Tag Archives: livelihoods

News report on Katanga and the work we do

Check out the news report below of us on National TV in Uganda. The ‘Slum Report’ describes the poverty in Katanga and the work we are doing to help combat it.

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Livelihoods trainings

1912426_612963828799362_7887867242914372173_oOur Livelihoods team have been busy in training many classes of people in both tailoring and soap making.

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Sharon, our tailor trainer, prepares the machines we sent out last year from the UK, before one of her classes.

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Not only do we run classes specifically for those in our Livelihoods program but we also hold regular open workshops throughout the week that general Katanga residents can come to and learn from.

What’s great about this is it opens up education to Katanga residents of all ages, most of who never received a schooling education whilst growing up and on top of that, it’s free.

We at Hope for Life are so committed to resourcing the local community of Katanga, helping them become self sufficient families.

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Some men in Katanga have built a reputation for themselves of being jobless, alcoholics or just simply having a lack of motivation. Women on the other hand seem to have this resilience in life and are much more open and motivated by new opportunities of learning and progressing.

So with that understanding, we are so happy each time a new man wants to increase his prospects of earning a better living for his family, and decides to join our Livelihoods program.

10257440_612963695466042_3130321883809790481_o We will soon be introducing trainings in craft making, candle making and cookery into our Livelihoods program.

Keep posted for more pictures and stories…

 

Livelihoods building renovation

Since early 2013 it was quickly becoming clear that we needed to purchase another building for our Livelihoods work. We had been using our Education building for parent workshops and classes but we were struggling to fit these classes alongside the children’s catch up classes.

So during last year we bought another building in Katanga that we have now started to renovate for our Livelihoods project. We want to be able to empower adults in the community in earning a self sustaining income. We currently do this by teaching money management, business management and practical workshops that will help them to find new skills or further existing skills, which will assist individuals in running successful businesses.

We want to have a purpose built building that will be able to strengthen our Livelihoods work and be able to transform the lives of many lives in Katanga.

Below are a few pictures of the renovation so far…

The pictures below shows some of the Livelihoods work in action, whether it is in the blue catch up classes, on the pathways of Katanga or in individuals homes.

We are so excited for the potential that this building offers. The women, who we have given loans to, are now using the building to repay their loans and are also just as excited as we are to set up the sewing machines in the new building.

Our Livelihoods officer has busy planning and organising all the activities/workshops/trainings etc. that we will offer to Katanga residents when the building is complete, workshops including tailoring, catering, craft making, hairdressing.

We are now eagerly waiting tables, chairs, blackboards and cupboards so we can start using the building properly.

Thanks to all those who have helped donate towards the work we are doing in Katanga.

2 years and counting…

It has now been 2 years since Megan and I first went to Uganda, met some Ugandan friends and started a little project; teaching 15 children, aged between 4-12, in a Slum that is home to 20,000 people.

With an amazing team of Ugandans, we sought to think about our vision for Katanga, working out what it would take to help this community to get out of poverty and live self sustainably.

Fast forward to November 2013 and we have bought buildings, hired some people, continuing to provide education, giving out loans and see many families take their next steps towards getting out of poverty.

We feel like it’s time to have an evening filled with videos, pictures and stories from the past 2 years, talk about where we are currently and our aims and vision for the next coming couple of years.

We understand that we have lots of friends and supporters who are in various countries around the world but if you find yourself in or around Nailsea (near Bristol, England) on the 25th of November then why not come join us.

The event will be at Nailsea school (BS48 2HN) from 8pm.

If your on Facebook, why not RSVP on our Facebook event page. You don’t need to RSVP to come along but if you do it would be very helpful. If you are not on Facebook then you can fill out the little RSVP below.

Hope to see you on the 25th.

We’re hiring!

We are currently looking for 2 more people to join our team in Katanga, Uganda, a teacher and a livelihoods manager. The deadline for both jobs being 1st November.

It was September 2011 when Megan and I first went to Katanga, September 2012 when we became registered as a small charity, before registering as a charity with the UK Charity Commission in September 2013.

Over this time we have been able to work with our friends in Katanga, providing education in our catch up classes, loans and training in our livelihoods program, health care and have made advances in improving the water and sanitation.

All of the work we have been doing over the past 2 years, has meant we need to employee a couple more people, to continue to support more and more families in Katanga.

We are so excited for the change these 2 people will bring to the development of Katanga.

