The making of the first female tailor…
Janet is a young mother of 1 child. She is 23 years old. Janet joined the Tailoring Course with the cohort of January to June 2022 and graduated in September of the same year. She heard of There is Hope from one of our graduates from the same trade. Her father encouraged her to enroll […]
Age Is Just A Number: Mariam’s Journey to Becoming a Tailor at 40
As we chat with Mariam Baisikolo late one afternoon in May of this year, she is interrupted by customers coming to seek her services or a passerby or two shouting “Atelala!…(Tailor!)”. The intriguing story of how the mother of 4 and grandmother of one became a trained Tailor at 43 is what brought me to […]
17 Years of Promoting Self-Reliance Among Refugees and the Host Community!
Our existence has been fueled primarily by self-reliance. We have spent the last 17 years working to ensure that refugees at Dzaleka Refugee Camp and the surrounding Malawian communities have access to opportunities that will propel them to attain self-reliance. Many great things have unfolded before our very eyes. Join us as we reflect on […]
The Single and Self-Reliant Young Lutia
Lutia, who is 23 years old, is single and without a child. Many people in her town are shocked by this, as the majority of her age group are either married or have more than two kids. “I don’t want to enter marriage too quickly, or have a child before marriage. I first wish […]
The Young Solar Technologist
“I am now able to take care of my needs, as well as my sister’s—my family’s…” Some individuals view vocational training as a substitute for formal education. According to unpopular belief, it is intended for students who are either unable to continue their education beyond secondary school or who have dropped out of both […]
The 14-year-old Girl Who Became a Midwife in a Labor Ward
“Even those that got married are struggling, I have seen most of them – married as they are, still rely on their parents for basic necessities. For the same reasons, I decided not to get involved in sexual activities!” She released a chuckle, in astonishment. The intelligent Dina said that it is not also wise for a young girl to get involved in sexual activities as it puts their lives at risk. “I also encourage girls my age that got married to end their marriages and return to school. More so now that the government allows teenage mothers to return to school”, she elaborates.
FROM A TILL OPERATOR TO A PIPE FITTER
She was motivated to pursues vocational training as she feels she can employ herself. She can as well work for other companies while operating her own business. She feels this is a skill and a job that cannot be taken away from her. “I lost the job as a Till Attendant but this skill will get me a job and a business that will be mine for the rest of my life”, she says with a cheeky smile.
ADDING THE SHERRY ONTOP OF THE CONCRETE
After completing her secondary school, Sherrie started teaching at a nursery school. She later joined a construction company. While still working there, one of her colleagues informed her about There is Hope and the vocational training that is offered. When a call for applications for June 2022 Informal Intake was out, Sherrie applied and she got selected. She chose Bricklaying as she wanted to be a coordinator in a construction company as she had firsthand experience having worked in the industry before. Life skills training comes naturally to her as she is a self-trained tailor.
Ripe for integration
“You know I used to be scared of Malawians,” he said and let out a big bright grin. It is hard to tell that behind that wide smile once hid a face overshadowed by the trauma that is birthed courtesy of being a refugee. “I am serious. I thought Malawians are difficult. I think it was partly because of the language barrier between us refugees and Malawians.” He continued, his smile slowly fading into a thoughtful face as his lips briefly flattened up into a straight line. He stayed muted for a few seconds, gazing into the roof of his small house as if searching for a lost symbol then glanced up again…“That was a long time ago. Now I look at Malawians and it’s interesting how I have grown to like them. I treat them as my brothers and sisters now…”
A pipe, a spanner and a girl
Susan comes from a background where people believe that it is a taboo for a woman to be involved in construction-related trades. This misconception has caused many girls in Susan’s village to shun such courses. Not Susan. She wanted to disprove such wrong beliefs and her dream was to be a woman who can take care of her own financial needs. So, she trained in Plumbing in our vocational training programme. Susan has finally achieved her goal. She got a job as a plumbing teacher in the city. She can even afford to pay rent for a house in the city.
Bulaiton was in his late age when he decided to train in Carpentry in our programme. He never allowed age to come between him and his strong desire to find a means of pushing out of the poverty he grew up in. And after his training, he did push out of the poverty. He started off with a small carpentry bench which grew and gave him enough income to build a new house complete with corrugated iron sheets. To Bulaiton this is a big improvement. He also did something uniquely interesting for his grandson and son-in-law.
Nothing but an abandoned destitute
Pamphil has been living in Dzaleka Refugee Camp for close to seven years now but unlike the average refugee who are trapped in the vicious and inevitable cycle of poverty, Pamphil is a qualified plumber and can ably make a living. It is something that he is proud of because seven years ago when Pamphil and his young sister stepped foot in Dzaleka, he was – in his own words– “nothing but an abandoned destitute”. The painful recollection of those early stages of his stay in Dzaleka left a deep emotional scar that Pamphil never thought he would never recover from.