My name is Anjeline Auma, a student learning in YMCA VTI in Kisumu. After completing Primary school in the year 2018, I was interested in becoming a hair dresser and a beauty therapist. In January 2019, I and my mother approached Ability Africa Foundation to join their project where they support girls to train in technical courses and upon request they accepted and linked me to YMCA Vocational training Institute in Kisumu where I got an opportunity to be trained on hair dressing and beauty therapy, a course which I had admired since when I was in primary school.
Ability Africa Foundation paid for me school fees for the whole course period. By December 2019, I had already gained knowledge and acquired practical skills on the course and the school attached me to a Master Artisan in Kisumu Business District where a got more engaged in practical learning in a real work environment for a period of three months. Because my work impressed my mentor whom I was attached to in the business, I could be given some small token of appreciation during the attachment period and this helped me to buy my personal effects. I was supposed to go back to school in March 2020 after the attachment to finish my course work and do final grade 3 exams, but because of Covid-19, I was forced to go back and stay home until schools are reopened by the government.
When at home, I already got an opportunity through a friend who connected me to a salon in a nearby market center in the outskirts of Kisumu town In the saloon, I am able to do satisfactory hair dressing and beauty therapy work that include hair cleaning and blow dry, plaiting raster, twists, fitting “Obama”, crocheting, fitting weaves, pedicure and manicure. I work on a causal basis in the saloon and get paid on commission per day for the work done.
I am happy that I am able to get some income which I use to support my single mother who is currently sick and cannot go on with her businesses as usual. I also use my earnings from the saloon work to buy my personal effects such as sanitary towels and save the little remaining for my future plans. I thank Ability Africa Foundation for holding my hands and showing me the path to employing my-self in future. When I get enough funds, I will open a big saloon business in Kisumu where I will train and employ young people. Thanks to Ability Africa Foundation for the support.
(Hair Dressing and Beauty Therapist)
Josephine lives with her parents in Nyamome village, Oruba Ragana Ward, Suna West Sub-County in Migori County. She was physically disabled from birth and not even her mother could tell the cause of her child’s disability.
In December 2017, Josephine expressed interest and requested Ability Africa Foundation (AAF) to support her to join Kababu Vocational Training Institute (VTI) so that she could undertake a course of her choice. After being taken through career guidance session by the project team and Instructors of Kababu VTI, she showed much enthusiasm towards Motor Vehicle Mechanics Course which she gladly undertook. Josephine successfully finished her course work and subsequently got privileged to do her field attachment (internship) at Sony Sugar Factory Company for four months. After the completion of her studies and graduation, Josephine was given a complete tool box (start-up kit) by Ability Africa Foundation to support her in doing her work. Today Josephine is doing her Motor Vehicle Engineering work at CORNER KOCHIENG AUTOGARAGE in Migori town.
Through support from Ability Africa Foundation, Josephine acquired skills in Motor Vehicle Mechanics which has transformed and strengthened her life chances forever. She has been able to increase her income and strengthen her financial independence and that of her family. She is socially respected and meaningfully participates in her family’s decision making processes and in the community at large.
Josephine has gained sense of self-worth, self-satisfaction and sense of well-being. She is a very proud lady in her community since she boasts of having succeeded in venturing into a job traditionally believed to be a reserve for men, thus challenging the gender stereotypes and social norms. Josephine is now famously referred to as “Jojo the Engineer‘’ a reference that symbolizes a strong and unique lady in the community and is mostly consulted person in the family affairs by her father who at first had nothing to do with his disabled child.
Josephine has inspired many girls in the community and PWD by achieving her goal of becoming a motor vehicle mechanic. Something the community previously believed could only be done by male and people who were not disabled.
(JOJO THE COMMUNITY ENGINEER)