Women graduate in catering and handcrafts
At least 50 vulnerable women and girls have on Friday completed a three month course in Catering, Handcrafting work and Agriculture in Gudele in a bit to make them become economically self-reliance.
The three months training was conducted by the Women Advancement Organization (WAO)-an indigenous organization that aims at capacity building for vulnerable people in the country- with support from the Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA).
Lazarus Maundo, a tutor for catering said teaching the vulnerable women and girls to be self-reliable is important in improving the economy.
He said, though cooking takes less than three hours, he teaches his students for more than three hours to make them get the skills right.
Maundo added that the major focus is basically on baking because the raw materials are available and are easy to get in the local markets.
Maria Isaac Yani, a 45 year old mother of seven children was one among other vulnerable women who completed the three months course in catering. “I quickly rushed to Women Advacemnet Organization after I was nominated by the community leader since I was doing nothing at home”.
According to Yani, she was just a house -wife before attending the training, which he said now she does for herself, something that can earn for her a little income to support the family and her husband too.
Yani said she is now planning to open her small restaurants so that she can increase on her income to better support her children.
“Before, I did not know how to prepare bread, sambusa and paper food, but now I can do all these,” she said.
“Thanks to the WAO for supporting us, I urge them to continue doing their work so that the women who are vulnerable are able to do something for themselves,”
The Director of Women Advanceemnet Orgainzation (WAO), Susan Pasqual says her organizations always target vulnerable women and girls within the community adding that they also target youth who are vulnerable.
She said in addition to catering and handcrafting, there is also agriculture and tailoring which she said is meant to equip women and girl who are not doing anything so they become self-reliant.
Pasqual said the project has been running since April and the two groups have completed
She said the tailoring training will run for six months and they are also planning to engage those who have completed on micro-finance
“We are going to engage those who have completed in a joint production where they can be able to supply hotels and other institutions,” Pasqual said.
She said after completing, WAO will open a center for the women to continue producing what are able to produce and sell them.
Pasqual said for the agriculture department, WAO has already identified a land that is going to be used as a joint production system.
She said they identify the most vulnerable women through the chiefs and other local authorities because the local leaders knows who are the most vulnerable people in their areas,
Pasqual revealed that plans are underway to establish four youth centers in Juba targeting more than 600 youths, women and girls who will be engaged in different departments.
She further added that they are engaging some women in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Juba in the same courses.
She said they are trying to reduce the dependency burden on those who are working with, training those who vulnerable to learn practical work for themselves.
“Women can do anything it if they are supported and encouraged to do,” Pasqual said.
Susan David a mother of one was also among those trained in catering for three months.
“Before I came for the training I was just staying at home doing nothing,” Mrs. David said. “Since I have acquired the skills, I am now seeing a brighter future”.
She said it is good for women to get such a trainings saying it is always good for women who dropped earlier from school to learn practical work to supplement on their husbands’ budget.
She appreciated the support given by Women Advancement Organization
For Jackline David, a 25 old who also did the catering course, said she just completed her university and had nothing to do, she said after the training she now has big plans for herself.
Before she joint WAO, she had no knowledge about cooking, but now she can be able cook different types of food both local and international
She said if such programs are brought closer to the people, many vulnerable women like her some vulnerable people will be able to be employed hence improving their families.
The handcraft graduates sitting on a mat, standing is one of their tutors.
Sarah Morris the tutor on hand craft said, though at the beginning, it was hard to deal with the women, but now all of them know how to make bags necklaces,
She said there is high more women are already interested in doing the work to maintain themselves and their families
She said the twenty five women she trained are now ready to so their own work and gat something for their families.
26 years old Yar Machar a mother of three got training on handcraft, she said before she came for the training she was just a housewife doing nothing, Machar said she did know anything about handcraft work, but now she is one among others who is able to make bags using the beads.
She applauded the Women Advancement Organization (WAO) for supporting them with the training
“You cannot depend on what your husband gives you, I thank the people who supported this training because when we are supported we do something for our families,” Machar said.
She called on other women who are unable to do something for them to get such trainings so they become independent.
Grace Tabu, a 20 year old handcraft student said she is a senior four leaver, Tabu said she is planning to raise money to continue with her studies.
She said it is important that vulnerable women are equipped with such knowledge so that they can be able to do their own things and support their husbands in raising their children
She said she is now planing to open her own shop so that when she makes her product are sold there
She said as she waits for her result to go to the university, she wanted to use her handcrafting skills to raise money for her school
Susan Pasqual the Director of Women Advancemnet Organization appreciated Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) for extending their support to the women through her organization which she said without the NPA support and other international partners these trainings would have not been successful.