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Project information

Empowering Ugandan Women Health Volunteers

Construct a Tailoring and Design Centre (TDC) as a social enterprise community cooperative. Provide employment, vocational training & entrepreneurial skills for women who are volunteering their time as Community Health Promoters in order to motivate them and enable to carry on their vital work

June 2019 - June 2020

Charity information: Harpenden Spotlight On Africa

Harpenden Spotlight On Africa logo
  • Need


    To improve livelihoods and improve basic healthcare.
    Ugandan household income is in the lowest 10% globally. In Mbale unemployment is up to 80%, over 50% of people are under 17 and women have few employment opportunities.
    Basic healthcare in the community is reliant on volunteer Health Promoters (CHPs) educating villagers on basic sanitation & healthcare, ensuring mothers immunise their children. In order to carry on volunteering for this essential work, they need to have a source of income.


    Training and employment in tailoring will be offered primarily to women Health Promoters to enable them continue to volunteer as CHPs, raise themselves out of poverty by learning skills, earning for their families and advancing their role in the community.
    The project will also enable Spotlight's school, other schools in the area and villagers to source clothing and reusable sanitary pads from within their community. Thus benefiting not just the target group, but also the wider community.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Alleviating poverty by creating a local workplace with sustainable training, employment and income


    » Construct a building for the TDC with secure storage, solar panels and rainwater harvesting and equip it with machinery, tools, fabric and furniture.
    » The TDC will provide 60 annual traineeships, with a capacity of 30 operatives at any one time. The pool employed at the TDC will likely be greater.
    » The sustainable financial plan includes establishing a production unit by end of Yr 2 and operating surplus within 3 years which will be reinvested
    » Create 5 jobs initially including a manager, three instructors and maintenance supervisor. Our goal is for 80% of trainees progress to earn income

    What success will look like

    Construction of the Tailoring Design Centre in Year 1, establish a “production” unit by Year 2 and with the TDC to make a small surplus by Year 3 to reinvest in the TDC

    Aim 2

    Recruiting and motivating our volunteer Community Health Promoters (CHPS) by offering them training


    » Many Ugandans lack access to basic health care. We have 250 CHPS who advise on health/hygiene practices to stop deaths by preventable diseases.
    » We will offer CHPS traineeships at the TDC giving them means to generate a sustainable income rewarding and benefiting these women and families
    » 30 CHPs per year will be offered TDC training which will incentivise their essential voluntary work at CHPs which is transforming health in Mbale
    » This will encourage their ongoing role as CHPs as well as underlining their key role and their standing as community leaders and help recruit new CHPs

    What success will look like

    Enrol 60 trainees on the training programme per year of which 50% are women Community Health Promoters

    Aim 3

    Provide job related training and apprenticeships and improve literacy and numeracy for trainees


    » Classes in basic literacy, spoken English and managing money will be integral to the training as many trainees will not have been to school.
    » Basic training will upskill local people to be employed or self-employed in the future and the training can be adapted to suit different levels.
    » Two annual apprenticeships will be trained to provide future training at the TDC supporting the longer term aim of expanding to the wider community

    What success will look like

    To have provided lessons alongside vocational training and to have at least two thirds of the trainees enrolled graduate from the TDC with many earning a wage going forward.

    Aim 4

    Meeting the ready market for products in Mbale and expand into the wider textiles market in Uganda


    » The TDC will produce uniform for pupils at MCS, Spotlight's local School at lower cost helping families and contributing to school fees.
    » The Centre aims by the end of year 3 to be producing 350 MCS School uniforms and 100 t-shirts for CHPs and garments for sale in the wider market.
    » The Ugandan government is phasing out import of second hand clothes, which will boost the textiles sector and increase the future market for the TDC.
    » Community cooperatives will expand as more people are trained in garment making to access the growing local and wider textile market

    What success will look like

    In Year 1 to produce sanitary wear for local girls. By year three to produce 350 uniforms per year for school and 100 t-shirts per year for Community Health Promoters.

