Tailoring a Better Future

|  Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Tailoring a Better Future

How youth skills training changed Kabasiita's life

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world. 77% of the population is currently under the age of 30, and the youth population is rapidly growing. However, nearly 40% of youth are neither employed nor studying.

Young women are particularly affected due to gender disparities. With youth skills training opportunities and support for youth-led businesses, young people in Uganda can create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Kabasiita is an 18-year-old young woman in Uganda. Thanks to support from Canadian Feed The Children's (CFTC) family of donors, she was able to attend vocational training with one of CFTC's partners, which has made a profound difference in her life. She shares her story with us below!

Taking on the challenge

Gaining a skill at my age is such a blessing and an amazing thing; I can’t thank CEDO Uganda and its partners enough for the opportunity given to me.

I was a student and before joining the skilling program at Masindi Vocational Training Centre during the lockdown, I tried being a housemaid to earn a living so that I could take care of my siblings.

Joy filled my heart upon knowing that I was going to learn tailoring and garment cutting!

At the beginning of classes, things were quite challenging, like operating the manual sewing machine. But as time went on, everything got easier and simpler.

I learned a lot of things concerning the tailoring and fashion world. Now, I am able to cut and sew different clothes like shirts, skirts, sportswear, dresses, and many others.

Achieving her dreams and helping her family

Kabasiita taking the measurements of one of her clients

With the skill that I am getting, I no longer take my clothes for mending to tailors. Instead, I work on them on my own, which is a great achievement.

I also take orders to mend clothes for children. On a daily basis, I make between 8000 - 12,000 shillings, but on a good day, I can make 20,000 shillings from sewing clothes! I even take my clothes to the market. From the market, I can come back home with 50,000 - 70,000 shillings, depending on the clothes I have made.

This has helped me to make some money as a youth. I used part of my savings to buy books and other basic needs for my younger sister who is in primary school and I am no longer so dependent on my mother who is a widow.

Planning for a brighter future

My experience reached its climax when I bought a sewing machine to start up my own tailoring shop! It has enabled me to create my own designs and use a lot of artwork that I have been taught.

I have also managed to join a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) in our village, which will enable me to save more money and borrow for other business plans.

My future plan is to buy a plot of land, construct a commercial house, and open up a tailoring shop to train other young women like me who did not go to school and are now suffering in the community.

With this opportunity, my future is bright, and I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Kabasiita smiling proudly with her clients at her place of work

How supporters are helping youth like Kabasiita

Kabasiita's story is an example of the power of education and youth skills training. When equipped with productive skills, youth can gain independence and take control of their futures.

At CFTC, we recognize that the key to a prosperous future is to ensure children and youth are set up for success early and often. We are grateful to our family of donors for supporting youth like Kabasiita holistically, every step of the way.

Donor support is helping to provide:

  • School meals and gardens so hunger doesn't prevent children from learning
  • School supplies and school support including teacher training and water and sanitation facilities
  • Agricultural training and support to caregivers so they can afford to educate their children
  • Life skills training initiatives for youth in tailoring, barbering, agriculture, bead making, phone repairs, and more
  • Community leadership opportunities for youth so they can build confidence
  • VSLAs to help women and youth borrow, save, and earn income

Thank you for supporting youth today and helping to create a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow!

In our podcast First Comes Food, we go on a journey through Indigenous food forests in Saskatchewan, farming communities in African countries and early childhood community programs in Bolivia to meet the people who are growing food security for everyone. Their stories may surprise you.

Listen to First Comes Food, now streaming on our website and wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.