A vocational school in Northern Uganda built by Anhart partner Simon Nambafu equips young people with skills and a set of tools upon graduation

Photography by Esther Mbabazi

Students at Soroti Youth Skills Centre were sent home during Uganda’s coronavirus lockdown, but the instructors in carpentry and metal fabrication continued to produce windows, doors and furniture for customers. Students are selected based on their financial need, and receive free vocational and business training and counselling. With new classrooms in the works, Soroti is slowly building up to 50 students. “What we fight for every day is to make sure we touch the community,” says general manager Vicent Musamali. “If the person has a skill, the life of that person will improve.” 

The Soroti Youth Skills Centre also operates as a business, selling furniture and metal works such as gates and window frames.

Anhart supports Soroti through its partnership with Simon Nambafu, who leads business and community development in the Sustainable Villages program. He worked with a Swiss organization that provided funding and volunteer instructors to build the school, which opened in 2017. Several graduates who set up their own metal fabricating business have been supported with Anhart’s start-up grants. 

Simon has been in contact with a group of South Sudanese refugees that live near the city of Arua in northwest Uganda. He plans to build a vocational school in this settlement offering tailoring, metal fabrication and cooking. This project will be considered for future funding.