‘Lets challenge ourselves and make it happen’, says Michael Ssegwaya, the Finance Manager of Barclays Bank Uganda.
By Henry Mutaka
The 11th OVC graduation opened hope for more graduations at Reach Out Mbuya supporting vulnerable children and the youth.
Reach Out Mbuya Parish is a community Faith-based Organization that provide a holistic mode of care services to people who are both infected and affected. Such services include, social support, vocational training programs, education to the orphans and vulnerable children and others.
ROM was started in 2001 by late Rev.Fr. Joseph Archetti and Dr. Margrethe Junker with a vision of creating a community free of the spread of HIV where those persons already infected and affected by HIV and AIDS have positive living with improved quality of life.
In 2006, ROM signed a friendly partnership with Barclays bank Uganda where a vocational training programme was put in place at Banda site. This program was to empower job skills in tailoring to the women who were infected and affected.
However, on Thur/27th/April/2017 this year 2017, over 300 vulnerable children and youth graduated under Barclays bank-funded vocational training of which 162 OVC and youth in Banda, graduated in job skills such as shoe making, catering, welding, motor vehicle mechanics and 138 young mothers in Kasaala-Luwero graduated in tailoring .
The ROM Exploring Talents Club brass band team started the occasion singing different hymns from their trumpets, welcoming the visitors from Barclays Bank Uganda.
The Executive Director of ROM, Dr. Betty Nsangi Kintu, and the community cordinator Agnes Nakanwagi, showed a good hospitality to the visitors directing them to the Art crafts project made by the OVC graduates.Such crafts included, leather bags, leather belts huts, shoes, wallets and others.
The function officially started with an opening prayer led by the catechist Lawrence Nsubuga from Banda St. Paul Catholic church. The National Anthem and the Reach Out Anthem were led by the Brass band children from Reach Out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative.
Sylivia Namboozo the OVC team supervisor was the Master of Ceremony who honored the function by recognizing the presence of visitors by their names and positions; The Guest of honor,the ED/CFO Barclays bank Hon Micheal Ssegwaya, Juliana Lugayizi community marketing officer Barclays bank, Mrs, Deborah Katabalwa,women counselor Banda parish, Nsubuga Lawrence catechist Banda St, Paul and Mr. Kigozi Edward chairman Banda St.Paul.
‘You can now make a choice, and let today be our starting point for a great future’, says Juliana Lugayizi the community marketing officer Barclays bank.
“Congratulations, and thank you for making it”, Juliana appreciated the OVC graduates( These are Orphans and Vulnerable Children both infected and affected). She requested them not to despise the opportunity they have got and not to sit back on the skills acquired from such vocational training. Barclays is available to make sure that such skills are implemented into practical businesses as she continued to give more courage and hope to the graduates. In special way Juliana continued to thank the OVC team leaders and trainers for the supportive work done for the success of our children.
Although am an advocate for a girl child, am much more glad to have young men acquiring skills for their practical businesses,
Dr. Betty Nsangi Kintu, the Executive Director of ROM, appreciated Barclays bank for their good friendship with Reach Out Mbuya. She continued to appreciate them for the guarantee of more 11 annual graduations for the OVC vocational training.
Its now three years of service, Dr. Betty said, thank you Reach Out staff Team for the support and the spirit of teamwork for our Organization. “I thank God that we have been serving as a team and i pray the same spirit keeps on growing in ROM”, she requested the staff team. Dr.Betty congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to work hard that the only way to make your funders and trainers happy is putting the skills into practices.Welding, catering, motor vehicle machanics and shoe making are our new training programs that have been included this year. Thank you so much Barclays bank for loving Reach Out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative.
‘She is a mother,she is a friend and she is an advocate for a girl child’.
Exploring talent club, a peer support group for both infected and affected children. Their main purpose is to address their emotional, social, mental and spiritual needs. Such Orphans and Vulnerable Children are supported by the OVC supervisors to acquire different skills in music, dance and drammer. Exploring talent club participated in entertaining the visitors from Barclays bank and the graduates at the 11th OVC graduation. They also expressed their souls to the outgoing Executive Director, Dr. Betty Nsangi Kintu, in their composed farewell song which was accompanied with gifts.
‘She is a mother, she is a friend who is available in our need and she is an advocate for a girl child’, we are going to miss you Dr. Betty.
“I can also do something with my hands and the community like it”, Bilaalo one of the OVC graduate declared.
He said, thank you Barclays bank,thank you Reach Out for what i am now, a person who had never thought of doing something constructive, only being destructive among the Gangsters where my life belonged, am now expert in shoe making and i can work for myself. Bilaalo continued to encourage his fellow youth always to make good friends if they want to succeed in life.
I can now express myself in English, Magala Milaali who was also among the OVC graduate appreciated Reach Out members and the Barclays bank for the support in their training. Yes we did it, Milaali said. On addition to the skills in shoe making, literature, Computer training and simultaneous saving added more meaning to my life, teachers taught us to save where we managed to form a group; Come Classic Shoe Makers. we managed to rent a room and started buying our own materials under the guidance of our teachers.we make classic shoes, belts, huts, bags etc. We hire machines for producing such classic materials. We noticed that our first market are Reach Out staff, clients and visitors during functions. “Thank you Reach Out for building our career, we also promise not to put you down”, Milaali concluded.
‘Lets be faithful to each other, Lets work with intergrity,and lets work hard’, Micheal Ssegwaya the ED and CFO Barclays bank Uganda encouraged the graduates.
‘From selling daddies i became the ED/CFO Barclays bank Uganda.’ Micheal Ssegwaya shared his life experience to give more hope to the graduates. with God nothing is impossible, he assured the congregation. 1ooo miles always begins with one step,and your first step has already been started with the skills you have got from the training. I grew up with my mother who was a very hard working woman. we used to spend sleepless nights working hard to survive while my father was that of ‘i dont mind person’.since i was the oldest in family, i was responsible for followers.
In my High school, i released out my first cake in senior one. Yes we can challenge ourselves, through making cakes and daddies, i managed to sponsor myself as well as taking care for my followers. Always use whatever opportunity around you to make a different. perseverance and determination pushed me to University after my high school. At university, on top of making cakes and daddies, i used to sell Mushroom to ministers to get tuition and paying school fees to my siblings.
Have some time to God and He will also bless the work of your hands, am not regretting from selling daddies i became the ED/CFO Barclays bank Uganda. Always have hope in God, you will make it. Congratulations to you all for making it in this 11th annual graduation. On behalf of Barclays bank we promise to support you to see that such skills are put into businesses. I assure you that there is a guarantee for more 11 graduations at ROM. together we can do it, thank you very much our trainers and the Reach Out members for such a great work to support the young people in our community. May the Almighty God bless you, and to our dear parents, thank you for supporting and encouraging our children always to come for such trainings.
As a sign of appreciation, there was cake cutting and sharing of . Jubilation at the top among the graduates, the visitors and members from Reach Out Mbuya was away of thanking God for the success achieved for OVC training and the function was closed with a closing prayer led by the Catechist Lawrence Nsubuga St.Paul catholic church Banda.