“Domestic Violence Frustrating Government Efforts Of Skilling The Youth,” Says Dr. Katana

The Special Presidential Assistant on Education and Skilling who also serves as the Head of the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl/ Boy Child (PISGBC), Dr. Faith Katana Mirembe has urged the Uganda Police Force to find a solution to Domestic Violence that is threatening to frustrate government’s well thought out program of skilling the youth. 

“Police, I would like to know what action you are going to take in-order to end Domestic Violence,” she demanded.

Dr. Katana made the call on Monday 11th September 2023 while witnessing a colorful ceremony where girls and boys of Wandegeya Skilling Center showcased products they have been making from the skills acquired during their six (6) months training.

20-PISGB Wandegeya show case their work Leather products students show case their skills at the Presidential Initiative on skilling the Girl/Boy Child (PISG/B) Wandegeya branch in Kampala on 11th September 2023. Photo by PPU/ Tony Rujuta.

The students who are about to sit their final exams leading to the award of the recognized certificates from the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) under the Ministry of Education and Sports have been receiving free training in the areas of tailoring, weaving, hairdressing, shoemaking, embroidery as well as knitting.

Wandegeya Skilling Center was the first to be launched by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2017 by enrolling only girls but boys were later incorporated into the program in 2019. 

Dr. Katana said some husbands and parents harass, beat or even expel from their homes spouses or daughters who seek to acquire knowledge from the skilling centers thus threatening the program. 

Presidential Initiative on skilling the Girl/Boy Child (PISG/B) embroidery class students show the skills they have acquired at the PISG/B Wandegeya branch in Kampala on 11th September 2023. Photo by PPU/ Tony Rujuta.

Dr. Katana who echoed the appeal by President Museveni to promote value addition to the local products, announced that there is a plan to construct an Industry for skilling and once completed all students will be absorbed.

She emphasized the importance of value addition saying that it is where money and employment can be found.

She noted that the trainees who are soon to be passed out after their examination have undergone a process of value addition themselves and are crucial in the transformation process of the country than many of those with degrees from higher institutions of learning because skilling is a hands-on exercise.

The Presidential Initiative on skilling the Girl/Boy Child (PISG/B) Wandegeya Administrator Constance Kabembabazi making her remarks to the guests during a function as students of the PISG/B show case their work at the PISG/B Wandegeya branch in Kampala on 11th September 2023. Photo by PPU/ Tony Rujuta.

She thanked the instructors of Wandegeya Skills Center for the job well-done adding that the project was not only for skilling but also for mindset change among the youth.

The objectives of the project are among others to empower the ghetto and less-privileged urban youth with skills for self-reliance and to promote productivity among them as well as to curb criminality.

In response to the issue of domestic violence, the Wandegeya Division Police Commander, SP Hassan Hiwumbire noted that this vice is on an increase not only in Uganda but worldwide. He however advised that any complaint of the same nature can be raised at the desk handling such cases at Wandegeya Police Station and pledged to take immediate action.

DPC Wandegeya SP Hassan Hiwumbire making his remarks to the guests during a function as students of the PISG/B show case their work at the PISG/B Wandegeya branch in Kampala on 11th September 2023. Photo by PPU/ Tony Rujuta.

“Police office is open to complaints regarding domestic violence,” he said. 

SP Hassan also cautioned the public to be vigilant following terror attack threats. He assured the public that security agencies are however on top of the situation. 

He further hailed the skilling project that he said has now reduced incidents of criminality among the community in his area of jurisdiction.

“These kids used to disturb us a lot. Thanks to President Museveni for his vision to reform them through skilling,” he said.

The Kampala Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Ms. Amina Lukanga urged parents to enroll their children in any of the nine (9) skilling centers located in the five (5) divisions of Kampala as the training is offered free of charge. The divisions include Rubaga, Nakawa, Makindye, Kawempe and Kampala Central.

She added that the project does not discriminate when it comes to Education levels since even University graduates can enroll and acquire skills of their choice. Ms. Lukanga also called on LC 1 leaders to ensure that the right people from their areas benefit from this project.

Ms. Lukanga commended President Museveni for the project that benefits thousands of the youth around Kampala who will not only be self-employed but will also contribute to the development of the country and ultimately join the money economy. 

Two students; Naluwoza Jane and Kintu Shaban gave their testimonies that moved the gathering to tears because of the hopeless life they were leading with ailments that threatened their lives. 

However, thanks to the Wandegeya Skilling Center that they said has now given them hope and will turn around their lives for the better.

The Administrator of Wandegeya Skilling Center, Ms. Constance Kembabazi thanked President Museveni for his vision of starting the project.

“If this project was not around, what were we going to do?” she wondered.

She revealed that this year’s intake that kicked off in March had 460 students, along the way some dropped off and 415 are now available and ready to sit exams.

Ms. Kembabazi also thanked the State House Management team for their support that has enabled them to run the project smoothly. 

“We thank you for loving the youth. The mindset change has helped learners appreciate their efforts in concentrating on their training,” she noted.

The Administrator also commended the Instructors for the job well done. 

A monumental cake made by students of Kigowa Skilling Center in Ntinda was then cut in commemoration of His Excellency, President Museveni’s birthday.