Women in Busembatia Town Council, Iganga District, have enrolled for adult literacy education and making of crafts to fight illiteracy and unemployment.
The programme was started by Women In Leadership (WIL) Uganda, a non-governmental organisation established to equip women and girls with knowledge and skills to become community leaders.
As the district marked the belated Women’s Day last week, the organisation passed out 50 women who had successfully completed a two-year course in vocational studies and adult literacy.
The women were also equipped with skills in self-defence, making beads, handbags and jewellery from banana fibre.
Ms Betty Mutesi, a mother of six from Bulugoda Village, said she dropped out of school in Primary Three and wanted to learn how to read and write.
“I dropped out of school when my parents could not afford to buy for me books but after coming here, I can now read and write simple sentences,” Ms Mutesi said.
“I also learnt how to make beads, jewelry and handbags, which I sell and get money,” she said.
Apiyo Angela, 47, another beneficiary, said she joined the organisation to learn how to speak English.
“Fellow women asked me to stand for councillorship but I feared that I would get ashamed when asked to swear in English,” Ms Apiyo said.
She added: “But after learning for two years, I can now speak some English and I am in fact warming up for the coming elections.”
The executive director WIL Uganda, Ms Cianne Jones, said the number of women enrolling for adult education was increasing and more than 500 women have been passed out in a period of four years.
The district community development officer, Mr Samuel Batuka, said literacy levels are still low and asked government to increase funding for the adult literacy programme.