JENETH ACEN CASE NO 161
17-year-old Jeneth Acen is an enrolled child in the community of Patongo, Agago district. Jeneth did not complete her formal education because her parents could not afford to continue paying her school dues. The project intervened by enrolling her for a tailoring course at Kitgum Technical institute which she completed two years ago, as she further narrates. “My name is Jeneth, I stopped schooling 3 years ago due to financial difficulties. My parents could not afford to educate me and my siblings because we were many and they are very poor. I dropped out of school to stay home and help my parents with garden work so that we could raise money to pay for my brother’s school fees. Sometimes what we harvested at the end of the season was not enough even for our subsistence so we had to work in other people’s gardens to raise enough money and food for the family’s ever growing needs.
Okeny Simon a ChildFund International children and youth representative in my community often visited our home either to find out how we are doing, invite us to participate in project activities or benefit from some items that the project gives to supported families. Time and again he talked to my parents and I about going back to school or attaining some form of skill that could support me in the future. And for sure I was growing and needed some knowledge or skill for me to be able to support myself lest a become a peasant farmer like my parents. However, his efforts were seen by my parents as more responsibility and an extra burden. He promised though, that when opportunity arouse, I would be considered to join other youth for a skilling program.
” Iam also employing one girl from my village who had also dropped out of school due to financial difficulties. In the future I also plan to teach more girls tailoring so that they too can have a means of survival. I will teach them for free” – Jeneth Acen
Six months later, I was contacted that I had been identified to attend vocational skills training at Kitgum Technical Institute. I was so excited. I decided I would pursue tailoring because it had always been my dream.
After completion of my course 2 years ago, my life truly changed. I was given a tailoring machine and fabric as start up. Today, I earn between 20,000sh – 50,000sh (10 – 13 USD) a day. Depending on my customers that day. I am also paying school fees from my 2 young sisters on top of supporting my parents. I joined a youth saving group in August 2018 were I am saving 10,000sh per week. My plan for the future is to rent a bigger house for my business because I have many customers now and the room I am in is not convenient. I am also employing one girl from my village who had also dropped out of school due to financial difficulties. In the future I also plan to teach more girls tailoring so that they too can have a means of survival. I will teach them for free.
Many girls in my village admire to be established like me and that makes me very proud of who I have become.