Girls Have A Dream School, 1 st. Year

Christine cant hear. She is very happy, because she has got a sewing maschine.
Happy to learn to knit.
From one of the workshops in job creation
Nambi Joyce, 14 years.
The Butterfly Girls: Joyce, Harriet, Esther and Gorreti.
Joyce, Harriet, Esther and Gorreti.
The school has at the moment 10 pigs.
Thank you Norway!
Workshop in making angels to sell.
Workshop in arts and crafts.
The key to future of Africa is practical education, especially for the girls.

We have come to the end of the first academic year program with 13 students graduating with certificates in tailoring and knitting.

Below are the names of the students:
Name                                   Age                         Award
1.Naluyima Sylvia                22                      certificate in tailoring
2. Naweesa Janet Lubuka   26                      certificate in tailoring
3. Nakawombe Christine     23                      certificate in tailoring
4. Nakayiza Irene                19                       certificate in tailoring
5. Nalubwama Christine      20                       certificate in tailoring
6. Namatovu Jane               19                       certificate in tailoring
7. Nabukeera Gorreti           14                       certificate in tailoring
8. Kizza   Esther                  14                       certificate in knitting
9. Najjuma Harriet               19                       certificate in knitting
10. Nabiddo Sylvia              25                       certificate in knitting
11. Nambi Joyce                 14                       certificate in knitting
12. Namubiru Edith             18                       certificate in knitting
13. Birabwa                         20                       certificate in knitting

About the school
Girls Have A Dream School was a dream by Bitten Schei and Nalule Esther to transform the lives of needy and disadvantaged girls through training to provide them with practical business skills that they can use to start personal businesses and sustain themselves.

It all started by identifying the needy girls especially orphans and drop outs and organizing a workshop for them. The workshop was intended to inspire the girls to identify and develop their personal dreams. It was a good learning experience as girls shared with others their personal dreams, the challenges they go through in achieving them and possible solutions that could be undertaken for them to achieve their dreams.

It is from the solutions that were given by the girls that a school was set up to give an opportunity to the disadvantaged girls with no hope of further education to achieve their dreams.

Situation at present
Seven months ago when we started the school, girls who dropped out of school and those who had  never been in school before in our community did not know that they  would ever get a chance of pursuing careers  of their own choice. They had lost hope and their only option was to get married to be sustained by their husbands.

Today girls are receiving training that will forever transform their lives and their families. They are receiving training in tailoring, knitting and plans to include other courses like hair dressing, computer and crafts work are in place.

20 students were admitted at Girls Have a Dream School at the opening of the school on 3rd February 2014. These are disadvantaged girls with financial difficulties and with no hope of pursuing careers in the formal educational system. However because of personal problems seven (7) were not able to complete the training and dropped out along the course.The reasons that attributed to their drop out were given as follows:
1.    Misunderstandings with their spouses, somewhere not happy to see their wives leaving home to attend trainings for fear of developing love affairs with other men along the way, while others thought women will over power them if they get skills and start working to earn money, so they stopped them.
2.    Another one was abandoned by the husband, she was left in the house with children, the husband stopped providing support to the family and even paying rent for the house so the wife had to opt for working as a maid other than attending training in order to earn a living for the children and pay rent.
3.    Others have young children to look after and failed to spare time to attend training, and also their husbands wanted them to stay at home and provide family lab our in the gardens.
4.    One of the girls was employed as a house maid and after house work she could come at school for training. Her mistress was not happy with her decision f pursuing a career in knitting so she stopped her from working and employed another one.  Because of no free accommodation around, the girl had to go back to her home village which is far from the school. Now she is in the village seated at home
However they still have an opportunity if they re organize themselves they can still finish up the course.

The girls were subjected to 3 days practical trainings every week and one day for entrepreneurship/ job creation  workshops.The workshops were handled by the head of school,and volunteers from Living business education ltd , and Project for empowering  women through saving and loans association (POWESA). Living Business Education awarded participants certificates of “Creating Your Own Business” at the end of the course. The rest of the days were left for the girls to practice on their own and to work on assignments.

