Friday, October 11th, 2019, was a different day for the people of Ndejje Lubugumu, Makindye Sabagabo Wakiso district.
Eighty two of the village’s residents, most of them already fathers and mothers converged at Hope for Children and Women Victims of Violence (HOCW), to be decorated with graduation gowns after crowning a full year of study.
The jubilant grandaunts received certificates in English language, Tailoring, Hair dressing Computer and Business studies from HOCW, an NGO whose mission is to empower disadvantaged groups, mostly women, to acquire life skills so that they can start and run businesses to support themselves and their families.
It was the seventh graduation ceremony for HOCW, since its establishment in 2010.
And the centre’s founder Pastor Bolingo Ntahira could not hide his excitement at the fact that yet another group of people were leaving the centre armed to face the challenges of life.
Bolingo, a Congolese national who came to Uganda as a refugee, hailed the staff of HOCW and other volunteers who shared his dream of establishing a centre that can be used by the most vulnerable members of the society to overcome skills-related obstacles.
The graduation ceremony also coincided with the opening of a new project the SACCO that will benefit women, this will help them save money and borrow after their course which will help them to start small businesses. The project was funded by the Republic of Slovenia through its Ministry for Foreign affairs.
The event was honoured with the presence of several dignitaries including the the guest of honor Kyaze Frank , the LC 3 Chairman Sulaiman Sejjengo, Bishop Elijah Zziwa and Councillor Bilal Mukiibi.
Chairman Sejjengo hailed pastor Bolingo for his tireless efforts in uplifting the lives of these humble people.
Sejjengo informed guests that the centre is not only a beacon of hope in Ndejje but they have also opened a clinic that will offer services to residents at a low cost and totally free for the refugees.
kyaze appealed to the government to help such organizations which have the potential of creating employment for the community.
At the same event, HOCW unveiled another project that will seek to empower members with farming skills particularly in the growing of vegetables for both domestic and commercial purposes. Pastor Bolingo revealed that they will use the irrigation method for farming in case of the dry season.
Bolingo also revealed that the centre was blessed and they bought off the land that the school is built on courtesy of a partnership between HOCW and Sky foundation, an organization from the U.S.A.
One of the outstanding things about the centre is that everything is free of charge from education to skills acquisition.
Daluak Faqi, one of the graduates heaped praise on to HOCW and its founders and staff when he said it is the only institution in Uganda where one can truly acquire skills without parting with a coin and thanks Bolingo for the love he shows to them as refugees.