International day of the girl - meet Juliette
With your support we've raised enough money to enrol 80 vulnerable women and girls into a skills training programme which aims to arm them with the tools, skills and confidence to earn a living and take control of their lives. Meet Juliette, she is 14 years old. This is Juliette outside her home in Bwaise, Kampala which she shared with her father and two younger siblings.
“I joined the programme because if you have no education your life can’t go on, you are stuck. But if you have a sewing machine you have a chance for your life to go on.
“My dream is to start a business so I can support my family and me, my brothers and sisters can all complete school.
Amazing determination when you think what she has been through to get to this point. “I used to enjoy studying at school, I loved science and history. But when I was 11 years, my father became very ill, he could no longer work and we couldn’t afford school fees.
“The head teacher came into the classroom and told me to leave the school and not come back again until we could pay. I ran home crying.”
Juliette is now head of the household - sole earner and carer for the family.
“My father has HIV and has long periods where he can’t move. My mother abandoned the family when my dad first became ill, we heard she had remarried but we have not seen or heard from her since.
“I’m head of the family now. I start my day around 6am to find work – I look for neighbours that want washing done or water collecting. I can earn around 1000 Ugandan shillings (o.24p) for washing and around 100 shillings for Fetching water. “But we need at least 3000 shillings (0.70p) to buy enough maize flour for everyone to eat.”
She struggles to find enough work to feed the family, they can go days without food. They live in a tiny room which they all share. The landlord stopped chasing for rent sometime ago, as you can see from the photo, the houses next to there have been abandoned as the is under water all year round and the community use the area in front of their home to dump their rubbish.
Despite all this Juliette turns up to classes early every day, she cleans and prepares the class room and goes over and over what she has learnt – she’s a determined learner!
“When Regina came to tell me about the training I couldn’t believe it, it was like I was dreaming. I thought my life was over and then suddenly I can see a new life ahead for all of us. Thank you for this chance.
"In my future I want to be a nurse (and a designer of clothes!). I want my brother and sister to have a good life. I want to support them so they can achieve their dreams."