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Maj. Awich Okwir Encourages Youth Empowerment through Vocational Training

At a showcasing event hosted by the Kikoni Skilling Centre, students exhibited products from various vocational fields, highlighting their training in plumbing, electronics, welding, motor mechanics, leather design, shoemaking, building, and carpentry. Maj. Awich emphasized that these skills not only enhance employment prospects but also pave the way for further educational advancement through government examinations.

Maj. (Rtd) Awich Pollar Okwir, Director of External Affairs of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), exhorted recipients of the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy Child (PISGBC) yesterday to make the most use of their skills so that others can follow in their footsteps.

Maj. Awich, who served as Chief Guest at the showcasing ceremony of items by Kikoni Skilling Centre students, also informed the students that their potential had been unleashed as a result of the skilling program.

Students demonstrated goods from a variety of vocational fields, including plumbing, electronics, welding, motor mechanics, leather design and shoemaking, building, and carpentry.

Maj. Awich stated that the learned skills will help students get employment, and that by passing government examinations, the doors for them to upgrade are open. 

“And now that you are taking a government exam, you have established a foundation for going to stages 1, 2, and 3. “You can even pursue a degree,” he added.

He did, however, stress that the NRM government, as endorsed in one of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s manifesto provisions, is committed to empowering all youth in the country, particularly the vulnerable, who make up the majority of the population, to participate in the money economy through a variety of interventions such as skilling.

Ms. Aminah Lukanga, Kampala Resident City Commissioner (RCC), thanked President Museveni for the project, which has benefited many youths in Kampala.

She also praised the administration of the skilling facilities for mentoring young people and transforming them into productive citizens of the country.

“The government has done its part; it is now up to you to take advantage of the skills acquired to improve your livelihoods,” she continued.

Ms. Lukanga, on the other hand, advised the village leaders in Kampala to only propose youngsters who live in their communities.

She stated that this project is located in Kampala, and that recruiting upcountry youth will disadvantage Kampala’s vulnerable youth.

“You, the youth, need to take security seriously. When we watch and discover that individuals who do terrible things are among the competent, it will reflect negatively on the program. So let us love our country, and leaders should know their constituents,” she remarked.

Dr Faith Mirembe Katana, Special Presidential Assistant on Education and Skilling and project leader for the PISGBC, encouraged students to take their skills to the next level by adding value to the items they create.

Dr. Katana also asked Kampala officials, regardless of party affiliation, to visit the nine skilling facilities and see for themselves what the youth who were previously considered misfits are doing.

Mr. Godfrey Luwanga, Chairman of NRM for Kawempe Division, stated that Kikoni was formerly a no-go zone, but is now tranquil thanks to the area’s profitable industries.

“Today there is security and peace, one can move freely,I really thank President Museveni for this skilling program that has absorbed and transformed many criminals,” he said.

Ms. Saada Nansanga, Administrator of Kikoni Skill Centre, praised President Museveni for taking care of the Bazukulu.

She stated that just 35 girls and 434 boys are nearing the end of the training out of 550 youngsters enrolled.

Ms. Nansanga also informed that skilled construction students are now refurbishing the Kinoni B. police station on the same site.

Several testimonies were shared with the kids, applauding President Museveni for providing them with the opportunity to be mentored and reformed through the skilling program.

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