Beneficiaries of President Museveni’s Skilling Initiative at Kigoowa Showcase Acquired Skills

The students of Kigoowa Skilling Centre on Thursday 30th May, 2024 showcased their products as they head to conclude their six months free skills training.

Kigoowa Skilling Centre, situated in Nakawa Division is one of the nine Skilling Centres under the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy child (PISGBC) project spread across the five divisions of Kampala.

The centre that is accommodated at ButukirwaCatholic Church in Kigoowa, Ntinda Division is running its fourth intake of 502 students who will soon sit exams leading to the award of a recognized certificate by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT). 

The students received their training in seven departments which include embroidery, weaving, knitting, leather designing and shoe making, bakery, tailoring and hairdressing. 

In his remarks, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Chairperson for Nakawa Division, Mr.Nicholas Turinawe thanked President Yoweri Museveni and leaders of PISGBC led by Dr. Faith Katana for transforming the lives of the youths who didn’t get the opportunity to go to school or further their education. 

“Obviously to come here you must have an objective. The objective is to fight poverty,” he stressed. 

“There are so many things we are doing here that are not ordinary. I want to support His Excellency the President’s program of promoting Ugandan products and the drivers of that promotion are the skilled people like the youths here,” Mr. Turinawe noted. 

He however reminded Ugandans that the skilling program has nothing to do with political affiliations, explaining that the program is meant to accommodate all the youths from different political party leanings.

He therefore encouraged parents to send their children for skills acquisition. 

The Special Presidential Assistant on Skilling and Education and Head of the project, Dr. Katana commended the role played by counsellors at the Skilling Centres of mentoring and transforming the lives of the youths. 

She particularly thanked Dr. Grace   Bikumbi, a clinical psychologist and addiction specialist for rehabilitating and mentoring the youths who before joining the skilling centres were addicts of various bad practices like drug abuse.

“Dr. Grace Bikumbi, we thank you for the work you are doing and I also thank the instructors for the job well done,” Dr. Katana commented.

On a sad note, Dr. Katana on behalf of her team conveyed condolences to the Kigoowa Skilling Centre family for the loss of one of their own, Ms. Annette Nanono who was an instructor in the weaving department. 

She described the late Nanono as an asset to the skilling sector and the nation as a whole. 

“She was hard working and resourceful as well as a team player. We really lost her and it really pained me.May God rest her soul in peace,” she prayed. 

Dr. Katana further informed the guests at the showcasing event that President Museveni started the program to help his bazukulu discover their potential and be part of the development of the country. 

She encouraged students who completed their training to make use of the skills acquired not only for personal development but also for the development of the nation. 

“The President wants these youths to be productive citizens of the nation. It is not the cows that give milk, it is the milking that gives you the milk.Milking is the labour so we must work hard and be productive for our own good. We have said that whatever you sow you shall reap. Whatever you speak, think or do is a seed you sow. Let us sow rightly and reap abundantly,” Dr. Katana advised. 

She also reminded the youths that development comes from a product and service and encouraged them to ensure high standards of their products that should be competitive and can as well guarantee a market.

Dr. Katana used the same occasion to strongly advise the youths to maintain good moral behaviours by respecting their parents and members of their communities. 

“Sincerely if we don’t return to God and be accountable to God, at a personal level I want to tell you we don’t have children, we don’t have a nation and we don’t have leaders,” she cautioned. 

“We must be people who are respected and well behaved, moreover Uganda is the best country, and it has the best people. Let us have morals back in our families and in our societies. Let each one of us do their responsibilities.”

The Resident City Commissioner (RCC) of Kampala, Ms. Aminah Lukanga appreciated President Museveni for the program of skilling, describing it as a wonderful project that has improved and developed the talents of the youths. 

“I can assure you this project is going to make Uganda a wonderful country,” she observed. 

Ms. Lukanga however encouraged the beneficiaries of the skilling program to form associations that can easily be supported by the government. 

She also asked the skilled group to take advantage of other government programs like the Emyooga, Parish Development Model to get start-up funds for their projects. 

“I encourage all the young people who are going through this program to form associations, come back to us, we shall support you,” Ms. Lukangaassured.

One of the beneficiaries, Kihunde Agnes who holds a diploma in accounting said she saw the advertisement on television and immediately enrolled. 

“After 6 months of skilling in machine and hand knitting, I can now make children’s sweaters, scarfsand many other items. Most girls seek employment in other countries because they are not aware of this kind of arrangement which is beneficial. There are better things to be done here at home than outside,” she said.

Teddy Nakisige of Najjera was so fed up with the wrong side of morality she found herself in after dropping out of school in senior two. She emotionally recounted while in tears how God showed her the way to join Kigoowa Skilling Centre and advised other girls to get the skills and not to be deceived by men. 

The function was also attended by the managers of the Skilling project, Ms. Juliet Namale, Dr. Hillary Musoke Kisanja and the area political leaders, among others.