How have they been pushing on at GDPU?

Jokene Geoffry of Tam Anyim Youth Entereprise working on his business plan
Jokene Geoffry of Tam Anyim Youth Enterprise working on his business plan

Any further sporting achievements to celebrate?

Members of Gulu PWDs electronics went to the national competition in Mbarara in September with great results.

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Ocira Richard

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!

Ocholar Stephen July 1
Ocholar Stephen with Musema Faruk (ETC@GDPU Project Officer)

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.

GDPU Phase Two youth groups during the Business plan training
Phase Two youth groups during the Business Plan training at GDPU

What else has been happening at Gulu Disabled Persons Union?

After the evaluation of the successful ETC@GDPU pilot phase we all decided that:

  1. the project and its aims were worthwhile,
  2. that Gulu Disabled Persons Union (GDPU) should continue to keep an eye on the existing pilot phase groups
  3. 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.
GDPKW SWEATER KNITTING ENTERPRISE (4)
Gulu Disabled Persons Knitting Workshop

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)
Members of lubanga lakica Enterprise Developing their Business plan
Members of Lubanga Lakica Enterprise developing their Business Plan

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.

House rules and expectations for all participants
House rules and expectations for all participants during training

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?”

Discussion on how to make a record book according to their knowledge
Discussion on how to make a record book according to their knowledge

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.

Business Plan Training
Business Plan Training

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.

Hope for Disabled Girls
Hope for Disabled Girls

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.”

Oloya Kenneth at his workshop 2
Oloya Kenneth at his workshop

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.

Rwot Aye Twero Phase 2 July 3
Training at Rwot Aye Twero

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.

Rwot Aye Twero Phase 2 July 1
Mama Cave training at Rwot Aye Twero

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.

Meeting With Nyeko Rach Hairdressers Acet 5
Nyeko Rach Hairdressers, Acet

Nyeko Rach

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.

Gulu PWDs Electronics July 4
Gulu PWDs Electronics at work

PWD electronics

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

Customers waiting for their appliances They do repair in the presence of their customers
Customers waiting for their appliances; They repair in the presence of their customers

More 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.

Next Steps: ETC@GDPU in October; why fixing the gaps matters and more excitement from Gulu PWD Athletes

The start of the wheelchair road race, Kampala

Breaking News

As I was writing this report, Faruk (the ETC@GDPU project officer) emailed us to say that Gulu PWD Athletes have been in the national news again, this time for a major wheelchair marathon.

On 12th November, two members of the ETC@GDPU pilot group: Gulu PWD Electronics, competed in the MTN and UAF Wheelchair and Tricycle 10km road race in Kampala. It was a nail biting finish, after leading the pack Ocira Richards was only beaten into second place because he came off at the last bend in very slippery conditions, Okwonga Charles also finished well, coming fifth. You can read more about the race here; our heartiest congratulations to them both; first and second places next year we hope!

The start of the 10k wheelchair road race, Kampala

Next Steps for October: Training News, ‘fixing the gaps’ and future planning

Highlights of the month

  • Analysis of the Reflection Meeting in September leads to extra business training for pilot groups.
  • Further evidence that the pilot programme has worked and members income has increased
  • Monthly follow up activities and decisions to make about the future
The ETC@GDPU Project Officer Fact Finding in Acet

Training in Business Management and Book Keeping/Record Keeping

The recent training programme at the ETC@ GDPU project shows the importance of ‘reflection’ meetings with the people you are training. After those meetings in September the ETC@GDPU Project Officer realised that one of the most important areas identified as gaps needed attention.

Where was that gap?

It was in Basic Book Keeping and Business Management

Why does that matter?

Unsuccessful training in business management and record keeping was one of the areas that caused poor sustainability amongst the earlier YDP youth enterprises.

Why?

Because they failed to analyse their profit margin, members didn’t know how much they were spending on materials and because they didn’t keep other records for their businesses, they didn’t know how much money, if any, they were making. Therefore, members didn’t know which areas of their business were successful or unsuccessful. The young enterprises cannot plan, develop or even understand their own business without such basic information.

Reflection Meeting in Gulu

Aim of the extra support training

to help strengthen and develop the business enterprise by the end of November.

What did ETC@GDPU do?

GDPU Identified KENVIC CONSULTANCY Firm and the expertise of the GDPU accountant to train these youth in areas of Business Management and Book Keeping/Record Keeping.

Business Management Training

The training was conducted successfully in Omoro Acet Centre and Gulu Municipality targeting 4 members of NYEKO RAC HAIRDRESSING AND COSMETOLOGY, 2 members of RWOT AYE TWERO YOUTH ENTERPRISE and 6 Members of GULU PWDS ELECTRONICS REPAIR & MAINTENANCE. Trainings were conducted on Friday 20th 10 2017 at Acet Centre and Tuesday 24th 10 2017 in the Gulu office.

