Newsletter January 2024

We would like to wish you all a very happy New Year and to thank you for your continued support.

We are pleased to report that 2023 was a very good year for WOMA.


MPIGI RURAL PROJECT

For the first time we embarked on a project training women outside of the capital Kampala. In February 2023 eleven women from the Mpigi area of Western Uganda began a six-month training course at Kawami Vocational College. Mpigi is one of the poorest areas in Uganda and has a high incidence of teenage pregnancy and gender based violence.

The women we recruited were younger than the women we’ve trained in the past, so it was always going to be a test to see whether they would be able to cope with the rigours of the training programme. The course was residential so WOMA paid for their accommodation and training and we gave them a transport allowance so that they could return home at the weekend to see their families.

Happily, despite some challenges with family illness all the women successfully graduated in October 2023. They joined the women graduating from the Namasuba College of Commerce for a graduation ceremony in Kampala on 10th October. 21 women sponsored by WOMA graduated and it was a wonderful day of celebration for all the women as you can see from the photograph below. You can read more about our recent graduates and their plans for the future here.

PLANS FOR 2024

We want to build on the success of the Mpigi training project and are in discussions with the college regarding a further course starting in Kawami in the spring. We hope to run this in tandem with our regular training course in Kampala subject to obtaining sufficient funding.

WOMA WORKSHOP

For some years we’ve wanted to establish a base for our trainees after graduation where they can work and market their goods and it looks as though this year that is going to happen.
Thanks to a UK based charity Workaid a number of electric sewing machines will be shipped to Uganda in the next couple of months. The Namasuba College of Commerce has agreed to make a workspace available exclusively for WOMA graduates near to the college and will provide a computer, which the women can use to market their goods. Nora and Karen will be going to Kampala in the spring to oversee the setting up of the workshop and finalise the logistical details. It’s a very exciting step and will be the first time we’ve had a space dedicated for the sole use of our graduates.

FUNDING

Like many small charities funding continues to be challenging. We have successfully demonstrated over the past 18 years that what WOMA is doing works and we can change people’s lives for the better. For every woman we train there are many more who need our help. If we could obtain funding on a longer-term basis we could do so much more. If anyone has any ideas or thoughts about possible sources of funding we’d love to hear from you.

CALENDARS

As a way of raising funds we’ve decided to try a new venture this year – the WOMA Calendar. Karen has worked with a designer in South Africa to produce a very stylish birthday calendar using the photos taken of our women in training over the past few years. She’s sold a number in South Africa already and the calendar can be purchased in the UK now for a minimum donation of £15 plus postage and packing. Please contact us if you are interested in buying one womatrust@gmail.com The calendar isn’t dated to a specific year so will last for many years and you’ll never miss another birthday again!

GIVE AS YOU LIVE

Another great way to raise funds for WOMA that won’t cost you a penny is to use the Give as You Live website when you’re shopping online.

If you register on the Give As You Live website and nominate WOMA as your chosen charity, every time you shop online WOMA will get a percentage of the money you spend. The amount varies from 0.5% to 7%.

Give as you Live is linked to most of the major household brands such as John Lewis, Waitrose, Boots, M&S and many more. You can also raise money when you book your holidays or flights from companies like Booking.com, Expedia, Trainline etc.

So if you are looking for bargains in the January sales or booking your next holiday, please think about doing it via the Give As You Live site.


KEEP IN TOUCH

You can read more about the work we’re doing and the stories of the women we are helping on our website or by following us on Facebook, Twitter/X @womatrust or Instagram.

THANK YOU



We’d like to thank all of you for your continued support and generosity we couldn’t do any this without you!

We wish everyone a happy and peaceful 2024.

Karen, Mike and Nora
(Trustees of WOMA)