Patrick Karugaba a medical laboratory scientist also the deputy executive chair of A3-U board in Uganda handing over certificates to the best performers of the skilling project/Photos: Agnes Nantambi
Agnes Nantambi
Journalist @New Vision

Following concentrated skilling of teenage mothers under the Wakisa Teenage Pregnancy Crisis Management Centre, the Australian Alumni Association of Uganda (A3-U) has extended start-up kits to young mothers.

Harriet Nsubuga Mpanga, the secretary A3-U, said as a response to the Covid-19 challenges, the Australia High Commission based in Nairobi put up a call towards the response to Covid-19.

“As the A3-U, we applied for it to support girls of Wakisa Teenage Pregnancy Crisis Management Centre after establishing that they had suffered the impact of Covid-19 and were in dire need of the support to respond to the many cases of pregnancy, which had been registered.

We decided to give them skills ranging from tailoring, crocheting, cookery, agriculture, and hairdressing, among others, “she said

She added, “We were looking at skills which young girls can do back at their community in case they don’t go back to school.

Even if they go back to school, they need to be able to support themselves and their babies with some sources of income”.

Vivian Kityo and Harriet Nsubuga Mpanga admiring some of the items made by the teenage mothers.

Patrick Karugaba a medical laboratory scientist and also the deputy executive chair of the A3-U board in Uganda explained that the association is composed of people who studied in Australia with support from the Australian Government.

“As part of the activities we do, we look forward to supporting communities in various ways to respond to social challenges.

Wakisa ministries has been one of such groups where we found a need for teenage mothers in a crisis pregnancy who are extremely vulnerable and needed support.

We are glad that we came out voluntarily as an association with some support from the Australian government, we have taken some time here to skill these teenage mothers and its fabulous to have changed their mindset, “he said

These girls he said got to know that it’s not the end of the world for them but life can change even after delivery

“We decided that after skilling them, we would support them with startup capital like sewing machines among others.

Some of the food crops grown by the teenage mothers during their stay at the facility.

This is a great opportunity to give back to the community and we are very grateful to the Australian Government and the consul in Uganda for the great job in making the project a reality, “he said.

Vivian Kityo, the director Wakisa Ministries applauded the A3-U for the vocational skills extended.

“They have spent four weeks bringing us professionals like Dr. Sabrina Kitaka to counsel the girls among other professionals who offered skills.

We are happy that they have also given us start-up kits and these girls will be able to earn a living from the skills and kits given to them, “she said

At Wakisa ministries, she said they are working towards improving service delivery saying they have completed the dormitory, a teaching facility and currently building a health facility that has a maternity wing to help in delivering the girls.

Once complete she said the facility would have a permanent doctor who will be employed to deliver the girls as it also helps the community around.

Currently, she said the facility pays money to deliver the girls spending about sh150000 for normal delivery and sh400,000 for a caesarian section.

Kityo decried the increasing number of girls getting pregnant, especially the street children, this was during the end of the project in Wakiso.

 

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