ChildVoice International Lukome Center Update
for December 29, 2018
Our latest update comes from our partners at the ChildVoice International’s Lukome Center, a therapeutic community for war-affected girls and their children in northern Uganda. One year ago, Legacy Collective awarded a $39,000+ grant to center to establish an auto mechanic and driver training program and provide the tools needed for the first year of students.
Driving Futures Forward
The Lukome Center includes non-traditional educational programs and a vocational training center with spiritual and emotional counseling for former child soldiers and other girls who have been marginalized by Uganda’s protracted conflict. Girls’ lives have been changed as they work through their trauma, learn job skills and begin to provide for their children. In fact, 93% of the girls ChildVoice has served in the last five years are back in their communities, raising their families and working in meaningful jobs, not dependent on aid or outside help. At the Lukome Center, you can hear laughter and voices filled with excitement, where once there was only despair and silence.
With the support of a generous grant from Legacy Collective, ChildVoice’s auto mechanics and driving school programs—the newest vocational program offered at the Lukome Center—was recently launched in the fall of 2017 and is well underway!
In the past year, we built the program quite literally from the ground up, starting with a new classroom and garage facility, which was completed in the spring of 2018. The spacious building includes a service bay, a compressor, and welding equipment, enabling students to learn all aspects of automotive repair and maintenance.
The grant also provided sufficient funds to outfit the students with automotive tool sets for the each of the four girls currently in the program, as well as for upcoming enrollees in the next two classes.
We also purchased an automatic-transmission car for the driving school. Girls who have never thought of driving before are now discovering that they not only like driving, but in some cases prefer it over other vocations.
The facilities and material needs are only a part of the picture. The grant also funded the cost of essential permits, licenses, and insurance required by the Ugandan government. In total, the program meets all the government’s certification requirements; when they complete the program, students will be eligible to take the national driving exam. The four girls currently enrolled in the program are from Class 11, and will graduate from the Lukome Center in January 2019. They will be the first of our students to graduate with this certification.
Both drivers and auto mechanics are in short supply in Uganda, making these vocations a lucrative choice for our girls at the Lukome Center. Thanks to the much-needed and generous support of Legacy Collective, these girls are on the road to a brighter future!