Any further sporting achievements to celebrate?
Members of Gulu PWDs electronics went to the national competition in Mbarara in September with great results.
Ocira Richard, a member of the group, won the National Wheelchair 100 metres in Mbarara and has now gone to Berlin to represent Uganda in the Wheelchair Marathon, the first ever Ugandan to represent his country in this way; we all wish him the very best!
We are also very happy to see that Musema Faruk’s (the ETC@GDPU Project Officer) work coaching children in inclusive disability sports has been recognized. He has been shortlisted for Arsenal, WorldRemit Coaching Programme launched last month to offer local coaches from across Africa a place on a training camp with Arsenal’s Schools coaches in London; all the very best for that too Faruk!
In other news, Enhancing the Capacity of Persons with Disability (ETC of PWD), the umbrella group that includes the ETC@GDPU project, has now been fully registered as a charity in the UK. Which means of course, that once HMRC have finally approved our financial status as a charity we can start looking for funding; expect all sorts of demands soon. The Charities Commission have asked that we make each part of the programme clearly separate, so a new ETC of PWD website will be appearing in the near future.
What else has been happening at Gulu Disabled Persons Union?
After the evaluation of the successful ETC@GDPU pilot phase we all decided that:
- the project and its aims were worthwhile,
- that Gulu Disabled Persons Union (GDPU) should continue to keep an eye on the existing pilot phase groups
- GDPU should look to the past Youth Development Programme groups to find more young persons with disability in Gulu and district who would benefit from support in their businesses.
We are now properly into Phase 2 of the ETC@GDPU Programme, Musema Faruk, the ETC@GDPU project Officer has found four groups:
- Gulu Disabled Persons Knitting workshop
- Hope for Disabled Girls (hairdressing)
- Lubanga Lakija (Motor cycle repair and maintenance)
- Tam Anyim (Motor cycle repair and maintenance)
And two individual enterprises:
- Ocholar Stephen (Electronics)
- Oloya Kenneth (Electronics)
Faruk has now worked with each one to find out what they want to do to improve their businesses and what skills they would like to improve, found new trainers where appropriate and assessed the level of support each enterprise will need.
As Phase 2 begins, he has worked with them on their financial structures, Ojok Patrick (Project Leader and GDPU co-ordinator) has worked with them all on group structures and conflict resolution. Courses have been delivered on literacy, numeracy and sanitation. As before, this support will continue for the next eight months.
Business Plan Training
The usual conversations about facilitation (money for attending a session) with participants, we realise that members find difficulties with transport and time training is not time spent earning: “I spend my day here how will I survive in the evening?”
As Faruk says: “With facilitation, members are active, without they are dormant”. But we also know that if people are given money to attend then they do not take up the skills on offer, they feel that by merely attending they have earned their money. So, the current process is to give money for transport and lunch and then it all depends on the quality of the training to inspire the activity of the participants. As an experiment, each member is given 5 thousand shillings by Faruk for facilitation but of that, 1 thousand must go into the group account to get into the idea that each must contribute from their own funds.
The members coped with the business template. They brainstormed in their groups. It is better for them to do the plan as part of their training and so now they have a working business plan for their group.
They have already carried out record keeping workshops and been given a book, a calendar and a calculator and they had drawn up their record books themselves to their own specifications.
Carrying out Financial Literacy training one week later allowed Faruk to find out their knowledge and he now knows the gaps and what kind of training each group needs and so can put together a training plan for each group.
So far, Faruk feels that the group needing the most support will be Hope for Disabled Girls: “this youth enterprise consisted of 7 females, their plans for a kiosk in a strategic location were denied by Pece Division Authorities which left the enterprise members stranded. The enterprise still lacks many of qualities and skills needed to operate successfully in the community. ETC@GDPU will try to mentor them to a level that they can become sustainable and strong.”
The strongest enterprise is probably Aloya Kenneth who is an ambitious, hardworking and skilful young man with thriving business in a good location, support will mostly be for extra skills training and how to find sources of investment.
There is a full breakdown and assessment of each Phase 2 group here.
And how are the Pilot Phase Groups pushing on?
Rwot Aye Twero Knitting Group
They are in Acet Trading Centre, a hard to reach area in Omoro District. This enterprise has two members who are actively knitting sweaters, although they still have gaps that need to be filled. In particular, joining the sweaters they have knitted and also making open sweaters as they are a design which is more marketable in their area.
The group has identified an instructor they trust and she has started training them in gaps they have. The ETC@GDPU project supported 50% of the training, ETC project supported 50% because of the cost sharing policy of the project, which is aimed at involvement of the teams to register a sustainable development for the enterprise.
Hairdressers group, also in Acet. They are doing well, they call every week for transporting chemicals as there is no shop there. They are very active and every week a car is sent with materials for them.
Charles from PWD electronics is still getting training from former PWD Electronics member Akira Robert, in fact whoever wants more knowledge can attend open training with him on Monday and Thursday. Akira Robert is eager to support his fellows and always keeps to time.
People have confidence with all of them, they don’t see their disability just people who can repair. Ocira Richard has not got his software yet, he is very active in his sport
They participated in a marathon that was organized by Omoro District local government in celebrating the world population day. The winner of the marathon was Ocira Denis who received a Blanket and a Tailoring Machine and the second runner up was Ojara Denis who also received a blanket. Although they still haven’t sorted out their book keeping yet.