WOMA GRADUATES – February 2016
On the course at the Namasuba College of Commerce, Veronica along with the other WOMA graduates learned how to sew a variety of garments including – gowns, shorts, skirts, pinafores, baby dresses and shorts together with skirts and school uniforms.
In addition to this she attended entrepreneurship lessons where she was taught how to set up her own business and manage customers. Now that she has finished her course she would like to design and make her own clothes.
She plans to rent a workshop with Carol and Nusura and together they will be looking for contracts for sewing school uniforms.
After finishing her course Nusura approached a neighbour to ask if she could use her machine to complete making her Gomesi, the traditional wear of the Buganda tribe in Uganda. She is now planning to rent her own machine and will be looking for work as an assistant tailor.
Carol is looking forward to renting a machine and putting into practice the skills she’s learned on her course.
Joyce has already been successful in getting a tailoring job in the trading centre of her village in Eastern Uganda and has already started saving. She is very excited about the future and says her life will never be the same.
Barbara Nambuya is a WOMA trainee who graduated in 2007. She is a widow and had lost her job and had no means of supporting herself and her daughter Katrina when she heard about WOMA. She applied for the tailoring course and over the past few years she has gradually grown her business and now shares a workshop with another woman and rents a stall in the market in Kampala a couple of days a week to sell her garments.
Barbara started out making one dress at a time because that was all she could afford and gradually she got enough money to buy more material and to increase her stock. Her daughter is now 10 and Barbara is able to pay her school fees out of the money that she earns through her tailoring business. Katrina is doing really well at school and hopes one day to be a doctor.
Alice is one of our earliest graduates and over the past ten years she has played an important role in mentoring other trainees. At WOMA’s 10th anniversary workshop in March 2015, Alice was one of the speakers and shared her experiences with the other women, not just about building up a tailoring business but also about living with HIV.
At the workshop last week Alice proudly told us that her daughter, (who when we first met her had been taken out of school to help her mother in the fields) has not only been able to return to school to finish her education but she has recently graduated from university.
Jackie Arinaitwe is one of WOMA’s first graduates from 2005. She now has a very successful business. She not only sells her clothes within Uganda but is exporting to Kenya as well. She also takes in two trainees from the local university to teach them the skills that she has learnt through her WOMA course. She would like to take in more but there isn’t enough room in her current workshop. She has ambitions to open her own tailoring school one day.
Jackie started by getting a loan from a family member to buy three pieces of material. She made her first dress and wore it to church and soon got her first order. The quality of the dress and the design was so good that word soon spread and she got more orders. She makes the uniforms for her church choir and it was this that lead her to making clothes for a visiting choir from Mombasa who liked her clothes so much they placed an order with her. She puts the garments on a bus to a Mombasa and someone picks them up the other end. She has three children and two other dependants, nephews who have lost their parents to Aids. She is supporting them all and putting them through school. Her eldest child has just graduated from university.
Jennifer and Christine
Jennifer and Christine did the WOMA training course together a few years ago. They now work together with another friend in their house making clothes, soft furnishings and bags.
Christine has one daughter, Joan pictured below. Joan has just done her O’levels and wants to carry on in school and do her A’levels.
Jennifer has three daughters, two have finished school and just completed courses in hairdressing/make-up. They are working as hairdressers but putting money away each month as they would like to go to journalism college. Jennifer’s youngest daughter is still in school and she hopes to be able to support her as well through her tailoring business. Apart from the tailoring skills that she learned on the course Jennifer says that one of the most important things that she learned was how to save and budget for the future. Since attending the course she has opened a bank account something that she wouldn’t have thought of doing a few years ago.
Dorothy Achieng Ngeso
Dorothy Achieng Ngeso trained at the Buru Buru School of Fine Arts in Nairobi where she learned tailoring and design. She now runs her own business in the NE of Nairobi. She has a workshop which she shares with a friend where she makes and sells her garments. As well as dresses, she makes school uniforms and is now branching out into soft furnishings and household accessories.
Dorothy says that life has changed dramatically since she went on the training course. She can now afford food for her family, pay her rent and pay the school fees for her two children. She would like to be able to expand her business and keep a larger stock of materials and to be able to employ other people to work with her so that she can help others.