PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
Bondeko Center has open doors for the East African refugees who continue to come to Kampala without resources, without community, and often without hope in rebuilding their lives. The stories of success we witness prove that positive change can happen in times of struggle. Bondeko's livelihoods trainings and centre activities are where this often starts.
Those of us who have witnessed students who have graduated from different trainings can attest to the difference it has made in their lives. We believe that the social support, structure, and business skills our trainings offer improve lives not only through creating self-reliance but through emotional betterment. Refugees who previously had nothing to do were given a structure to their lives, and support to learn. Students talk about feeling happier and more confident because of the trainings – in addition to starting their own small businesses. One refugee woman, for example, used to ask for charity from Bondeko every week in order to feed her children. After she participated in the tailoring training, she opened her own sewing shop, and now only returns to Bondeko to visit.
We offer trainings in mushroom growing, tailoring, baking, and urban farming. In addition, trainings are linked to savings and loan groups created and led by members, which offer a means to take out small loans to start or expand businesses. In addition, we offer business trainings, English lessons, and computer classes. These are led by refugee and international volunteers.
Our programs have the potential to foster self-reliance for refugees in Kampala through skill training and tool provision. The Livelihoods Program also directly contributes towards the sustainability of the Bondeko Centre's other projects – our ultimate aim is to become a self-reliant organization that is able to pay rent and other bills through contributions by those trained in the Livelihoods Program and taking part in connected enterprises.