Great results at Nurture Africa in Uganda!
by Marjan Schaapman on 27 December, 2017

Inge Willems, a volunteer for the Van Doorn Foundation, visited in December 2017 Nurture Africa in Nansana, at the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. Nurture Africa is an organisation that provides health care and training to vulnerable, HIV-infected, young people in a small youth center. The Van Doorn Foundation supported Nurture Africa in 2017 by providing funds for the procurement of training equipment and tools for a hairdresser's training programme. Thus a great opportunity to see how these funds are spent!


"Upon arrival, I was received by Eddie, the manager of the Youth Center of Nurture Africa. He said that he remembered the visit of Paul (the treasurer of the Foundation) in early February 2017 and that a lot had happened since", Inge tells. "Immediately they took me to two classrooms where about thirty trainees were at work. The first room fully equipped with sewing machines and a workbench, the second was furnished as a hair studio."

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The youth center of Nurture Africa picks-up every day approximately 60 young people (mainly girls, recently also a few boys) from their respective homes. Before the lessons start, they have breakfast together and at the end of the day the trainees are taken back home.


During Paul's visit they expressed their desire to provide training to the young people that participate in the anti-retroviral therapy in the medical center of Nurture Africa - a vulnerable group of young people who none of them have completed education. In this way they can learn a trade and hopefully generate their own income in the future. It had been decided to develop three vocational training courses - in phases; in the spring of 2017 a tailor's training, in the autumn of 2017 a hairdresser's training and in the spring of 2018 a cook's training. The Van Doorn Foundation made EUR 3900 available from the Addo Kranendonk Fund for the establishment of the hairdresser's training and for the purchase of the necessary equipment.


Two of the three training courses have now started; tailor training and hairdresser's training. The young people are trained in the practical subjects, but also get lessons in life skills, social skills and the use of computers. A larger room in the youth centre has been divided into two classrooms that have been made suitable for both practical and theory lessons. An existing computer room is used by both courses.
In the meantime, the youth centre has been expanded with a large extension, where the cook's training will start in February. This means that another thirty students can be welcomed.


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In addition, the youth center is constructing a mobile 'business center'. In this business centre small businesses will be initiated in 2018, such as a coffee bar, a beauty salon and a tailor workshop. The trainees will be able to do an internship in the first year of their training. With the revenues of these small businesses, other new business centers can be started, where the trainees, after the internship, may be permanently employed and generate an independent income.


The ambitions of Nurture Africa do not stop at these three programs. They have now started a small carpenter workshop and they have established a library on location.


The medical clinic is also making developments. From February 2018, patients will not only be received during the day, but 24 hours a day. The building will be expanded with a department for obstetrics, including a prenatal and neonatal room for mother and child. The recruitment of new staff is currently on its way.


After this visit to Nurture Africa it can be concluded that the donation of the Van Doorn Foundation for hairdressing - embedded in the many other developments of the Nurture Africa - was well spent and already benefits the most vulnerable young people in Nansana. The development of business centers has to ensure that the programs actually lead to an empowered and financially independent life for this target group.


It was an inspiring and encouraging visit!

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