Seated in her office at Kagamba safe space,in Rakai District, Miriam Nampebwa holds her tab. She uses it to enter data.
You can quickly fancy her for her position;but for those who know her past, like her parents, they just glorify Kitovu Mobile for giving her a green signal through its youth empowerment program.
The data entrant at Kagamba Safe Space,could not further beyond Senior four due to school fees woes as her parents,who are peasant farmers,were financially constrained.
This ill fate saw her sit at home for a while. Later,she decided to look for a job to earn a living as well as looking for school fees for her siblings since her father was heavily burdened.
But she says much as she got a casual job in Kyotera town,things never changed.” Life got more complicated for me,forcing me to get a spouse and brave the situation”
Shortly,she says she got pregnant,hatching a sour relationship with her father.“My father was expecting me to work and support my siblings. It was far from his minds that I could return home pregnant”
But as a parent,she says her father calmed down and looked after her. But after delivery,the situation got sour because she refused to disclose the responsible father.
She decided to look for a job and look after her baby.“I got a teaching job at Cornerstone Primary School’
“This would have relived me but I was paid very little money. Which could not cater for my baby and siblings.Besides, I was never paid in time” Nampebwa recalls.
She says she prompted to go to Kampala and stay with her spouse.
Her turning point
However,before making a final decision,she says Kitovu Mobile DREAMS Project coordinators traversed her village looking Adolescent girls and Young Women (AGYW), for economic empowerment and become resilient against fighting HIV.
“I was briefed about the DREAMS Project, and how it would transform my life if enrolled on the program,” She shares.
But Nampwebwa first hesitated to join the program. “I was already tired of living in the village,where every one looked at you as a failure”
Later,she accepted and was trained for two years,majoring in knitting. She was bright and had leadership abilities which saw her trainers assign her to facilitate stepping stone program as she studied.
“I could her earn Shs 15,000 per training, and at the end of the two year training program, I had saved enough money to buy her own knitting machine,” Nampebwa shares.
After graduation in 2018, Nampebwa was retained as a data entrant and stepping stone facilitator Kagamba safe space.
From her salary, she says she has managed to buy a 150×100 plot of land and wants to build her own house. ” I want to build a small house,and use the rest of the land for farming”
She also pays school fees for her two brothers at St Benard SS Mannya. The duo get a sum of Shs 400,000 per term precluding up keep. “This is a great relief to my father and It is the reason he is indebted for Kitovu Mobile”
Nampebwa has also started a small poultry project at her father’s home. She wants to transfer the project on her land and make it a big project to diversify her income.
Although she majored in knitting,she yet to exploit her skills saying she waits to have enough capital and get tow machines tailoring and knitting machine.“I don’t want to knit sweaters and take them to tailors to do final touches”
Happily she says: “ Joining DREAMS is my fundamental cause of development and immensely indebted for Kitovu Mobile coordinators who ensured that I enrolled on the Project despite giving them hard time to accept”