THERE IS JOY IN EVERY STITCH FOR AISHA
My name is Aisha Namusisi. I am 24 years old, I am Ugandan and I live with my husband here in Bidibidi settlement.
There was a time when I was a housewife; I totally depended on my husband to provide for me and my children, and he would buy everything in the home. This caused many quarrels in the home, between my husband and I; he used to say that he was tired of me begging him for every single need. I also got worried that he may get involved with other women.
One day when I was in the market buying food, I saw an advert by Oxfam, calling for applicants to participate in a tailoring course. I went to my husband that evening and told him of the opportunity. It took some convincing for him to agree that I should attend the course because we had a 4 months old baby. But after some discussions, we agreed that if I passed the interview, I would go to the school with my baby since I was still breastfeeding. The training lasted 3 months, and during this time, I learnt how to use a sewing machine; and we were also taught some business skills on how to turn our new tailoring skills into business opportunities. We were also taught to save from our earnings. I am proud to say that I was the best student in my class, something even my husband was proud of.
After the training, we were each given a sewing machine, scissors, threads and materials to start up our businesses. It has been 4 months now and I am happy that I took that course. I now earn money and I can support my husband to take care of the home. Because of the Coronavirus, my husband stopped working but we are not worried about finances because the money I earn has helped to sustain us. The arguments my husband and I used to have are a thing of the past, we now have peace in the home.
Looking forward, I want to increase my skills, expand my business and own one of the biggest fashion houses in my village, I know this will be possible soon if I keep saving as I learnt in school. I save 5,000 shillings every week from my earnings, totalling to 20,000 shillings every month. I know I shall make it big as I dream to be.
Aisha is one of the Ugandan host community members in Bidibidi Refugee settlement that benefited from Oxfam’s livelihoods project. The project, funded by KLUB saw the training of over 90 people, both South Sudanese refugees and host community members, to receive training in tailoring/sewing for 3 months. This training is a tool aimed at empowering refugee and host communities with professional skills and promote their independence and financial self-sufficiency.