“I have acquired vocational skills to work and go back to secondary school”

“I was stressed and had no hope!"

By Catherine Ntabadde Makumbi
UNICEF Uganda/2019/Abdul

18 April 2019

19-year-old Victoria Ide, from South Sudan graduated from a vocational school in 2018 and is looking forward to continuing with her studies in Senior Two after earning some money from the skills attained.

Ide who came to Uganda in June 2016 is now a hair dresser, having acquired the skills from a vocational school ran by Danish Refugee Council and supported by UNICEF in Maaji II Refugee Settlement in Adjumani District. 

“I choose hair dressing because I can now work in other people’s saloons or plait people within the settlement as a I raise money to set up my own saloon. I want to go back to school. At the vocational school, they advise us to save money so that we can go back to school,”

Ide reveals.

Ide works mainly on adults and specializes in weaving and plaiting dreads.  She has also learnt ‘tie and die’ cloth making from the vocational school.

Ide dropped out in Senior Two in 2013 following the death of her mother. Her father married another woman and refused to pay her school fees.

With funding from the David Beckham Foundation through the United Kingdom National Committee for UNICEF, over 1,890 out of school adolescents in Adjumani district like Ide, are supported to achieve literacy and numeracy skills required to enter formal or non-formal vocational training. The programme also targets 18,667 adolescents in school in the same district.

The funding is mainly geared towards increasing adolescent girls’ attendance in secondary school by supporting teachers, school management, learners, parents and community members to establish adolescent responsive learning environment to improve access and retention; supporting districts to effectively and efficiently use tools, processes and data to strengthen coordinated approach; and ensuring that community members and parents have a positive attitude towards girls’ education and have adequate knowledge on how to support adolescent girls to stay in school.
Before Ide underwent the training, her life was miserable.

“I was stressed and had no hope! When this project started, the team from Danish Refugee Council counselled us not to worry. When I enrolled for the training, I was hopeful again and this has changed my life completely,”

she added.

Ide wants to become a lawyer and defend her fellow South Sudanese whom she says are always fighting and seeking for trouble. “These people are always causing problems so when I become a lawyer, I will be able to solve their problems,” she noted with a smile on her face.

To ensure that she does not forget her English vocabulary, Ide has also enrolled for an English course within the settlement. The course which is offered free of charge, teaches the learners spelling, grammar and how to speak English.

Leo Drichi, DRC Adjumani Protection Assistant, Life Skills Project said the trainees receive psychosocial support before embarking on a 2 months course that equips them with skills in hand pump maintenance, solar panel installation and repair, baking, motorcycle repair, livestock management, leather works, bead making, liquid and bar soap making, knitting and crafts, tie and die cloth making. Each of the adolescent select a skill or skills suitable for them.