AIDS ORPHANS EDUCATION TRUST - UGANDA, among its activities, trains and supports widows in various ways. Besides providing counseling and material help, AOET teaches widows tailoring skills and trains them to make African arts and crafts and African Shirts and dresses.
Our goal as a ministry is to equip them with the skills to enable them to be
self-supporting in caring for themselves and their children.
Currently 183 widows are undergoing training in tailoring, and an additional 140 are learning the making and designing of African arts and crafts.
We received several sewing Machines for one base from one Lady and her husband from Grace Community Church in Ramona - California, and they have been and are a VERY big blessing to the Ministry. As we get more funding we want to get more sewing machines for other centers in the different villages that we are running..
the widows near completion of their training courses the clothes and
arts and crafts that they make are being sold. Not only will this
help raise funds for them, but it will also greatly improve their
self-esteem, as they realize that they can still make a valuable
contribution to their community. Most of them, especially the ones
who have begun developing signs and symptoms of AIDS, are rejected by
their relatives and friends.
WIDOWS' & ORPHANS' SKILLS TRAINING
21st September 2002
On the 21st of September 2002, We had most of the widows and Orphans that had been undergoing our training in the rural areas graduate. Some of the training given to them was: Tailoring (Sewing) African Art and Crafts and Computer knowledge.
- In the tailoring Section, Widows and Orphans were taught right from Drawing, through cutting, to sewing. By the time they graduated, each one of them could make Shirts, Shorts, Dresses, Do some repairs on old clothes (which is a big thing here. Many people keep their tattered clothes and a tailor can patch it up to have it still be usable).
- Those that Graduated from ART and CRAFTS were taught how to make several things like - Table mats made from Natural Banana fiber, Batiks (drawings on Fabric with Wax), Baskets, Hats.the list is endless
- Those that Graduated from our Computer Center were given different skills.
- They begun with Typing skills, advanced to learning about operating systems like DOS, Windows 3.1, 3.11, Windows '95, '98, 2000.
- Alongside these, they had application Programs like Word Perfect, Office '97, Office 2000. and of course these include application packages like Word, Excel, Power point, Publisher, Access.
Two Government Ministers graced the occasion, and both are also Members of Parliament. The Widows and Orphans graduating started coming to our center the night before! As is the Ugandan Culture, there was A LOT of Dancing, screaming - All sorts of expressions of Joy. Just before the Graduation date, they were arranged in smaller groups of 4 - 5 people to help them begin working together as a Team as opposed to the Big picture they had during their training.
Each group of 4 or 5 was given a Sewing Machine or Crafts kit depending on what those in that group were trained to do to help them go out there and start a small business as a Team to be able to care for those in their households. Perhaps for your information, at least 92% of all the Widows we are training are HIV+ and have several children they are taking care of!
We had 150 People Graduate on that day that had been undergoing this training for One Year and a half! These are people that had less or no educational Background! Depending on the educational background, Widows are placed in different trainings - for example, those that have a fairly good educational Background go through our computer center; those that have some formal education are given Tailoring Skills. Those that have little or no go through the African ART and Crafts Training as they use natural materials from the forests. to make the Beautiful art pieces! We had 120 Widows and 30 young people that graduated making a total of 150.
It was so fulfilling to see those living with AIDS Dancing and receiving tools that will change their lives economically. All we hear and see on Television is about whole villages dying, staggering statistics of people living with AIDS, what we should expect in 10 years ahead., but here in our small way, with very little resources, our hearts as the Staff of AOET were lightened with hope and we know that there is a way out. AIDS doesn't have the last word. Each one of us has a duty. Let's join hands and help change a life for the Better today!
Right now we have several hundred other Widows and orphans that are undergoing our training and will be graduating sometime next year. Our training keeps overlapping! Before a group graduates, there is another in the middle of their training.
The next Graduation Ceremony of the 183+ Widows and Orphans will be on the 30th of August 2003.
Special thanks to the BAYER Foundation and Dr. A. Ammann.
The Tailoring Training Class for Widows
|Providing skills to enable widows to be self-sufficient||
Tailoring training kits, Housing (shed) for the tailoring class, Paper for patterns, & cloth
Weekly tests to evaluate rate of learning