Saturday, September 30th, 2023 marked a significant milestone for the Love Binti Women Empowerment Project, which focuses on equipping communities with valuable fashion and design skills. The project, a collaborative effort between Love Binti International, an international NGO operating in Uganda, and Makerere University‘s College of Education and External Studies in the Department of Adult and Community Education, has been providing training since 2018, offering four intakes annually.
The customary orientation for the October-December intake was held at the Lecture Theatre of the Department of Adult and Community Education, the venue of previous orientations. However, what made this particular event stand out was the overwhelming turnout. The venue, which had accommodated orientations for years, was no longer sufficient to accommodate the surge in attendance. Participants spilled into corridors and stairways as the attendance list revealed a staggering 415 attendees out of over 1,000 applicants.
Mr. James Kirinya, the Love Binti Field Assistant, addressed the fortunate attendees during the orientation. He explained that due to the unprecedented number of applicants, not everyone could be invited, and those present were the select few. The atmosphere was charged with optimism and anticipation.
Empowering the Girl Child:
Ms. Hope Katushabe, a trainer in the Love Binti Fashion Course, also assumed the role of Mistress of Ceremony for the day. Her motivational words resonated with the audience as she emphasized the project’s mission: “We are a women’s empowerment project. We care not only about the needs of a woman, but we also know that a woman is a mother, a sister, a wife, and if you empower a woman, you have not only empowered the family, but the entire nation.”
Endorsement from Principal:
Professor Anthony Mugagga Muwagga, the esteemed Principal of the College of Education and External Studies at Makerere University, has played an instrumental role in championing the Love Binti project. His unwavering support and dedication to the program have been crucial in its success. Professor Muwagga’s efforts extend beyond the College, as he passionately advocates for the project to higher authorities whenever inquiries are made.
Adapting to Demand:
Mrs. Okae Suzan Abello, the Country Manager for Love Binti International, informed the participants of the significant impact their attendance had on the Love Binti project. Initially, each intake accommodated a maximum of 60 learners divided into four sessions per week. However, due to the overwhelming response for the October-December intake, a crisis meeting was held to devise a new schedule. The outcome was a new schedule featuring six sessions per week, accommodating a total of 100 learners.
Mrs. Abello assured those unable to secure a place in the current intake that they would automatically be registered for the January-March 2024 intake, following the same schedule.
Mr. Joseph Watuleke, the Focal Person of Love Binti at Makerere University, also highlighted additional opportunities available at the College of Education and External Studies. Participants with a minimum qualification of senior four and senior six could choose to enroll in the accredited certificate or diploma program in Fashion and Garment Design, examined by the Uganda Business and Technical Examination Board (UBTEB). Mr. Watuleke also introduced accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by the College.
A Dream Come True:
To the elation of the audience, Mr. Watuleke revealed that upon completing their three-month fashion and design training, participants would receive a Certificate of Training from Makerere University. This announcement was met with overwhelming joy, with one parent sharing his lifelong dream of holding a certificate from Makerere University, an aspiration he never thought possible until now.
The Love Binti Women Empowerment Project’s October-December intake orientation witnessed an unprecedented surge in attendance, reflecting the program’s growing popularity and impact. With an expanded schedule, new opportunities, and the promise of Makerere University certificates, participants are poised to embark on a transformative journey towards empowerment. Love Binti International, under the steadfast support of Principal Professor Anthony Mugagga Muwagga, and Makerere University are committed to nurturing the aspirations of those who seek to better their lives through education and skills development.
THE LOVE BINTI WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROJECT’S OCTOBER-DECEMBER INTAKE ORIENTATION WITNESSED AN UNPRECEDENTED SURGE IN ATTENDANCE