop their businesses, all taking the next steps towards living a self-sufficient life. 

Why don't you join us? Watch the video below, choose an item to Match and perhaps even get your kids and friends involved.

Girls attending Vocational School

These two girls are now attending a vocational school in Kampala thanks to a couple of recent sponsors.

For one reason or another, both these girls have not been able to get the education that many of their peers have received. They have fallen behind but desperately want to receive an education to better their chances of earning a living, providing a sustainable income for themselves and their families.

Because of their age (15 & 18), they have opted to go to a vocational school, rather than sitting classes with pupils much younger than themselves. They both have chosen hairdressing as the skill they will focus on during the two years their course last for, after that they will be prepared to either start up a small business of their own or join a number of businesses around Kampala.

We are so thankful for your support and can't wait to see how these girls develop now that they are back in education.

Hairdressing

In November 2014, we had a group meeting with the parents (like we often do) and discussed how things were going and if they wanted to see anything new happen within the projects that we run.

The overwhelming reply was that they want to be trained in hairdressing. 

Hairdressing is a valuable skill that you can take anywhere in Uganda with minimal resources. Many Ugandan women wear synthetic hair pieces, which get changed perhaps every 6 weeks. I hardly recognise my Ugandan friends from one day to the next because they can often change their hairstyles dramatically, 3 times within a week.

As this was a skill that many wanted to learn, we listened and started training in hairdressing in February 2015.  

Day 6 - Dress a Girl (& Boy) Around the World

We had such a good day handing out lots of dresses and shorts made for us by many people all over the UK. We received many dresses from the charity, Dress a Girl Around the World UKThe Blue Room, an art and craft shop in Nailsea (near Bristol), and many individuals who are passionate about both tailoring and seeing smiles on the faces of those less fortunate around the world. 

A couple of pictures I particularly like are, the girl holding tight her new dress and the class praying, being thankful for those who have made and given each of them a new dress or pair of shorts.

We really want to say thank you to all those who have contributed and made dresses. We have given out more dresses and shorts to those in Katanga but we aren't able to share them because of child protection reasons. We are saving some of the clothes to give out over Christmas to many more children throughout the community. 


Below are just a few pictures of the women in our Livelihoods program, who share a passion for tailoring.

If you would like to find out how you can support these families in Katanga Slum, Uganda further then fill out the form below and we will be sure to get back to you with some ideas. 

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Prepare for crafts

We have bought home lots of hand-made crafts to sell back here in the UK. I had the joy of spending time with these amazing people over the past month, trying out making a bag for myself, understanding how much work and effort goes into making them.

We will be selling them at the Nailsea Tithe Barn Christmas Fair on the 29th of November and at the Tesco Nailsea Christmas Fair on the 13th of December. If you are local then come find us.

Day 4 - Staff training

Today was a day of staff training, catching the team up on our broader vision and working out how we can practically fulfill that vision from day to day in Uganda.

Of course we had lots of food and laughter, getting to know each other a little bit more, especially as Megan and I had only met 4 of our staff members for the first time this visit.

It is investing in days like these that a team can really unify as we aim to be a solid support for the families we work with in Uganda.

Fixing my Jacket

Both elbows on one of my favourite jackets has worn out. I have had this jacket for many years now, so it is no surprise it is wearing thin. I would like it to last a few more years though. 

I took it into our Livelihoods building one day to see if any of the women we work with wanted to fix me some elbow pads. They were all scared to work on my jacket but this lady was up for the challenge, putting her newly acquired skills to her first paid, tailoring job.  

I am so amazed to sit in class with these women, seeing their determination to succeed in a new skill.

Day 2 - Play, Rain & Soap

It was so fun to meet the new children in our catch up classes. There are only a couple remaining from when we were here last because all the previous children have been sponsored into a school in the city. The sponsored children have a inset day tomorrow so we will get to see them all for the first time this visit. Because they are normally at school during the day, we don't get to see them easily, just evenings and weekends. 

We had fun playing and getting to know the children; fun and laughter translate in any language. 

Megan and I are here to do some 'proper' work too, reviewing our programs efficiency. Megan is reviewing the success of the loans we have given out to different individuals. Whilst we are looking at the papers, one of the mums has come into the Livelihoods building to make liquid soap to sell. Maureen, the Livelihoods Officer, talked us through how to make the soap... a lot is involved; mix the right ingredients and quantities together before mixing the liquid every few hours for 24 hours, you can then add the scent you want, bottle it up and it is then ready to sell.

We were just about to leave the slum, when the famous Ugandan rain began to pour.