The State House Comptroller, Jane Barekye has advised the beneficiaries of the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl/Boy Child (PISGBC) project that the skills they have acquired through training will help to transform their lives if they put them into proper use.
She noted that success in life doesn’t only depend on university degrees but also skills.
Barekye made the assertion on Wednesday 20th September 2023 as trainees at Luzira Skilling Center showcased the products they have been able to make during their six months of free skills training. The PISGBC project has nine (9) skilling centres spread across the five (5) divisions of Kampala city.
The State House Comptroller explained that the skills which the trainees have received are tangible equipment which can help them to become productive citizens.
Barekye further revealed that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was prompted to initiate the project in order to support the less educated and underprivileged youth in Kampala to acquire skills which in turn would help them overcome the unemployment challenge.
As a token of appreciation to the instructors at the centre for executing the job well, Barekye pledged to increase their salaries.
The Commissioner General of Uganda Prisons Service, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija lauded President Museveni for initiating the skilling program which he said has transformed the lives of thousands of underprivileged youth in Kampala.
“When I was allowing this program to use this place (Luzira Prisons premises), I didn’t know that it would come out like this. I’m so humbled, I’m going to instruct my Commissioner-Industries, Rehabilitation and Planning to come and visit this place and see the progress,” Dr Byabashaija said.
He also promised to continue giving support to the centre in terms of space and utilities.
On the other hand, Dr. Byabashaija cautioned the trainees to desist from committing crimes if they don’t want to be “guests” of prisons.
“It’s not easy being an inmate here. The other day we had our Minister as a guest,” he added.
Dr. Faith Katana Mirembe, the Special Presidential Assistant for Education and skilling and head of the project, assured the State House Comptroller that each project coin is being put to good use to ensure that the goal of the initiative is realised.
She also advised the trainees to have faith in God and desist from immoral behaviours that could divert them from being righteous citizens.
Athieno Joyce and Kamulegeya Viola, the administrators of Luzira Skilling Center said they recruited 793 trainees, comprising 93 boys and 700 girls. They further told the audience that the beneficiaries were trained for six months in seven vocational disciplines which include; Bakery, Hairdressing, Tailoring, Knitting, Embroidery, Shoe making and Weaving.
One of the beneficiaries, Lowino Kevin, 27, informed the audience that she was raised by a poor single mother. She disclosed that in 2014 she dropped out of school and two years later she got married and delivered three kids including twins.
Lowino further stated that her husband abandoned her and she started struggling to raise the kids alone.
She narrated that life was a mess until she joined the skilling program.
At present, Lowino who undertook the embroidery course is able to design clothes to earn a living.
The event was also attended by Kampala Resident City Commissioner Aminah Lukanga, musician Bebe Cool, and Events organizer Balaam Barugahara, among others.