Michael lives in a family of nine, and had had to leave school early as his family could no longer pay for books and uniform. With no skills, he struggled to find any work, and says he spent much of his time idle. He wanted to learn a skill, so signed up for a carpentry course with Green Ribbon Foundation and Tools for Self Reliance. He enjoyed the practical training, learning to make sofa sets, tables, chairs, and other furniture, as well as roofing struts. He struggled with some of the business training, particularly the financial management, but knew how important it was to be able to accurately cost his products, and calculate his profit.
He is now working with Green Ribbon Foundation, making sofa sets as part of their income generation work. He also does occasional self employed work, making items to order to supplement his income. He can now support his family, and help buy soap, medicines, and food. He plans to start saving money so that he can buy a plot of land, and set up his own furniture business in Kitgum town because the market is bigger. He said, “I now feel like a responsible citizen.”
In five years, we will have a big workshop that we own and will take on our own trainees.
Carpentry training, Uganda