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Project offers new start for single mothers in Yei

Alison Lemeri
Single mothers in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State, are launching businesses after months of intensive training in tailoring and hair dressing.
7.05.2015  |  Yei
Single mothers during the graduation ceremony in Yei, on Friday, May 1, 2015.
Single mothers during the graduation ceremony in Yei, on Friday, May 1, 2015.

Under the motto Women’s empowerment for improved livelihood”, 33 local women graduated in tailoring and 11 in hair dressing at Zamba Church in Yei on Friday, May 1, 2015. The 44 single mothers hailed from different churches and the project was funded by Faith Line Ministry, a religious organisation in Yei.

At the graduation, each woman was given start-up equipment such as two sewing machines and hair dressing materials, to enable them to support their children and improve their outlook.

Before the training my life was very dull.”
Rose Joy
Rose Joy 28, a single mother of eight children, said she gained knowledge and practical tailoring skills which would help support her family.

Before the training my life was very dull. If I heard any one calling me to work for him, I would do so to help the children,” she recalls, adding that she was given a fresh start by the free capacity building.

Sending children to school, providing food and other basics was difficult, she says.
 
Some of the single mothers lost their husbands during the prolonged civil war against the north, while others men had died from illness or left home.

Asha Christine 25, mother of two, a hair dressing graduate, says she had little knowledge of the subject before joining the course in October.

Asha says the course broadened her knowledge and skills and she now hopes to set up a salon. Before getting trained, Asha supported her family and children’s education through plaiting women’s hair.

These women have gained knowledge and tools to improve their livelihood.”
Mbaraza Emmanuel
So many women got to know me and it was the only way I could get money for my family,” she says at the graduation, describing the training was a gift from God”.

Faith Line’s Executive Director Mbaraza Emmanuel says the organisation responded to the difficult burden carried by single mothers.

These women have gained knowledge and tools to improve their livelihood,” Mbaraza says, promising that the organisation will offer more training further in the future.

However, he says his organisation cannot meet popular demand sparked by the pilot scheme. Hundreds of women are coming to our offices requesting to be trained in tailoring and hair dressing, but we don’t have funds,” he says.