By Juliet Lukwago
Fifty-five girls former sex workers have been awarded certificates in IT, business and economic skills, financial literacy, photo editing and entrepreneurship after a six months training.
According to project coordinator of the Germany funded Somero Uganda institute, Ruth Ssanyu, most of the graduates were, prior to the training, involved in sexual activities in different places in Bwaise and Kawempe.
The General Secretary of National child labour, Martin Kiiza who was the chief guest, chats with some of graduates. Photo/Juliet Lukwago
She said that in 2009 a group of students from Germany and Uganda started Somero education for young people which registered with a vision to give 13-25 aged youth meaningful education and training needed for self-sufficient life to act as agents of social change.
Ssanyu said that the target was to empower vulnerable girls and young women in commercial sexual activities; those affected by drugs, trafficked and young mothers.
She added that their mission is to offer specific education programs, life skills development and health promotion among slum girls and young women.
The national coordinator of “Somero-Uganda,” Godfrey Ssimbwa Nsubuga, said that since the school started they have trained 3,000 students, some creating their own businesses, others working in different offices and organizations in secretarial departments.
He said noted that some of girls get pregnant and are forced out of school while others quit after their parents get to know that they are being trained.
“Our objective is to increase enrolment and completion of secondary and university education and mobilise an integrated community based approach in promotion of female education,” he said.
He said that these girls and young women were given full scholarships.
The General Secretary of National child labour, Martin Kiiza who was the chief guest, cautioned parents not to produce children they can’t not look after.
Kiiza though children have obligation to do home chores they also have to enjoy their rights like education and play which some parents deny them.
He called upon parents to give their children a chance of education right through nursery schools to higher institutions of learning adding that a Child policy was in the offing.