Vocational Education and Training (VET)
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The provision of educational opportunities to all citizens is central to Uganda’s developmental poverty alleviation, social empowerment and transformation strategies. Various educational programmes and policies including the Universal Primary Education (UPE, 1997), the Universal Secondary Education (USE, 2007) and the Functional Adult Literacy Programme (FALP, a component of the national Poverty Eradication Action Plan – PEAP) have been instituted in recent years. Although beset by severe challenges such as the lack of resources and sustained political will, these programmes have had some positive educational impact. For instance, as a result of the UPE which provided free and compulsory primary education, the national primary school enrolment rate rose dramatically from 2.5 million in 1997 to 7.2 million in 2000. By 2005, the net intake rate (NIR) in primary education had risen to 66%. However, these programmes have not been accessible to all, especially to children and youth living in remote and marginalised communities.

According to a recent study, the Functional Adult Literacy Programme (FALP) which endeavoured to promote youth and adult functional literacy, was only accessible to about 5% of the potential beneficiaries while only about 37.4% of children who completed primary school under the UPE programme were able to access secondary education. Furthermore, the secondary school system hardly provides learners with adequate vocational skills training opportunities. Essentially therefore, most youth – particularly those living in marginalised rural and urban-slum communities – are forced either to drop-out-of or to graduate from the school system lacking the practical skills necessary for securing viable employment and livelihoods. This has made the youth more vulnerable to exploitative labour practices and to engaging in risky antisocial behaviour including drug abuse and prostitution which expose them to HIV/AIDs infection.

On the other hand, Ugandans use over 25,900 tons of plastic (Kaveera) bags per month. It is estimated that every year, 3,000 tons of polythene bags find their way into Ugandan soils. According to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) polyethylene carrier bags of thickness less than 30 microns are the most used and major waste nuisance in Uganda. Polythene bags take between 15 and 1,000 years to breakdown in the environment because of their non-biodegradable nature. This prolonged disintegration results into choking of the soils. They don’t allow water to sink through.

Polythene poses an economic hazard especially to Uganda, which is predominantly an agricultural country. Research has shown that 60% of stray cattle in Uganda die due to consumption of polythene bags though the greater risk is to the soils and crops. In areas where they are deposited in large quantities, soil fertility is lost. Polythene bags also have acidic combination which with time disturbs the chemical formulas of the soils. They are also poisonous when they are burnt below 800oC. They release toxic gases like dioxins and furans, which are dangerous to human health and the environment. These gases affect the nervous and immune systems of humans leading to medical problems ranging from infections to infertility, damage of the reproductive organs, cancer and birth defects.

Polythene bags clog waterways and channels causing floods and breeding sites for disease vectors. Mosquitoes start breeding in stagnant water leading to a a breakdown of various diseases like diahorea, Cholera,Malaria among others. Unnecessary littering of the polythene bags on the roadsides destroys the beautiful scenery. They make the environment very untidy and unpleasant to look at. Polythene bags play a multi-purpose role, from serving as containers for cooked food to ladies’ head gear on a rainy day they seem to be a solution to every situation. Little do we know that this is a silent killer of the very environment that supports our daily lives.

Vocational Education and Training has been the corner¬stone for the work of GWEFODE. GWEFODE believes that adequate skills training and development is necessary to expand the income generating potential of its beneficiaries. To this end, GWEFODE supports Entrepreneurial development through

  • Vocational Skills Trainings for income generation and gainful self-employment for Women and Youth. These include Tailoring, Knitting, and production of Candles and Biodegradable Handmade Paper Bags among others. Trainees also receive additional support in business literacy training in addition to skills training such as book keeping, records management, entrepreneurial skills and advice on financial matters.
  • Training Women and youth in the production of Biodegradable Handmade Paper Bags b recovering Agricultural waste, waste paper and natural fibres to transform them into products for a wide range of uses in the local market such as Packaging, Shopping, Corporate marketing, Gifts and souvenirs and other complementary products including greeting cards, Note Books, Visitors Books, Art Papers, Folders, Desk Calendars; providing an eco-friendly, recyclable, and biodegradable alternative to the environmentally hazardous polythene bags.

Our Programs

Participatory Governance & Gender Equity Advocacy

GWEFODE’s work is to Promote Participatory Governance using Rights Based Approach to programming and gender equity in development as well as participation in decision making.

Gender Based Violence Prevention & Response

GWEFODE mobilizes resources to support survivors of sexual and domestic violence access free medical treatment and psychosocial support.

Conflict Resolution & Peace Building

GWEFODE seeks to improve the capacity of community based mediators and local leaders to resolve conflicts and enhance effective and efficient justice delivery in the informal justice system.

Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security

GWEFODE undertakes research on best agricultural practices that are sustainable and environmentally friendly and sharing these with farmers in Uganda.

Sustainable Energy Efficient Technologies

Over 95% of households in Kabale district use biomass fuels (firewood and charcoal) to cook on traditional stoves. This reliance on firewood presents mothers with impossible choices.

Vocational Education & Training

GWEFODE supports entrepreneurial development through equipping marginalized women and youth with skills such as tailoring, candle making and making charcoal briquettes aimed at income generation.

Water Sanitation & Hygiene

GWEFODE improves the management of water sources through refresher trainings and sensitization of community members especially women and children on better use.

HIV/AIDS & Malaria Prevention

GWEFODE disseminates Information, Education and Communication IEC/ Behavior Change Communication (BCC) campaigns and materials focused on orphans and vulnerable children.

Maternal and Child Health

GWEFODE creates awareness on maternal and child health and advocates for improved health services to reduce on maternal and child morbidity and mortality.

Featured Documents

A joint Statement on The Right of Indigenous Batwa People to Land and Natural Resources in Uganda Submitted by GWEFODE and France Libertes to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)


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