Creating craft opportunities for women and girls in Uganda

16th November 2016

Arriving in Uganda as Women in Leadership (WIL) craft volunteer I didn’t really know what to expect of my six week women empowerment adventure ahead. But being my third time visiting Uganda I was excited to integrate myself into the community and share my craft skills gained from years of experience in the UK. One thing I knew for sure was that swapping the cold of an English October to help empower women in the warmth of the Ugandan sun seemed like a rather good deal! Crafts play a crucial role in Women in Leaderships work here in Busembatia Eastern Uganda and their work has already touched many women and girl’s lives since they began two years ago. In Uganda women and girls face many hardships throughout their lives, hardships that many western women couldn’t even imagine. Due to cultural norms particularly in rural areas some parents feel it is a waste of time and money to educate girls. These girls are often left behind but skills such as crafts can be a life line, giving them access to invaluable skills and knowledge to help them make a better future for themselves. The women who come to the sessions can use their craft knowledge to help them generate their own sustainable income. They can sell their things individually in the village or stay as part of the group making crafts for sale on WIL’s etsy store: (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BaNyaboand in the UK.) Susan

16th November 2016

Have you ever considered volunteering in Uganda? You should! The ‘pearl of Africa’ is a beautiful, smiley, exciting country and working for a woman’s empowerment NGO is both important and fulfilling work. For the past 6 weeks I have been teaching both in school and adult computer literacy classes for Women in Leadership Uganda and these are a few of my highlights so far… My first week in the village was a blur of friendly faces, scorching sun and colourful market scenes. As I walked down the dirt track to Townside Secondary School, where I would be teaching my first computer class, I was excited and apprehensive to meet the girls. Something I was not prepared for was the lack of equipment to the number of girls. I had 14 girls to 4 working computers, but what struck me the most was their eagerness to learn despite this. Half way through the session the power went off, another obstacle I had not anticipated! All was well though as I took the opportunity to sit them down and talk to them about why they choose to use their free time after school to attend WILs programmes. Their answers were insightful and inspiring. Without computer skills passing the exams to get into university is just a distant dream and these girls dreams are big. Politicians, doctors and bank manager were just a few of their aspirations yet they were also all too aware that without these invaluable sk

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15th November 2016

Compared to my life back in England, volunteering for a women’s empowerment NGO in Uganda is an everyday adventure. With a desk set against the lush backdrop of the Ugandan tropical terrain, and Tesco meal deals replaced with local cuisine – working 9-5 has never been sweeter. 8AM: The group awakes to the sound of alarm clocks and cockerels. After a tussle with a mosquito net and a few ‘good morning’ grunts, everyone gets on with their morning ablutions. Walking out into the courtyard for an obligatory trip to the squat toilets requires a few moments to adjust yourself to the searing brightness of the morning sun. 8.30AM: Everyone is dressed in their ‘Monday Smart’ as we consider, arguably, the hardest decision of the day – which chapatti man to buy breakfast from. Of course, you can’t deny the sultry goodness of Alex’s but the nameless elderly man’s stall does look more hygienic. To spice up our breakfast the English way, we generously apply marmite and tuck in.             9AM-12PM: We arrive at the WIL Uganda office in a breakfast chapatti haze, armed with our bottles of water and work for the day. I get out my laptop and begin planning for the afternoon’s one to one sessions. Today I will be teaching Janet ‘emotion’ vocabulary, so I begin the crafty task of making flashc