Youths have been urged to take advantage of government skilling programs and avoid joining peer groups that encourage them to engage in unnatural sexual practices, theft or other forms of crime.

The call was made by the Director of Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl/Boy Child (PISGBC), Dr. Faith Katana Mirembe during a meeting with youths and parents on Wednesday 22nd,February,  2023 at a Skilling Centre in Kikoni, Makerere. The Centre was started in April 2017 to equip needy youth with skills for personal development.

The youths who spend up to six months in free training, are equipped with skills in mechanics, tailoring, leather designing, weaving, knitting and hair dressing. The leather being used is from Kawumu Tannery Uganda.

Dr. Katana said that the initiative started by President Yoweri Museveni provides vulnerable youth from different slums of Kampala with free education and skills enabling them to start out their own jobs.

She further hailed the State House administration ensuring the project is a success by providing the resources and machinery to the centre.

“President Museveni ensures we get the resources for this training. Please report what you have seen in this project. The youth who were destitute have been transformed. No one should take it for granted,” She said.

Dr.Katana however cautioned youths to resist from engaging in acts of homosexuality, because they want quick money. She indicated that currently unknown organizations are sourcing for desperate and needy youths to be paid large sums of money to engage in such unnatural acts.

She called on parents and guardians to continuously sensitize youths on following the right track.

“Parents please seat your children down and teach them. They are ready to give you money,” she said.

Some of the youths from the ghettos gave testimonies on how their lives changed ever since they joined the project. Some say they used to smoke weed and get involved in dangerous activities but now they are no longer criminals.

“I hated school with a passion to the extent that going to class was a big problem. So when I dropped out,I came here for six months and have not missed a day. I don’t have an x in the attendance book meaning I have learned a lot in mechanics. I am so grateful,” one of the student testified.

Katana also urged parents of girl children in Kiwunya zone, in Nakulabye where they showcased hand made work to embrace the project since it’s aimed at developing the youths.

Zurah Nalumansi a student from Makerere Kavule said she was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband who also attempted to stop her from the free training that is being provided by State House but was glad she overcame it.