Vocational Training Institute at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Uganda  Project Image

Project Summary

In April 2011, RMF initiated a Vocational Training Program at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement after being presented by the refugee community with issues surrounding the lack of skills and vocational training for students graduating from the settlement high school. After researching which skills and programs might provide the quickest income earning opportunities for the students and the most economic investment requirements for RMF, and with the feedback from the community, we narrowed the programs down to two: Hairdressing/Beauty and Tailoring Training. With the generous support of World Children’s Fund, we renovated a disused building in the camp, purchased tailoring and hairdressing supplies, and funded the salaries of four vocational tutors.

This program is part of the economic component of RMF’s overall humanitarian vision, the ‘focus on the person as a whole’. The longer term vision for this vocational training center is to be one of several models for income generating opportunities for the populations we are supporting around the world so they eventually can be self-sufficient again.

The Vocational Centers are continuing to generate some income for the school by tailoring garments, i.e. uniforms for the nurses at RMF’s Panyadoli Health Center III, and by offering hairdressing services to the refugee population at the Kiryandongo Settlement and its surrounding communities.

There is enormous scope for expansion of this program and we are continually asked to add programs such as carpentry and car mechanics.

Project Background

Vocational Training Institute at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Uganda  Project Background Image

In April 2011, RMF initiated a Vocational Training Program at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement after being presented by the refugee community with issues surrounding the lack of skills and vocational training for students graduating from the settlement high school. After researching which skills and programs might provide the quickest income earning opportunities for the students and the most economic investment requirements for RMF, and with the feedback from the community, we narrowed the programs down to two: Hairdressing/Beauty and Tailoring Training. With the generous support of World Children’s Fund, we renovated a disused building in the camp, purchased tailoring and hairdressing supplies, and funded the salaries of four vocational tutors.

This program is part of the economic component of RMF’s overall humanitarian vision, the ‘focus on the person as a whole’. The longer term vision for this vocational training center is to be one of several models for income generating opportunities for the populations we are supporting around the world so they eventually can be self-sufficient again.

The Vocational Centers are continuing to generate some income for the school by tailoring garments, i.e. uniforms for the nurses at RMF’s Panyadoli Health Center III, and by offering hairdressing services to the refugee population at the Kiryandongo Settlement and its surrounding communities.

There is enormous scope for expansion of this program and we are continually asked to add programs such as carpentry and car mechanics.

Results to Date

Vocational Training Institute at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Uganda  Project Results Image

RMF completed its third year of vocational training classes in 2013, covering both theory and hands-on techniques for hairdressing and tailoring. Our Vocational Training Institute has had three graduation ceremonies since 2011 and graduated a total of 110 students.

The goal of RMF’s Tailoring Shop Program is to set up sustainable, market-based business opportunities for the refugee and IDP graduates of our Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) Tailoring Program. Supported by Frost Family Foundation, we started this program in 2013 with the sponsorship of 10 RMF Tailoring Training graduates to set up their own Tailoring Shop businesses with the purchase of sewing machine, fabrics, threads and other equipment. In order to be approved for the program tailoring students are expected to give 10% of their profits back to PVTI. RMF purchased a sewing machine, enough fabric for several months, threads, needles, and enough tables and chairs to set up new shop locations for each of the 10 selected. RMF also paid the monthly shop space rent for one year to help the tailors become profitable and save enough money to continue their businesses in a sustainable fashion without further donations. After a 3-month grace period, they were also expected to give 10% of their profits back to PVTI; these funds were to be used to procure supplies for the next round of vocational training students. The official launch of the second phase of our Tailor Shop Program happened in June, and by the start of July, early Q3, the program had officially launched with all 10 tailors set up for business. Some of the tailors are located in the main Bweyale Market Center where the populations of the neighboring districts of Lira, Gulu, Masindi, Luwero, and Nakasongo are coming to shop on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Other tailors have located along the neighboring highway where they have negotiated good rates with landlords. By the end of 2013, in the approximately 6 months that had passed since the tailors had received the start-up kit and shop space from RMF to start their businesses in the country, all 10 tailors were doing well and were making some kind of a profit.

Additional Information

RMF is aligned with governments and international agencies in 14 countries around the world. We partner with and empower local populations, co-creating sustainable solutions for community-specific obstacles. RMF is also an official “implementing partner “ for the UNHCR within the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement

We believe that real medicine focuses on the whole person, reaching beyond medical and physical care to include economic, social, and emotional support.

We listen, learn, and support the long-term whole health of communities most in need and commit to projects where we will make lasting change. We ignite the potential of the people we are supporting — turning aid into empowerment and victims into leaders.

We are at our best when we act as co-creators for a better world.

We are Liberating Human Potential.

Nature of Desired Relationship

As we focus on training and developing local workforces and leadership teams in order to build sustainable programs, we generally do not use on-site volunteers in our programs. However, we do have volunteers help in other phases of our work such as fundraising, networking, and marketing. While some of our donors are one-time donors, we generally build relationships that are ongoing and allow for donor involvement in the development of programs and projects.