Business Management Training

Results

This extra training was beneficial to the four business enterprises, under the ETC pilot project they have now learnt how to manage finance and take records for their daily expenses and sales. The four groups were provided with a simplified book of accounts and were trained on how use them. Members were encouraged to design and enter their income and expenses and calculate their profit at the end of the month. They can now make a record book indicating income column and expense in local language that might actually be used, unlike the complex written English based systems they had ignored before.

Business Management Training

Village Saving and Loans Associations

Saving pass books were given to Gulu PWDS electronic and Nyeko Rac enterprise to help them improve on their VSLA.

Hairdressers in Acet

Monthly follow-up activities at Acet centre, Omoro District: Nyeko Rac and Rwot aye Twero youth enterprise

The ETC@GDPU project officer followed two youth enterprises based in Odek sub county Omoro District, checking on their progress in skills training and progress in work.

Business skills

Business plan for two groups were completed successfully, each member has clearly understood the purpose of having a business plan, how to follow plans and strategies and to make their enterprise out-compete their competitors.

Increased income?

According to the assessment of the youth enterprise there is an increase in income generation compared to assessments made before the start of the project. Members of Nyeko Rac Hairdressing enterprise have recorded increase in their income:

Before the project started daily income was (0-5000 shillings) and now most members agree that the list range per day is 5000-10,000 shillings and during market days (every Wednesday) they make 10-30,000 shillings. This income increase is because of improved skills in plaiting, record keeping, customer care and business management; fixing the gaps appears to be working for them.

Issues for Rwot Aye Twero

Rwot Aye Twero enterprise have had training problems. Initially GDPU contracted a knitting and tailoring instructor to train the youth twice week, but continued absenteeism by that instructor (who stays 4km from the Centre) meant that the youth did not get sufficient training to improve the quality of their products and therefore get more customers. They have received some trained in knitting V-shape sweaters, but were not trained in joining sweaters using a sewing machine, because they don’t have any machine for training.

GDPU Sweater Weavers

Follow up at Gulu Municipality: Gulu PWDs Electronics

Skills trainings was conducted every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 am to 12:00pm for electronic group. They were trained in Radio, TV and Phone repair and have greatly improved their level of income and confidence.

ETC@GDPU pilot provided a digital meter to Gulu PWD electronic to improve on their work, in order to capture more profit.

Gulu PWDs, Electronics and Repair: repairing a phone.

Development at GDPU itself

The GDPU coordinator and ETC@GDPU project officer have worked at improving publicity at the organization. They have redesigned the organization sign post showing all partners’ organization at the union, improved on flow of the main reception and the business office. Office signs were put in each office door and currently they are working towards developing the GDPU Business plan.

a YDP Gala at GDPU

Way Forward

Training for PWDs electronic in repair of electronic appliances is ongoing up to 19th November 2017.

GDPU will continue to follow up the youth enterprises, supporting them in areas in which they face challenges, guidance/ counselling programs and life skills until the project is evaluated by the funders and new plans are agreed.

GDPU will engage on Skype with the funders to look for the way forward for the greater project.

Gulu PWDs Electronic win again

The Triumphant Gulu Wheelchair Basketball Team

Wheelchair basketball has long been a feature at GDPU. From 25th to 30th September 2017 Gulu PWDs Electronic, one of the three pilot groups on the ETC@GDPU project, along with other members of Gulu Wheelchair Basketball Team took part in a National Sport Gala for Persons with Disabilities.

Spectators at the 2017 National Disability Sports Gala in Gulu

The Gala was organized by The Uganda Paralympic Committee and hosted by Gulu district. They took part in wheelchair race, wheelchair basketball and sitting volley ball.

Gulu Wheelchair Basketball Team in Action at Kaunda Ground, Gulu.

Gulu Wheelchair Basketball Club kept their national trophy by defeating arch-rivals Kampala Wheelchair Basketball Club 26-17. The exciting final of the Uganda National Paralympic Games in Wheelchair Basketball, held at Kaunda Grounds in Gulu, was witnessed by chief guest Kameda Kazuaki, the Japanese ambassador to Uganda.

The Japanese Ambassador at National Sports Gala, Gulu.

The Ugandan national paper, the Daily Monitor appears to believe that Japan might have a future role in training Ugandan Paralympic athletes, GDPU are following this up; you never know!

Awarding the medals at 2017 National Disability Sports Gala in Gulu

Gulu Pwds Electronics members of that winning team were: Ojara Charles, Ocira Richard, Okwonga Charles, Akera Robert, Oloya Kenneth and Omony Patrick, congratulations to them and everyone else who took part.

Congratulations to Gulu PWDS Electronic