    Aim 5

    Supporting welfare, education and future prospects for girls and women


    » Encourage girls to stay in education as the TDC will produce and provide free sanitary wear for girls, including 200 girls at the MCS.
    » 20 girls aged 13-25 who aren't in education will have TDC trainineeships annually allowing them to also learn literacy, numeracy and life skills
    » Around 95 % of trainees will be women thus increasing self-esteem, self-reliance, financial independence and positively impacting their families lives
    » Assisting women to provide for their families and produce goods in a local and sustainable way and ensuring workers will be respected and empowered.

    What success will look like

    To have predominantly female trainees at the TDC and to have provided opportunity for employment. Providing sanitary wear for girls will help stop them dropping out of school.

  • Impact


    The TDC is a multi-purpose model for economic development which improves livelihoods, basic healthcare and maximises the opportunity to make essential products locally. Entrepreneurial and technical skills developed will help lift women and their families out of poverty and encourage girls to stay in education. We will demonstrate the success of this project by monitoring the numbers of graduates from the TDC, of individuals who stay on as CHPs and who makes an income from their new skills.


    1) Raising enough funds: We would not start until fully funded. Past experience with the Big Give demonstrates Spotlight's ability to raise funds.
    2) Implementation: We have run successful pilots which have already made uniforms purchased by the school.
    3) Viability of the operation: This enterprise will partner with a local tailoring operation.
    4) Lack of construction expertise: we have successfully constructed buildings here (the Immunisation Clinic in 2017, the school in 2012).


    Donors will receive regular email updates reports with photographs showing progress on the TDC as well as ongoing reports once it has been completed to show the difference that their support has made to so many. Donors will be invited to meet with the UK Trustees and our Patrons if they wish to.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £38,712

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £22,449 Construction of TDC Construction of the Tailoring and Design Centre (including rainwater harvesting and solar power)
      £1,122 Project Management Project management of Construction
      £7,448 Operating expenditure (3 Years includes wages for instructors, centre manager, materials, utilities and maintenance
      £6,887 Machinery 20 Ordinary 5 Electric Sewing Machines, 5 Knitting Machines, 2 Overlock Machines 2 Embroidery Machin
      £806 Furniture Furniture and other equipment for trainees
  • Background


    Slum villages of Bukasakya subcounty, Mbale, Eastern Uganda a peaceful area but extremely poor even by Ugandan standards. Basic infrastructure and access to public services has largely been absent and people suffer high mortality, little primary healthcare provision, lack of clean water and low opportunity for education and employment. Many families have been ravaged by malaria, HIV/AIDS, war and displaced to Mbale by conflict. Population is just over 33,000. Life expectancy of 58.


    Predominantly women in one or all of the following groups:
    1. Volunteer Community Health Promoters
    2. Parents or guardians of impoverished children at our school, the Musoto Christian School (a non-denominational school)
    3. Children who are unable to complete secondary school education
    4. Individuals with physical or learning disabilities
    5. Girls provided with sanitaryware at the MCS
    6. Families who will have access to cheaper school uniforms
    7. The families of the trainees and employees

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    With over 10 years' of development work, we have strong links with community & government organisations. Our Trustees have diverse professional experience including financial & project management. 'Spotlight on Africa Uganda' is led by experienced development workers with deep roots in the community. We have proven need for this project through pilot schemes and have experience in successful construction projects. HSoA is run entirely by volunteers in UK with 95p of £1 going to Ugandan projects.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Richard Okotel

    Executive Director of Spotlight on Africa Uganda has run many successful development projects will lead the Project with his team of 6 in Uganda.

    Professor Andrew Mayo

    Chairman of HSoA & on Board of the Ugandan NGO, Spotlight on Africa- Uganda Foundation, which oversees the operations and the distribution of funds.

    Hefin Rees QC

    President of HSoA and a barrister with significant expertise in construction, led the team overseeing construction of the Immunisation Clinic in 2017.

    Caroline Swanson

    HSoA Trustee who joined in 2007. Employed by BP plc 25+ yrs in Melbourne, Singapore, Capetown, London. Been to Uganda 9 times to oversee HSoA projects


doubled pays for a sewing machine to provide skills/income for volunteer Community Health Promoters