“My life is much better and when I go back to school, I want to become an accountant”

says Rose Modong

By Catherine Ntabadde Makumbi
adolescent development, vocational training
UNICEF Uganda/2019/Abdul

18 April 2019

Rose Modong believes that if she does not continue with her education, she will never have a ‘beautiful life’.

Aged 19, Modong who came to Uganda on 16th December 2016 from South Sudan wants to become an accountant because to her, ‘money is life’.  When she completes her Primary Seven and proceeds to secondary school and the university, she will be able to get a fairly paying job.

“I want to go back to school as I also continue with my business so that I can buy myself sanitary pads, panties and other necessities need at school,” 

Modong explains.

Modong is currently a graduate of a vocational school established by Danish Refugee Council with support from UNICEF in Maaji II Refugee Settlement, Adjumani district, Northern Uganda. She dropped out of school in Primary 7.

At the vocational school, she mastered in ‘tie and die’ cloth making which she sells within the settlement. Her customers prefer materials mixed in pink, white and navy blue colours.

“The small piece is at shs20,000 ($5) and the large piece is at shs30,000 ($8). Every week I save about sh2,000 ($0.5) which I plan to use for my education. The other money I use it to take care of myself, my 1-year old child and my mother,” 

Modong says.

Modong is among the over 1,890 out of school adolescents in Adjumani district supported with funding from the David Beckham Foundation through the United Kingdom National Committee 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.

Apart from making ‘tie and die’, Modong also makes embroidery designs on bedsheets and bed covers using her hands.

“I use my hands to do this because I don’t have a machine. I am not getting much money from it (embroidery), but I am optimistic that one day I will go back to school. I am somehow okay. I used to think a lot about South Sudan and how the war affected us. But with counselling from our Danish Refugee Council mentors, my life is much better. I know I am going to have a beautiful life when I go back to school, get a job as an accountant and I get money,”

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.