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Voices From the Field

Focusing on the Ability

 

Skillfully and delicately using the sharp tip of the gauze to align the colorful beads on the purse she is making, one can tell Feza enjoys what she is doing. She proceeds to tag at the end of the gauze as she tightens the pattern around it.
A refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo, Feza Ramazani is the president of Tusiidiane counselling group established by HIJRA psychosocial team to assist persons with specific needs (PSNs) by empowering them in Income Generating activities. The group wanted to go beyond providing only counselling and building emotionally stable environments for each other but also help attain self-reliance through making their own income.

“Thanks to HIJRA, Tusiidiane has helped many of us overcome our conditions through psycho education. Because of that, we are now able to learn how to do craft work and earn a living.”
Tusiidiane counselling group was formed in Base camp II village, Nakivale originally as a support group for PSNs who were finding it hard to cope with their conditions. The group included persons with disability, living with post-traumatic stress, elderly among others. This was their safe space to share, develop positive attitudes and empower each other.

Now with 80 members, the group started a business venture by each contributing a small amount of shs.2500 as membership fee and shs.1000 towards the money pool to buy materials and resources for their business. From then on they proceeded to identifying the talent amongst them that would be able to train the rest on the different craft skills like beading, weaving and tailoring.

In order to have all their finances in check, the group decided to seek financial education from a SACCO within the camp. This trained them and mentored the group on different financial stances which they employed within. With that they opened up their own bank account that holds money collected from sales.

The group looks forward to training other members to increase their production rate and have a variety of products on the market. To date, the group has commenced Soap production and HIJRA looking forward to procuring soap from them to boost their business as they look to move on to tailoring to diversify their income.

Feza is grateful for the group for now she is able to support her family financially and emotionally. “With my new found strength and positive attitude, I am able to be there for my family,” she says. “All I ask HIJRA is to continue supporting us by building a training center where more of us can learn more skills to better ourselves.”

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