Journey of the Sewing Machines to Uganda – Part 1

Megan and I spent a solid day and a half packaging the sewing machines and then driving them to London, ready to be flown to Uganda.

They are due to be arriving in Uganda this afternoon (7th August 2013); we can’t wait for the women in Katanga to start using them for their businesses.

Keep an eye out for pictures of the sewing machines out and being used in the next few weeks.

Day 9 – New Building

For the past 5 months we have been talking about the necessity of buying another building in Katanga specifically for our Livelihoods program.

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We currently have a single building that we use throughout the week for our children’s classrooms. The women, in our Livelihoods program, currently come in to repay their loans weekly and to have a open mentoring session, to see how their businesses are growing if there is any advice we are able to give. We also run adult literacy and numeracy classes, as well as practical workshops in these classrooms.

Livelihoods Training

We currently work with 20+ women in our Livelihoods program and this number is constantly growing. We have given loans to 6 women to start/further their own businesses and we are now in a position to give more loans to a further 6 women.

We are so pleased to tell you that we have now bought another building within Katanga. We will use this new building as a resource centre for our Livelihoods classes and workshops.

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We have recently been given 8 sewing machines that we are going to fly out to Katanga in the beginning of August. These machines will be permanently set up in the building, so that women can come an work together to earn money for their families.

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Now that we have acquired the building, there is a little building work that needs to be completed before we move in. We are hoping that by the time the sewing machines arrive on the 14th August we will have a renovated building ready for our Livelihoods work.     

Make sure you keep an eye out for pictures over the next month, of work that we will be doing.

Sending Singer sewing machines to Uganda

This year we received a very kind donation of 8 singer, sewing machines for us to take out to Uganda. We run a Livelihoods project for adults in Katanga slum, assisting them in starting businesses, though training, support and the giving of loans, so they are able to provide a sustainable income for their family.

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Our next aim is to send these machines out to Uganda and to do this we need £400.

Can you help donate towards sending the machines?

The best way to donate is through our Golden Giving page. Even what you feel is a small amount of money will go along way to helping us get these machines to Uganda. We will post lots of pictures of the machines as they arrive in Uganda, including pictures of the women in our Livelihoods program learning to use the machines.

Thanks for your help…

Donate by clicking the following link http://www.goldengiving.com/charity/hope-for-life-katanga

Day 8 – Livelihoods Loans

Our aim for the Livelihoods project is to ensure that whole families are supported, through a sustainable income. The main way we do this is by ultimately giving out interest free loans, so they are able to start their business and over time will be in a position were they can support their own families education, medical and nutritional needs.

Livelihoods Training

We started with the parents in classes, teaching money management and basic business skills. We want to be responsible with the money we are giving as a loan, this involves teaching the women an understanding of businesses, how they can grow and be sustainable.

We then ask the women to write a business plan, describing what they want their business to be, including how much it will cost to start, keep the business going and how much profits they aim to receive each day. Our Hope for Life team then look over each business plan to see if they are realistic, or whether we can work with them on improving their plan to become more sustainable.

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After writing the business plan is practical workshops. Most of the women already have the skill set to start their business but we help those who don’t yet have the skills and those who want to improve.

Livelihoods mat making

After all of this previous work we will give out the loans they have requested, and we have agreed upon, in their business plan.

We gave out loans to 6 women in February 2013 and by the time we went back to Uganda to visit them in June, they were half way through the repayment of their loans; the video below is catching up with one of the women to see how their business is going, check it out… (be sure to watch it in HD and to see the children at the end)

Livelihoods at work…

Livelihoods TrainingToday was Livelihoods training day for our neighbours and carers of the children we work with. We have done a variety of sessions previously including cookery classes but today we were going a bit deeper into a pre-studied subject of business and savings management. We had a day of good teaching from our 3 knowledgeable Ugandan trustees on the subject in which the women really learnt from.

It is great to invest so much time in to the children but the parents appreciate even more the time and effort we invest in them and their careers too. We have had various comments thanking us for our work with the parents, as what they need is people showing confidence in them to succeed. We hope not only to be a voice to encourage them but also we want to really practically encourage them, weather teaching them new skills or even help writing a CV.

Some people think of work in Africa and immediately think of farming crops, fruit &veg etc. and although that is the truth for a huge percentage of people in Africa, we at Hope for Life Katanga are working with the very small percentage in a very urban setting. So jobs in the city centre are unlikely to include farming skills but instead selling produce, sewing, computer, hospitality and presentational skills.

