After seven years the community empowerment program in Kyegonza has come to an end. Time to celebrate! Share the experience by reading this photo blog.

Before the ceremony starts, Linda of Help a Child Africa signs certificates all the Self Help Groups will receive. This is a tangible proof of their participation in the project and an appreciation of their hard work.

 

Children, youth, adults and elderly….. all are joining the celebration. The brass-band, ncluding children of the Child Rights Clubs is marching through the area, guiding peopla towards the location of the ceremony.

Children, youth and adults, in their best clothes, are waiting for the ceremony to start.

Everywhere you find market stalls, selling snacks and drinks ...

During the project, people learned several skills. This lady learned to knit sweaters and started her own business. Others are making and selling mats and soap, vegetable or fruits in order to make a living.

 

Youth who have had skills training in welding, have brought their products. The community members have mentioned this as one of the biggest successes of the project: young people are no longer jobless and hanging around, being idle, and causing trouble. They now have something to do, earn an income and are involved in strengthening the community.

These ladies also finished skills training and now earn an income with hair dressing.

Both the children of the christian school as well as the islamic school have a performance of songs and dance. Everybody is wearing their uniform, something many parents could not afford before.

Although there are differences in religion, people do work together in their community. Peace, unity and understanding are most important.

 

Especially the women have worked very hard in the last few years to improve the life of their children. Look at them now, in their beautiful colourful dresses (‘gomesi’)! A few years ago this was really different.

Via a role play the women portray what they have learned about personal hygiene. "In those days, when we removed our shoes, our feet were smelling badly, so our husbands did not want to come close to us. But now we smell nice and we are looking smart.”

Important people are present: from the churches, the schools, but also from the Local Government of the District. They have heard about the successes of the project and now would like to see the changes with their own eyes.

This woman from the Self Help Group shows the money they have saved together. In the past seven years their capital has grown. In the beginning it was a small amount they managed to put weekly. But by investing these savings, the income of everybody increased and they can contribute more now to the group weekly. That means they even can invest more.

The certificates are being distributed. These mothers have all the right to be proud!!

The fieldworkers are being thanked too. They have enabled an enormous impact in the community through their work! Every day they were there to guide and support the parents, the youth and the children.

To show their gratitude the community members bought some presence. Saying farewell always hurts, especially after having worked together for such a long and intensive number of years.

What a huge difference with 2011, when the project started! The children nowadays wear nice clothes and seem to shine and have self-confidence! In the children’s groups they learned about their rights and responsibilities and what to do. Something really changed in their thinking: children now are being seen and listened too. What a beautiful and great achievements have been reached. Thousands of children in Kyegonza, Gomba district, Uganda, do have a future now!  

 


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