My name is Kalibakya Rose, the Chairperson of Kikyusa Development Association of the Blind located in Kikyusa Town Council and it comprises of 30 members. The group was introduced to NAWOU by Luwero district officials when we were already producing sweaters with one sowing machine. In 2019, NAWOU not only took us through trainings but later supported us with 6 sewing machines and thread for knitting sweaters. Thread had always been a challenge for us and this greatly lightened the load on production expenditure. The support led to an increment in the number of sweaters we make in a day.
Previously, we produced one per day but now we are able to take big orders, produce 10-12 sweaters per machine per day and deliver in a timely manner. This means we now make a minimum of 70 sweaters per day. Our biggest clients are primary schools especially King of Kings Primary School. We also did not have electricity but with our increased revenue and savings from knitting and tailoring, we have been able to get electricity at our premises. We can comfortably charge our phones and receive calls for orders. The support has had a ripple effect up to our own families. Unlike before, us with dependents are now able to meet all their school requirements and our other household needs. The days of going without any meal are all past as we can now afford decent feeding and a balanced diet. For the future, we plan on purchasing a big electric sewing machine to add to the quantity, variety and quality of our items when funds allow. In the meantime, we will venture into poultry to steadily grow our savings, since we have already been trained in farming as a business.
Finally, as a result of NAWOU trainings on leadership, public speaking and self-esteem, I was seconded by my group for the position of Woman Councilors representing Persons with Disabilities in Kikyusa Town Council. I also occasionally train community members in crafts as a result of the self-esteem and public speaking trainings from NAWOU. The group is grateful to NAWOU for believing and investing in us.”