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A huge population of people move from their rural homes, where they grew up, in search for a better career and future for their family only to be met with expensive living and jobs that need skills they haven’t previously acquired.

It is in this setting that we are working; helping to encourage and support these families in living self sustainable through income generating activities. We support these parents as they write out business plans, draw up a proposal and give them loans to start them out on their new venture. They come into our offices once a week so we can continue to support them, being a consultant of sorts to their businesses.

Some of you may recognise the bowls these women in Katanga slum made as we brought them back to the UK and sold them here at various markets and fairs, where 100% of the money paid, for the bowls, went straight to the women who made them so they can continue to grow the business further.

Livelihoods women

New sewing machines

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We work with many families in Katanga slum, teaching the parents how to live self sustainable lives, through various income generating activities, including; weaving bowls (picture below), cooking and hairdressing but we are now able to increase our teaching potential by a very generous donation of 15 sewing machines for us to use in Katanga Slum.

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A great guy called Duncan found a number of neglected sewing machines that have been sitting in garages collecting dust, and decided he was able to refurbish and fix them were needs be.
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As he collected more and more sewing machines he thought it would be a great idea to make use of these machines, which have gone through a ‘re-birth’ of such, and give them to a charity that could put them to good use..
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He drove many hours to transport the machines and spend the day with us, talking through how each machine worked and how to maintain such a machine.

I used an electric sewing machine to sew a cushion when I was about 12 years old in school, and a friend who was also learning said she was never good enough at sewing to get past sewing on paper. She finally got her chance to go beyond paper and use real material to sew on.

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These are all very different machines to the modern electric sewing machines that we had seen before, but would be perfect for use in Uganda, where the power gets turned off every other day.

The Ugandan women will continue to be able to make their clothes, with hand sewing machines, despite not having consistent electricity.  
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We invited a ‘sewing machine expert’, called Margret (click on this link to find her vintage sewing website) who lives local to us to come and talk us through some of these models as well. The sewing machines were mostly Singer machines that you use your hand to control the speed of the stitch. We found out the dates of each of these machines, which ranged from the newest, which was about the 1960’s, to the oldest, which was made in 1895.

These are unbelievably old machines, and it wasn’t until we were walked through how these machines worked did I realise how intricate, clever and durable they were.

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Our plan is to learn exactly how these machines work, so that once they finally arrive, after being shipped to Uganda, we will be able to instruct our team and women in Uganda as to how to use/maintain them.

IMG_9436We have really enjoyed our day today and really appreciate both Duncan and Margret, who took time to refurbish and instruct us how to use the machines. What do you think… Do you think they look good?

Education Livelihoods Health Water

Hope for Life started in Katanga Slum giving Education to 15 children. We wanted to invest in these children’s future, helping them to attain more in their lives. Our goal is to provide a basic level of education in our school, to get them to a level where they are able to attend school themselves. We would then find people to sponsor this children to attend a local school for them to get their accredited education.

We then decided that it was great to invest in the child’s future but the parent needs to earn money to feed the family today, not just in the future. So we started up the Livelihoods project looking at ways we can support and encourage the families in earning money and supporting their families.

The Livelihoods project still has a time frame attached to each family; time to learn the theory of how to run a business and money management skills, time to then actually run a successful business to be self sustainable and earn enough money to provide for their families.

Whilst we were working with these families we has instances where a boy in our school broke his leg (a collision with a motorbike), another boy in our school and his younger sister got very serious 3rd degree burns (the boy is still alive but the 1 year old girl died whilst Megan and I were in Uganda in August 2012), various children and members of their families were still getting ill with Malaria and other diseases.

We then started thinking about the project Health to help with these situations. With the aim to produce malaria nets, medical help from trained nurses and doctors, an emergency medical fund, which means we can pay for life saving treatment when there are serious illnesses and injuries with the families we work with. Education also plays a huge role in the health of the Katanga residents, so we look to address these issues in our school and Livelihoods program.

Our whole ethos at Hope for Life Katanga is to be a support to the families, helping them to earn money for themselves to be able to provide for their own families. The last thing we want to do is to give money to the families as we know this is a short term fix to a long term problem. The only exception is when a family we work with has a life threatening, or serious, illness or injury.

A huge part of bad health is dirty, stagnant Water being the main problem for diarrhoea, malaria, cholera, E.coli, typhoid, salmonella to name a few. For as long as people are forced to drink, bathe and live around dirty water then they continue to get ill. We are currently doing some research into the cleanliness of the water, before we know what to filter/safe guard against.