Sustain for Life funded the first year of a pilot project originally devised by Plan UK to provide young girls engaged in commercial sex work with the skills to find alternative means to support themselves. The project targeted female sex workers between the ages of 13 and 25 years. Major activities included forming development clubs, training club members in vocational, entrepreneurial, livelihood and effective parenting skills, introducing and strengthening business areas in the target clubs and identifying and referring children to paediatric health centres.
The girls who took part in the project were equipped with skills for alternative economic support for themselves and their dependants. The girls were also provided with start up capital necessary to set up their own businesses. Plan UK is committed to funding this important project going forward.
Sustain for Life has been instrumental in establishing Margaret Vocational Tailoring Centre (MVTC), a community based organisation operating in Palabek in northern Uganda to train girls in tailoring skills as a sustainable way to fight poverty, restore hope and improve livelihoods.
MVTC supports a number of disadvantaged girls who have suffered as a result of the prolonged war in northern Uganda. The funding we provided allowed MVTC to purchase sewing machines and materials and paid for training, technical expertise and other essential support to give these impoverished and vulnerable girls an opportunity to become full members of society and their communities. At the end of a year’s training the girls were given the sewing machines they had been using to give them the basic means to become self-reliant in the future.
MVTC’s first group of students graduated in July 2009 following a very successful year. The girls gained confidence and self-esteem while developing the skills to enable them to pursue a self-sustainable life with ongoing support from MVTC as long as they need it. They now have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities.
Sustain for Life supported Mummy’s Crib Vocational Training Centre to respond to the plight of disadvantaged girls by giving them access to employable life skills, training and business education. The project helped young women realise their potential and gave them the vocational skills for a self-sustainable future. Our funding provided courses in tailoring and embroidery and allowed the centre to purchase sewing machines and materials to give these impoverished and vulnerable youths an opportunity to help themselves and become full members of society and their communities.
The Bwindi Advanced Market Gardeners’ Association (AMAGARA means ‘life’ in the local Rukiga language) was established with the support ofSustain for Life in 2006 to create opportunities for local farmers to produce foods to supply the tourism industry. The concept of AMAGARA was to create a farmers’ association where local subsistence farmers could be trained to grow a variety of good quality produce which would be bulked, graded and marketed directly to the tour camps through the association, thus ensuring that the revenue it achieved came straight back into the local community.
AMAGARA has shown dramatic progress and, as of April 2008, boasted over 100 member households who now benefit directly from supplying vegetables and other products to every tour camp at Bwindi. It has trained several hundred members and other local people in land management and horticultural techniques and it now employs three full time staff and numerous casual workers.
The AMAGARA project encapsultaes Sustain for Life’s aim of helping people to help themselves. It is flourishing and is now a self-funding concern. We have been pleased to support AMAGARA and are now delighted that it can run on its own – the local committee and all those involved can rightly be proud of what they have achieved.
Sustain for Life purchased and donated a quantity of large capacity washing machines and driers to St Joseph’s Hospital, a private not-for-profit hospital located at Kitgum in northern Uganda. The laundry facilities have provided an instant improvement to existing services and quality of care at the hospital.
St Joseph Hospital is a referral hospital for the Kitgum district and part of the Pader district, including southern Sudan. Originally established in 1943 as an aid post under a mango tree, the hospital has grown over the years and now has a capacity of 350 beds. About 300 to 400 patients are seen daily in the outpatients department with approximately 50 to 60 of those having to be admitted to the wards. This is a relatively large establishment and while it receives some government funding directly related to patient treatment and drugs, it is still very reliant on external donations both in cash and in kind to assist with other essential areas of hospital activity.