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The Mighty Graduation for Economic Empowerment

July 26th 2019, was a wonderful day here at Girl Up Initiative Uganda. It was filled with loads of joy and happiness, not forgetting the red carpet moments and the amazingly unique dance strokes that were pulled off by everyone. As a way of marking young women’s completion from our business training and vocational training programs, we held a vibrant graduation ceremony for 20 young women. The celebration kicked off with welcoming the invited guests, including the parents to the graduates, which was later followed by a luncheon.

During the graduation ceremony, the young women showcased the products that they had made during the different trainings. We held a fashion show from the women in our vocational training program, Sewing Our Futures, who displayed their beautifully made outfits on the runway as the invited guests were cheering them on. The other group of women from the business trainings had two tables to display their hand-made products like necklaces, bungles, small baskets, key holders and more.

The Young Women’s Economic Empowerment Program (YWEEP) is a program that aims at improving the economic empowerment of young women living in slum areas of Kampala. The program creates economic opportunities for young women to increase their income and become economically empowered and self-sufficient. As part of the program, we offer entrepreneurial and business trainings to groups of women in different slum communities in Kampala. Women in this program are provided with the space and support to develop their business ideas and learn new skills on entrepreneurship and business development, for example in bookkeeping, saving, business marketing, communication skills and so many others. The first cohort of 2019 included disadvantaged women from Acholi quarters.

The other group of women that graduated this day were from the Sewing Our Futures (SoF) Project, which is a vocational training program that aims at economically empowering the young women in the slums of Kampala with fashion and design skills for income generation.


(Photo: Clare, one of the SoF trainees showcasing her beautiful outfit)

Under both programs, young women are trained for a period of six months. For those undertaking the business trainings, they learn how to manage their businesses, book keeping, customer service and other basic business skills while those in the vocational training learn how to operate the sewing machines, how to design and make different products such as dresses, bags, trousers and so many others. These graduates will now go off to start their own businesses, as well as pass on their knowledge and skills to others!

“I would like to thank Girl Up Initiative Uganda for giving us this opportunity. I would also like to thank the Mazuri seamstresses for all the trainings throughout the six months. A special thank you to our parents and guardians for supporting us!”

- Esther Alelo, Sewing Our Futures Project graduate

(Photo: SoF graduates posing on the runway with their gorgeous outfits)

After the fashion show, the women were awarded certificates by Ms. Monica Nyiraguhabwa, the Executive Director of Girl Up Initiative Uganda. Shortly after the award ceremony, the celebration ended with cake cutting. The trainees had the honor of cutting their cake, which they later served to the guests.

(Photo: The cake cutting moment)

After everyone enjoyed the mouthwatering cake, the DJ played music to add to the festive environment and all the women got off their seats to dance. It was really a joyous day for the graduates, guests, and our team!

(Photo: The graduates with some Girl Up coaches enjoying the music)

Special thanks to the Girl Up team and the Mazuri seamstresses for joining hands to support their fellow girls and women!

If you or someone you know is interested in joining our second cohort of business and vocational trainings, kindly reach out through contacting us at!