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Vocational Skills Training (VST)

Vocational Skills Training (VST); A New Innovation to supplement cash rations to promote self-reliance among Refugees in Uganda.

Monthly, refugees receive cash rations ($4) from World Food Program/UNHCR, which is clearly very little to support feeding of an individual considering the economic hardship and rising prices of commodities.

In order to address this, P4T with funding from Arnhold de la Camara Foundation and The Altenburg Foundation is implementing an innovative approach to ensure refugees have a variety of income sources. This has been achieved through the introduction of Vocational Skills Trainings, an approach that allows refugees and Ugandans to expand their economic opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. P4T trains the most vulnerable but passionate youth and women in marketable vocational skills in tailoring, carpentry, and handcraft life skills. They are also trained in entrepreneurship, business management, bookkeeping and marketing

I am very happy to have benefited from this project, VST. After the training, I felt empowered to start my own tailoring shop. I don’t need to beg from my neighbours anymore. I make products such as dresses, Shirts, school uniforms and other fashions. After producing, I take these clothes to the market and sell them, but I also make school uniforms for P4T Nursery and Primary School”, says Rebecca, a 2022 VST Project Beneficiary.

Emmanuel who was the best student in the first cohort of VST training couldn't bear to be the only one benefiting from the programme. In appreciating the positive changes the project had in his life, Emmanuel trained most of his other community members in carpentry as well. Now, the 03 of them are also benefiting from the fruits of their vocational skills training as they are able to produce furniture like school desks, chairs, beds, tables, and other products and sell them to raise money to support their families. Emmanuel said, “I was able to help my mother in buying food such as meat, fish, and pay scholastic material for my young sister and brother so that they can continue with their school”. Emmanuel who dropped out of school after his father died is one of the 55 beneficiaries who have so far been trained in vocational skills with support from The Altenburg Foundation and funding from Arnhold de la camara Foundation. I’m thankful and grateful to Altenburg Foundation and other P4T donors, you have made me realise my potential, I see (that) my sister and brother will further their education. I only pray for P4T to support me with start-up capital to establish my carpentry workshop, Emmanuel said.

The training was everything I hoped it would be. I learnt to make beds, school desks, chairs, tables, cardboard, among other things. I got some entrepreneurial skills like how to market and sell products. After making furniture products during training, together with other P4T staff we took them to the market and discussed with potential customers. As a result, I got first-hand experience on how to talk about the product, how to market it well and how to negotiate for fair prices and ensure that both customer and I are not cheated in the process. I want to start my own workshop to raise money to train my fellow youth and see my siblings through school”.

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