By Aiden Muweesi,DREAMS Project Sub county Coordinator,Rakai Town Council.
RAKAI. A resilient,determined and mentored woman, whose dream is to become a powerful business woman, Rosette Nakyanzi hardly thought of becoming a woman of such attributes.
A resident of Kiwakanya, Rakai District,Nakyanzi had already considered herself a failure after dropping out of formal school. This was because her parents were too poor to give their daughter her basic human right,education.
“My parents were helpless to the extent that I had to do casual work to raise my school fees. I could miss class for days while I was doing casual work to get school fees” She sorrowfully recalls.
She says that is how she managed to complete her primary level,saying it was by surprise that she got a third grade.
While she managed to do this and finish primary level,Nakyanzi could not do the same to raise school fees for secondary since the latter is a bit expensive.
This sad fate saw her sit home. Consequently, her parents forced the then 16-year-old into another institution,marriage.
Visibly,she notes: “This disgraceful condition fetched me psychological distress. Forcing me into marriage meant suffering,” she notes,asking me if it was inevitable for her to think that she would ever become the woman she has become.
The birth of her hope.
Through the then Kitovu Mobile DREAMS Project mobilizer, Ms Gertrude Nakalungu, her spouse got to know about an opportunity ,free vocational skills training for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW).
With open hands, she welcomed the idea and impatiently waited to join. “On 12/06/2017 I was enrolled at Rakai model safe space to where s he specialized in hair dressing”
In September 2018, she graduated in hair dressing, and got start-up kits, including wall mirror, trolley, and hand drier, among others.
“Most of the items would have been expensive for me to get and it would have meant delay in starting my hair dressing saloon”
But getting them was a great mileage. “I was only left with starting up the saloon which I started with Shs 200,000 which I borrowed from the SILC group”
The 20 year old had her dead hope resurrect after she was enrolled on DREAMS project where she was able to sustainable skills and later started up her hair dressing saloon.
Located in Kiwakanya trading center, Rakai District, Nakyanzi takes pride in having the busiest salon in neighborhood this is because she is exceptionally skilled.
“It is still a small enterprise but she wants and wants to build on this support to have it tuned into a big saloon as time goes on,” Nakyanzi,has been recruited to train fellow AGYWs at her former safe space,notes.
Other benefits from the initiative
Away from sustainable skills, she says she got knowledge social, psychological and physical ways of preventing herself from contracting HIV through.
This was through stepping stone groups in which the trainees had counseling sessions and teachings.“I managed to improve on my social behaviors.
She adds: “I also learnt how to save money for development through financial literacy and saving in SILC group. We were continuously sensitized on family planning methods, like use of condoms and other methods”
Generally, all interventions were aimed at reducing HIV among us, by that time and now it’s very hard to just be convinced towards avenues that can lead me to HIV conviction.