This past year, Empower a Child started a new program aimed to empower women in the village of Zirobwe, Uganda. Several women who are mothers in the community, have been taught new skills to create beautiful handmade beaded jewelry. They are mastering their technique and being taught a number of designs for necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. The women have also learned how to budget the money they earn each month from this new trade to save for future self-sustainable investments. The hard work of these women has resulted in a steady income, provision for their families, the ability to pay children’s school fees, and a sense of self confidence.
Caroline Nakito is one of those women. She works with her husband to provide an income for their family. When Caroline goes to work her husband stays home and digs in the garden. When asked about the impact of the women empowerment program on her life she explained, “Before, I was never able to help with any of our living costs. Now with the money I earn, I am able to take care of household expenses and school fees on my own.”
Through this program Caroline has learned many valuable life skills that she has been able to put into practice. She recalled when Empower a Child brought in outside trained personnel to share experiences and teach how to manage money.
“I learned how to budget my money and use it sparingly. If I had money before I used to just spend it, but now I know the importance of budgeting. There were many women who came in the beginning and we were taught many things and some of the women were not patient. I stayed because I wanted to learn more. My mother taught me the importance of learning new things. If she had never taught me that lesson, I would not have progressed anywhere.”
Caroline has also learned from the other mothers that are in the program. They receive advice and encouragement from each other whenever they work alongside one another. “Not only do we work together, but we get to share our struggles and we help each other financially.” When their kids are sick or they are struggling with school fees, the women in the program all work together to find a solution. It is a true community.”
When asked what she wants for her children she said, “I want all of my children to have a good education and be successful. The more important of the two is that they have a good education. I am now able to save a portion of my income to help my children in the future.” Caroline also stated that she would love for her children to grow up and stay in Zirobwe and live near her.
Caroline commented on the impact and the role her mother had in her life.
“My mom always found enough for me to go to school. We were poor, but she didn’t show it. She had a sewing machine and taught me how to sew. My mom taught me how to be a mother and how to take care of my children, not just to give birth to them. It is my responsibility to take care of them.”
Caroline and her friends in Zirobwe sell their jewelry abroad through Empower a Child. All bracelets, earrings and necklaces are handmade by the Zirobwe women. Because of this women empowerment program mothers are being resourced as they work to provide a better future for their families. You can support these women today and purchase their products.