We provide grants to pay for specially selected women to attend training courses in either Tailoring or Catering, enabling them to become more financially independent.
Some examples of the kinds of women we have been able to help:
In 2003, Alice Tshume’s husband died of Aids. She was forced to send her two sons to stay with relatives many miles from her home so that they could go to school.
Her fifteen-year-old daughter however had to stay behind and help Alice in the fields. They grew food not to sell but purely to survive.
Alice had no training to help her get a job, and so she couldn’t afford the £300 needed to pay for a course which would provide her with skills that could open doors to a new life.
Alice was one of the first women WOMA sent on a tailoring course. She successfully completed the course, and now has her own business making dresses, tablecloths and cushion covers for a range of customers.
She has also been commissioned by the charity Action Aid to carry out training courses for them, and is mentoring other women who were in the same situation as herself.
Her life has dramatically improved in the last two years; she now makes enough money to send all her children to school, and to finish building her own house.
Martha and Flavia
Both these women lost their husbands to HIV/Aids, and were struggling to support their families.
WOMA paid for their training course at the TEXDA Textile Agency in Kampala where they learnt how to dye fabrics, design and make clothes. They were also taught basic business management.
Martha lives in the west of Uganda and travelled five hours on a bus to get to our recent workshop (March 2015). She used to make this journey every week when she was on her course. She would leave home very early on Monday morning and return home Wednesday night. Her family looked after her children for her whilst she was training. She was another of our first intake of trainees.
Her eldest daughter has just graduated from Kyambogo university with a degree in psychology, her son is doing an internship in law and her youngest daughter will soon be finishing school and hopes to get a place at the Makerere University in Kampala this year to study economics. She has been able to pay for her children’s education through her tailoring business.
Flavia lives in Kampala and has got a number of contracts already for curtains and clothing, and hopes soon to be able to set up a women’s co-operative with Alice.
Barbara is a 30 year old who has a three year old girl called Katrina. Her husband left her in June 2006, and so she is now living with her parents in Kampala .
She completed the tailoring course in April 2007, and has collected a WOMA sewing machine to practice on while she establishes herself in business.
She hopes that in six months time she’ll be able to buy the machine and be self-sufficient, but she says that there’s still a lot of work to do – to secure new customers and find markets to sell her products.
Nora is 29 years old. She has a 7 year old daughter called Joanitar. She lives in the capital Kampala , and has been on her own since her husband died in 2002. She attended the WOMA-sponsored textile training course three days a week for three months.
She only had a rudimentary understanding of how to use a sewing machine, but learnt a lot from the course, and has just collected one of WOMA’s sewing machines which will be lent to her for the next six months until she is established in business. She will then have the option to purchase the machine for half the original price, or return it so that another trainee can benefit from it.
Edith is thirty years old. She lives in Kampala with her two children – girls aged 2 ½ and 8. In April 2006 her husband died, so she signed up for a WOMA-sponsored textile training course, which she completed in November 2006.
She now works for a firm which makes tents. She hopes to branch out on her own eventually.