Showcasing of Products by Students of the Presidential Skilling Centres Kicks-Off

The students under the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy Child (PISGBC) project on Tuesday 28th May, 2024 started showcasing their products. 

The ceremony took place at Luzira Skilling Centre, situated at the Prisons Complex, Luzira Prison. The products were showcased by students of embroidery, hairdressing, bakery, tailoring, knitting as well as leather designing and shoe making.

Mr. Moses Kizito Nsubuga, the Kampala Regional Coordinator, who represented the Head of ONC office, Hajjat Hadijah Uzeiye Namyalo as the Chief Guest commended President Yoweri Museveni for thinking about the vulnerable youth in Kampala in particular and Uganda in general where he decided to offer them vocational skills free of charge so that they are able to uplift their livelihoods. 

He therefore called on the students to put into practice the skills that they have acquired because no one is responsible for their destiny apart from themselves. 

“Don’t give up, this is just the beginning. You have learnt the skills, now put them on the ground by starting small and growing big,”he advised the students.

“You should not disappoint the President of Uganda after giving you these skills. Let one day the President be there and he says yes, I did this, and my people are now enjoying the skills I have given them. So we in the community, let us send in these young people for skills training so that we have a poverty-free and crime-free community, so that we enjoy our city Kampala as we vote again for the President in 2026,” he said.

The Special Presidential Assistant on Education and Skilling who also serves as the Head of PISGBC, Dr. Faith Mirembe Katana defended the budget of the State House, pointing out that the Presidency has a lot of activities that include among others the Skilling of children in 9 centres around Kampala city and other Skilling hubs across the country.

She therefore called on the political class not to misguide the population on the budget of the State House. 

“The detractors who said the budget of the State House is too big, you should know that the budget covers a lot of activities like rent for skilling centres,salaries, materials, food and water, among other requirements. The President also has other initiatives like poverty alleviation. So we beg politicians not to be misguided and don’t misguide the people if you yourself are misguided,” she said.

Dr. Katana also advised students to put into practice the knowledge they have acquired. 

“It is not money that can develop you and promote you, what you need is a product and service; the quality of the product that promotes the country,” she advised. 

Dr. Katana further called on the students to ensure that the standard of the products they are making will be competitive in the world market. 

“What is going to promote us as a country is the quality of the product and service as well as the finishing. They must be of the acceptable standards in the world market.”

The Administrator of Luzira Skilling Centre, Ms. Joyce Athieno reported that from the current intake, 566 students are ready to sit for exams. 

She also highlighted that out of the 8,103 youth that registered from January 2018 for various programs,6,382 completed and graduated.

“Most of them have created jobs for themselves and also employed other youth,” she noted. 

Ms. Athieno praised President Museveni for the fruitful project. She also thanked the Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija for providing a free training facility for skilling the youth.

She also thanked the State House comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye, Dr. Katana, Dr. Hillary MusokeKisanja and all the other stakeholders for their unwavering support to the project. 

Ms. Athieno further revealed that apart from the skilling of the youths, another curriculum activity of ideology and patriotism was introduced, and it has significantly impacted on the mindset of students. 

She also added that the newly introduced sports program has promoted the students’ talents, physical fitness and mental stability, adding that there is always a sports gala in every semester involving all the nine Skilling Centres of five divisions of Kampala. 

“When the idea of a sports gala was started, Luzira centre did not slumber but went ahead and formed a girl’s football club team PISGBC Queens and we registered it under FUFA. It plays in the third division league in Kampala. They are number four out of the 21 teams,” She noted. 

During the same event, some of the beneficiaries gave out testimonies on how the Luzira skilling Centre has transformed their lives. 

Julius Mugisha disclosed that he was picked from the ghetto of Kinawataka in Nakawa division.

“A friend told me that this project of the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy child was going on at Luzira Centre. I enrolled in 2021 and graduated after 6 months. I now have a workshop in Kinawataka and I make 5 pairs of back to school shoes each day that I sell at 50,000 per pair,” he disclosed.

He therefore encouraged his fellow youths to enroll at the skilling centres and also to take advantage of various SACCOs that have been put in place by the government like Emyooga to get funds to start their own enterprises. 

Sylvia Nabukeera expressed her profound appreciation to President Museveni for the project and advised fellow Ugandans to endeavour acquiring skills for self-development.

Another testimony was from Ronald Musoke who highly commended President Museveni for the project, acknowledging that after getting involved in an accident, his right hand was rendered useless and felt the whole world had turned against him. 

“I am really very grateful to President Museveni for the project that has given me an opportunity to discover my potential in weaving though I am using only the left hand. The project has brought back hope in me. Now I feel like a Ugandan and a man,” he said. 

The colourful function was earlier on characterisedby spectacular cultural performances by students, highlighting that apart from learning skills in various projects, they were also deeply involved in strengthening their cultural roots. 

The ceremony was attended by among others, officials from the Office of the National Chairman (ONC)-NRM, security officers from and area political leaders.