New students 2019

In February 2019 a total of 63 new students started at Nile Vocational Institute, sponsored by UgandAid. They were selected from all round Uganda, and are from the most poor and vulnerable families. Twenty six of these will be studying the three year junior course, and thirty seven, who have studied to senior four at school, will do two year craft courses which are at a slightly higher level. They cover a whole range of subjects.

We had the enormous pleasure of meeting all the new students and welcoming them in to Nile Vocational Institute. You can see photos of all these young people and a little about each of their backgrounds via the Student / 2019 students link.

At the moment twenty of these students have a personal sponsor - would you, or someone you know, feel able to sponsor one of these students? It makes all the difference in the world.


Blog - February 2019

Our blog captures two fantastic weeks spent in Uganda in February 2019 by the team of 25. If you’re interested in joining us next time, head to the Get Involved page or contact us.  

Yunusu’s shoes

Meet Yunusu, who has lived with the effects of Polio since the age of 5. Now his future is bright, with the opportunity to use new skills to run his own business and train others.

Yunusu is 32 years old and lives in Nsenge, a village near Jinja in Uganda.  He is a lovely, cheerful and dignified young man, with an uplifting smile.  He lives in very humble circumstances with his wider family. At about the age of five Yunusu collapsed, suffering from polio.  From that point he completely lost the use of his legs. He needs bespoke built-up shoes and metal callipers. This is particularly challenging in the rough terrain of village life, where there are precious few facilities or opportunities and most people are subsistence farmers. Yunusu started a project rearing goats, but unfortunately at some point all the goats died from disease.

Several years ago, as part of UgandAid’s work in Nsenge, we built a new home for Yunusu and his family.  A couple of years later we brought a wheelchair from the UK for him to use. About 4 years ago, a team member noticed the poor state of Yunusu’s shoes and asked whether we could pay for replacement shoes for him.  This was agreed, and arrangements made to accompany him to Katalemwa in Kampala, where this type of bespoke shoe is made.

When Yunusu went in with one of our team his eyes lit up as he saw the shoes being made. He explained that he’d always wanted to learn this skill, and had already been learning shoe repair skills at home.  To cut a long story short Yunusu was enrolled at Katalemwa for a twelve-month residential training course in January 2017. During that year in Kampala, not only did Yunusu excel as a model student but met his future wife Sharon, who worked nearby.

 Once he had completed his training, we approached Jinja Hospital to find out whether Yunusu could be employed to provide specialist shoes and callipers for people with disabilities. They could not employ him on site, but are happy to refer potential clients to Yunusu. 

So, he needed a workshop in a secure and stable environment to set up in business. We approached Nile Vocational Institute about building a workshop on their campus, and they were very happy to accommodate it as part of the perimeter of their site, which gives an interface with the road. Indeed NVI shared with us that they had been considering adding shoe repair courses to their portfolio, so this project could have a lot of potential.

In February 2019, the workshop was ready and the team painted it inside and out, equipped it with work bench, sewing machine, tools and materials. It was officially opened 24th February with Yunusu’s very frail parents in attendance. They were thrilled and beamed from ear to ear.

A few weeks down the line, Yunus reported that he is getting plenty of business and is working six days a week. His wife works with him and is learning the trade. He is now able to support his parents financially form his income .

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