The Gulu War Affected Training Centre, (GWATC), an Eskom Uganda aided Centre which was established in the aftermath of the Northern war has held its seventh graduation ceremony with 127 students (126 girls & 1 boy) receiving certificates in catering, tailoring & hair dressing among other courses offered.
While officiating at the graduation ceremony on Saturday 25th November 2017 in Gulu town, the Deputy High Commissioner South African Embassy in Uganda, Her Excellency Phumeza Mukedi urged African girls to rise up and take their place at the high table of professionalism.
Phumeza said African governments recently pronounced joint aspirations for 2023 which looks atdeveloping the potential of women and youth by empowering for prosperity and broadmindedness which will in turn, trigger development in the continent.
Speaking at the same event Eskom Uganda Managing Director Thozama Gangi said Eskom started with initial donation of UGX 200 Million to build classroom blocks for GWATC which was officially opened and handed over to the Director and Board members on January 14th, 2010. According to Thozama, the company has since continued to offer assistance to the school by offering a sowing machine to the best student on graduation day.
At the same event, Eskom donated assorted items to boost the hairdressing section of the training centre. The items worth several millions include Hair driers, hair washing sets, sterilizing machines, fans, salon seats and a brand new tent among others. The overall best Student received a brand new sewing machine.
Thozama said Eskom’s continued support to the Centre is a demonstration of Eskom’s commitment to continue making a difference in the lives of ordinary people, to ensure their wellbeing is improved.
“Initially, the Gulu War Affected Training Centre was set up to equip women affected by the 20-year insurgency that ravaged Northern Uganda with Vocational hands-on skills like tailoring, catering and hairdressing to help them get a decent living. With Eskom’s support that vision has come to bear fruits as you can see for yourselves today” Thozama said.
The founder of the Centre, Ms. Betty Lalam who started with only 5 students in a shop verandah in 2005, showered praises at Eskom Uganda, the Nalubale and Kiira dams Concessionaire for making the school what its today through consistent funding.
“The People of Gulu and indeed the whole of Acholi Sub region, especially those who have gone through this training centre look at Eskom as God’s messenger, send to wipe tears off our eyes, following the trauma that we went through during the LRA war which ravaged this area. We can never thank them enough.
Lalam said the fresh graduates are joining 1,913 other beneficiaries who have graduated from the centre since inception and have gone off to start profitable ventures using the skills they acquired at the centre.
Other humanitarian initiatives activated by Eskom Uganda Limited
In Environment, Eskom has engineered the planting of over 40,000 trees around Jinja district.
Eskom also partnered with Busoga Development Agency to plant trees along all major roads in Busoga Sub-region.
In Health, Eskom has partnered with local leadership to upgrade and rehabilitate Kimaka Maternity Clinic in Jinja.
Eskom has also equipped the clinic with modern equipment to reduce maternity related risks. We are currently constructing a Placenta Pit to improve the functionality of the unit.
In Education, Eskom has rehabilitated the Njeru Primary school in Buikwe district. We intend to embark on the second phase of the project which includes fencing off the school.
Transferring skills to Ugandans
Hundreds of graduate trainees in Uganda have been absorbed by Eskom to gain hands on experience in hydro generation engineering since commencement of operations.
EUL has continued to offer continuous industrial training of 30 students per annum. In line with government of Uganda’s focus on Skilling Uganda, Eskom is already making a contribution towards taking Uganda to a middle income economy by 2020.