It was all jubilation and cheers on 28th February 2020 when Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative (ROM) held the graduation ceremony for the 50 trainees who undertook a six months training in tailoring, catering and back yard gardening at Banda site.
Since inception in 2006, the skilling and apprenticeship program has seen over 750 students undertaking courses with support from various donors that include; Barclays Bank, Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) and Children Aids Fund.
With the partnership between ROM and Steven Lewis Foundation (SLF), over 113 Adolescent girls and young mothers have been empowered with hands-on skills for a self- sustainable future.
Last year the skilling and apprenticeship program supported 63 trainees 34 of whom are already self-employed. Fiona Namaka a graduate from the 2018-2019 cohort, currently working as a chef cautioned her counterparts against being biased against doing certain jobs. “Be patient and work to achieve their desires in life,” she said.
The main celebrant, Rev. Fr. John Bosco Mubangizi during mass reminded the graduates that “success is achieved by the distance between one’s knees and the ground,” calling upon them to pray at all times and work hard in whatever they set out to do.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of ROM Josephine Kaleebi, advised the graduates not to stop at the training they have attained. She added, “a candle loses no light lighting another candle.” An encouragement for them to work in teams.
Also, in attendance were the Local Council leaders and the Mayor of Nakawa division, Engineer Ronald Nsubuga Balimwezo.
Similarly, on February 7th, 2020, ROM held a graduation ceremony for 50 trainees who had been on a six months skilling and apprenticeship training in Luweero Kasaala. They were advised to give as they received and not to forget the grandmothers because of whom they have been trained.
The graduates in Kasaala specialized in tailoring and hairdressing and all received certificates awarded to them.
In total, ROM has had 100 graduates under the skilling and apprenticeship program this year.
The skilling and apprenticeship program targets youth out-of-school or individuals with no formal education background. ROM employs trainers with experience who offer 90% practical hands-on skills and 10% theory to the trainees.