MTN Foundation has unveiled a training facility at the Smart Girls foundation aimed at providing vocational and business skills to over 400 girls annually.
The facility which was completed at a cost of over Ugx 300 million, will be fully equipped with a computer laboratory with internet connectivity, a vehicle servicing station and a washing bay.
To upskill the girls for the required market skills, the facility will focus on vocational and business courses inclusive of; mechanical engineering, electrical installation, construction, house painting, tailoring, carpentry, welding and catering among others.
Speaking at the unveiling event, The MTN General Manager for Wholesale& carrier services, Mrs Juliet Nsubuga said the facility was aimed at providing hands-on training experience that will allow the girls and women to appreciate the intricacies of building a business and thus creating employment amidst market gender biases.
MTN believes that the acquired skills will help the Girl child to compete equally with their male counterparts by offering them opportunities to diversify and break the glass ceiling into Jobs or business that have been a preserve for men.Mrs. Juliet Nsubuga, General Manager for Wholesale & Carrier Services, MTN
In addition to training the young women, the vehicle servicing station and washing bay are also expected to ensure sustainability of the project through generating income for the Smart Girls Foundation for services rendered by the trainers to the public. The project is envisaged to give birth to 40 new women-led businesses in the country.
Smart Girls Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation centred on skilling and empowering the girl child with the vision to transform their lives for a brighter future.
In her remarks, the Guest of Honour, The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social, Development, Hon Betty Amongin thanked MTN and Smart Girl foundation for the initiative saying it complements government’s ambitions towards promoting gender equality and empowering the girl child.
Government has come up with various initiatives including the Presidential Initiative on Skilling Girl Child and equipping the Business and Technical Vocational Skills to enable girls and young women acquire necessary skills to secure jobs or start up their own businesses. In spite these efforts, government recognizes that there’s still hard work a head and therefore it gives me profound happiness to see entities like MTN Uganda and smart girls foundation supporting the same and sharing in government’s goal to skill the girl child.Mrs. Juliet Nsubuga, General Manager for Wholesale & Carrier Services, MTN
The partnership between MTN Foundation and Smart Girls Foundation is one of many interventions undertaken by the former to empower women and girls in Uganda.
In June 2019, during the 21 days of YelloCare, the annual staff volunteerism initiative, MTN supported the Smart girls Foundation with a donation worth UGX30million with the aim of enhancing the girls’ learning experience. As a result, the organisation increased the number of girls trained at the facility from 30 to 64 in a wide range of programs including mechanical, electrical installations and welding.
In the same year, MTN announced UGX50m sponsorship towards the Kyabazinga Girl Child program aimed at supporting and improving the lives of women and youth in the Busoga region.
Similarly, MTN Foundation in 2016 partnered with the Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda Chapter (FAWEU) to provide full cover University Education scholarships for ten (10) Ugandan girls across the country.