Role and Significance of the school in the community
- Supporting disadvantaged girls to build sustainable livelihood through vocational training.
- Preparing the girls for their future roles as mothers.
- Providing the community with skilled manpower in various fields .
- Providing the community with ready made products like uniforms and sweaters made by the girls.

- The school received eight sewing machines from our partners in Norway. The sewing machines are used to train the girls to acquire skills.
- The school also owns one knitting machine that was bought using funds contributed by the women groups in Small is Great.The second knitting machine was hired from one of the women groups and is used to train the girls.
- We were able to purchase some stools and benches for use in the school, black board and two long tables for practical work.
The school owns a piggery farm that was financed by friends from Norway to raise income to meet school expenses. A total of 10 pigs were given to the school. We also have received two sewing machines from Hon SSeninde Rose Mary.

Two instructors are employed at school to train the girls namely:
- Asiimwe Jenipher - tailoring
- Nansubuga Edith - knitting
- Nalule Esther - head of school
Salary for paying the tailoring teacher, rent for the building, head of school salary and materials have been provided by Small is Great partners in Norway all through the course and the teacher for knitting has been paid using the funds contributed by women who have children at school.

The school has a uniform, comprising of an orange t-shirt, a black skirt and a cream apron for easy identification of our students.

Other school programmes
Workshops are conducted at school on issues relevant to the girls to equip them with life skills and business skills. Topics covered include:
Entrepreneurship and job creation, HIV/AIDS and  counseling.


A netball team has been set up and girls spend their leisure time playing which keeps them physically fit, however we still have problems with the balls , uniform for the players.

Music, Dance and Drama (MDD)
We plan to start MDD next academic year. This will help to develop students talents.

We plan to conduct an exhibition on graduation day ( October 30 th ) to exhibit products that are made by the girls.

Challenges experienced
- Some of the disadvantaged girls were not admitted for training because their interest s were in hair dressing and crafts work, the courses we do not offer at the moment.
- Absentism of some of the girls from School due to domestic problems.
- Inadequate meals  provided to the girls because of not having enough funds.
-  Long distance from homes to school for some of the girls thus leaving them with short time  to stay at school.

Plans for new intake
- We plan to establish a boarding facility to accommodate students from far.
-T o provide complete meals at school for trainers.
We also plan to add 3 courses in the programme to meet the growing demands. The additional courses are; computer application, hair dressing and basic entrepreneurship which will be  compulsory for all students.

Major challenge for the school
The school  has not yet secured all the funding to train the girls in the new intake.

Sustainability of the project
We plan to sustain the school by making uniforms and sweater which will be sold to schools and institutions and from this the school will raise some money. Some of the girls will be employed to do the work.This will be done when we get specialised machines and materials for the work.

Also in a consultative meeting with the women in Small is Great Uganda concerning sustainability of the school, women suggested the following ;
- To have a permanent site for the school in order to cut down the costs of renting.
- That if the school is supported with a piece of land then they can contribute by making bricks to put up a permanent building for the school. They also agreed to use part of the land for cultivation of food crops to feed the girls while at school and to operate a livestock farm on it. From this the school can raise food to feed the students at the same time sale the surplus to raise income.

Collaboration with Small is Great Norway
We are so grateful for the collaboration with Small is Great Norway and from this we have received finance for running the school and expertise.

Connection With Ugandan Authorities
In order to gain permission to operate the school we registered the organization as Small is Great- Women and Girls Empowerment  a community based organization at the sub county level (local level) and at the district level with the department of Community Development.

On behalf of the school board I would like to extend my appreciation to our partners and friends in Norway headed by Bitten Schei who have supported the school with finance and knowledge that have taken us through up to this time. Your contribution to the school cannot be estimated.

Yours in service,
Nalule Esther
Head of School