Florence’s life now
Florence has gone a long way to where she is today. As a young mother and wife, her responsibility was to stay at home cooking and serving the family. Without possibility to education, there were little opportunities for her to realize other dreams.
In her shop, she has employed one person taking care of the customers while she is running the tailoring center for vocational training. Here too she has employed a man who can help her teach the 19 students. Many students want to join the 3 months course, and she told us that one of them walked 7 km each day to attend.
It is a crowded vocational center right next to the marketplace, and high activity among the girls producing clothes on several sewing machines.
“Look here, these five machines are mine, the rest I rent,” she said proudly. In one day, she can earn UGX 120,000-200,000
In the room there is also a hairdresser. Florence tells that she has a friend who has been on a Bonga course and learned hairdressing, but she did not have a place to work. Now she can rent a small part of the room in the center, here are both the hut rooms and workrooms.
Florence is a strong woman, and who has worked hard and smart to get where she is.
Florence has sent the three oldest children to the boarding school in Kampala. There were no school options at the camp when they arrived. Now the school is crowded and the quality of teaching is not good. But it is expensive to have them in the boarding school, yet she manages to pay school fees herself. The oldest son’s fees alone cost UGX 350. “But education is important,” she said.
The Bonga group she attended in Kajo Keji meant a lot to her. She learned to write and read. She learned about tailoring and about managing herself in society. Today she has lost contact with the other Bonga girls who also had to flee from South-Sudan.
Florence is a strong woman, and who has worked hard and smart to get where she is. Even though she had to leave her home and the activity in Kajo Keji, she did not give up. Now she has put herself together and focused on starting again.
These are the people who can help build the country of South-Sudan. One day, she can return with the knowledge and energy to build up a war-torn land – but it may still take a few years.
Young women getting tailoring training. Illustration photo.