It’s always a happy day when we learn that the young girls who have graduated from ChildVoice’s Lukome Center in northern Uganda have secured good jobs within their community.
Newly launched Nguvu Dairy, whose tagline is “Yoghurt for a Strong Body,” has employed four former ChildVoice students at its busy production facility in Gulu. These girls are Gloria from Class 2, Rose and Evelyn from Class 3, and Paska, who graduated most recently with Class 6. The four girls started a little more than a month ago; three of them are working in production, and one is helping in the kitchen.
Nguvu Dairy is registered as a business by The Market Project, which gives meaningful work to men and women who’ve been deeply wounded by violence, poverty, and conflict. “Nguvu” means “strength” in Swahili—exactly what the dairy’s healthy yogurt products promote! The yogurt comes in lemon, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, and is sold at a price even the poor can afford. A team of salespeople in purple shirts hit the streets of Gulu on bicycles with coolers strapped on the back, peddling the tasty treats along the way.
ChildVoice staff in Uganda had the chance to visit Nguvu Dairy recently and talk with the girls and their bosses. The girls love their new jobs and say that the environment is very good and they are paid well. They also enjoy their colleagues at the dairy.
Each girl says she would not be there today were it not for ChildVoice. “We learned important skills about how to work with others and be a good employee, as well as English,” says Gloria. They all agree that ChildVoice helped them be teachable women, which in turn helped them get their jobs—and competition for these positions was high!
When ChildVoice staff talked to the girls’ bosses, they had great things to say about all of the girls. One says, “They have a great work ethic and are very hard working, qualities that are not easy to find. They also show great interest in learning more about the skills—they all know the process well enough now that they could make yogurt on their own if they wanted to.”
Before staff members left the dairy, the girls—with big smiles on their faces—thanked ChildVoice for helping them! And the owner at Nguvu Dairy says they are expanding fast and want to hire more ChildVoice graduates, because he is so impressed with those he’s met. He says he’s amazed at what ChildVoice has done for these young, once-traumatized girls to help make them great employees!