Habukiriro, his mother and younger brother and sister were deemed to be in very vulnerable circumstances by Salama SHIELD after all of the family’s resources had been spent on Habukiriro’s father’s long illness until he passed away in 2008. Additionally their final few goats were used to pay for Habukiriro’s senior four (grade 12) examinations, an education that is still incomplete and makes his future uncertain. Fortunately, Habukiriro has been selected to undertake studies in bricklaying and concrete at the Vocational Education Centre in Lyantonde. His studies will give him a tangible skills and a way to provide for his family.
Today, Habukiriro is full of hope for his future and that of his family:
“I dream that as soon as I am skilled in bricklaying and concrete practice, our family will have a sufficient water tank, a good house and enough food. My brother and sister will study and
get degrees and diplomas! My bigger plan is to change the lives of orphans and widows in this area by mobilizing them and providing basic needs – especially school fees” As a way to support education and training, Salama SHIELD has established Salama Vocational Education Centre – Lyantonde (SVEC-L), with practical studies focused on supporting youth development and employability. Curricula promote the development of the whole person and program clusters include foundation studies, environment and agriculture, with individual study areas such as animal husbandry, auto mechanics, bricklaying, culinary arts, hospitality, tailoring, concrete and carpentry. As part of their studies, students take part in “Mbuntu Dialogues,” which creates a forum for youth to discuss and confront social issues and learn how to avoid risky behaviours. Discussions take place around reproductive health and social issues, also presenting an opportunity for youth to develop leadership skills and roles within the community. At SSF we believe these youth can succeed and have placed SVEC-L and our Community Development Centre to provide them with practical skills, support and the opportunity to discuss prevalent issues. Recently, Salama SHIELD has fully handed over SVEC-L, now VEC-L to the community.