“It is very unusual to see ladies working in motor vehicle mechanics and I really want to encourage more to do so that’s why I applied for the training”. At just twenty-two years old Apiya Amina already describes her decision to acquire skills in motor vehicle mechanics as an example of women’s ability to take on a job that is mostly done by men. Last year she successfully graduated from the training in motor vehicle mechanics and is now enrolled in traineeship at a vehicle repairs and maintenance workshop in Adjumani that is managed by AAH Uganda. The training she received was made possible by the skills development and entrepreneurship training project funded by Enabel and implemented by the Uganda programme of Action Africa Help International.
Apayi married young after pulling out of school due to lack of fees. Her father passed away while she was still at the mid-level of secondary schooling and her mother could not afford the fees to enable her complete the remaining levels of schooling. So, she got married and relocated some one hundred kilometers from her mother’s home in Koboko to her husband’s place in Adjumani, a town in the west nile region of Uganda and the site of the district headquarters. As a house wife she spent most of her days doing housework. One day she heard about a call for application for the training through an advertisement in the local media outlets put out by AAH Uganda, which she applied for and got selected.
Through the training she learnt general and routine automotive servicing, a skill that now enables her earn some money from jobs she gets outside traineeship. “Before the training I had to depend on my husband’s money but now I’m able to earn something to buy groceries for us from the jobs I’m called to do”. While some locals find Amina’s ability to fix vehicles amusing others encourage her efforts by recommending her for work to their relatives and friends. The change of fortune has motivated her to advance her skill through further training to obtain diploma and degree certification in motor vehicle mechanics, and she hopes to find an opportunity in future that will enable her achieve this ambition. Currently, she is learning to drive through a driving course she attends that her husband agreed to pay for.
The skills development and enterprise training is a component of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) for the Support Programme for Refugee Settlements in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU) that is addressing the roots of destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration, by promoting economic and equal opportunities, security and development. The aim of the trainings is to enable youth, women and girls from the refugees and their host communities obtain the skills needed to find or to create a job in the settlement economy or in preparation of the economy back home on return. The project is aligned to SDG number 2 which supports interventions in food and incomes security targeting the most vulnerable individuals and groups.