Women Empowerment through Art & Craft.

  • Posted In : Aitenga Women Self-Empowerment Program

Kinaawa is located in Kyengera Town council, Wakiso district just next to the boarder line of Kampala, the Capital city of Uganda in East Africa. Despite of its closeness to Uganda’s capital, Kinaawa is a village that is engulfed by immense social and economic problems. The village is characterized by high rates of school dropouts, HIV/AIDS, unemployment and rampant poverty among other problems. Aitenga is a project of MADUFAFA which is located in Kinaawa village outside of Kampala. We did a survey on vulnerable families and these were our findings:

  1. Among the vulnerable families we visited, each family had five children on average and 30% of those families were solely supported and headed by a woman. 67% of those women were single mothers i.e. seven out of every ten women were single mothers.
  2. The women lacked working skills and one out of every four women had never had an opportunity to attend school in order to get the required working skills.
  3. The local women in these villages rely on casual work like doing laundry and digging which brings in little money, so they receive support and subsidies from other sources outside of their monthly income earnings. In Uganda Women earn far less income than the male counterparts. If a man earns One Hundred Thousand shillings (100,000 UGX), a woman will earn only three quarters of that salary which may range around Sixty-Seven thousand shillings.
  4. Saving techniques. The women in these villages hardly save any money. These families are unable to meet their basic needs and therefore it is difficult for them to save since the little money earned from casual work is what they use to provide for themselves. Every time a family experiences a crisis in cases where a child falls sick, their monthly wages are not enough to cover the hospital expenses.
  5. Starting a business. Among the families we visited in the villages, we found out that most of them have business plans and dreams so as to improve the economic status of their families. However, without proper business trainings, saving techniques, and capital, itÂ’s hard to realize their dreams and aspirations.

How the Aitenga women self-empowerment project has benefited the women in the villages in Kinaawa.

  • Development of working skills; Women have acquired better working skills that involve hand making, tailoring and sewing. They have been able to make products such as bags, jewellery and earrings which they sell and earn some extra money.
  • Women have also been trained to develop better saving techniques and to be business-oriented and financially independent. The Aitenga project has encouraged these single mothers to save at least 1000shs from every payment they receive for the products they make. This has proved to be a great saving scheme since they will have extra money to look after their families.
  • Through caring and counselling; Aitenga project has impacted these women’s lives as they have learned to share experiences, supporting and encouraging one another. This helps to build self-esteem and creates an environment where they feel loved and accepted. Through the Aitenga project, the single mothers have been counselled about life and how to look after their families.
  • Business Oriented and financially independent. The Project has equipped the women to be more business focused. Our aim is to train the local women to start-up their own businesses that can bring in money which will enable them to meet their basic needs. Furthermore, it helps them not to be dependent on the men for their families’ needs since they will be able to meet some of the family expenses.
  • Reaching out through the gospel. One of the activities of the Aitenga Project is to reach out to these mothers with Christ like love. Sharing the good news of the gospel has encouraged them to have hope for a better future not dwelling on their past but moving forward and focusing on bringing change in their lives and communities.

The Aitenga activities from 2015 to date include:

In May 2015, we signed a contract with a few local women to teach them how to make products such as earrings and bags and also introduced a savings programme to show them better ways of saving money.

In June 2015, we started marketing these products in Taichung so as to sell the earrings and bags made by the local women to get money that will benefit the project.

In April 2016, we started teaching tailors the basic skills of using a sewing machine.

In September 2016, we discussed with local women with little capital about business tenure.

In October 2016, the local women started a business project of poultry and piggery.

In February 2017; the workshop officially started.