Chapter 01
Chapter 02
Chapter 03
Claus Oellerking Joy Tushabe Yonah Matsitsi


I am Expedit Joy Tushabe working at Rufi that is ‘Rural Focus Initiative Uganda’ located in Kasese. Rufi is an NGO that empowers basically women who are marginalized. And I would wish to say that Rufi started up after women realized the challenges they face in society and they thought of what they can do. These challenges range from being battered, also being financially unstable then also not having enough money to support themselves.

Then these women realized also that in their communities there are girls that are dropping out of school because of reasons of rape, then defilement and also loss of money to keep up with a formal education. So these women came up and go like let us have something that can at least target the women, have them skilled so that they can use their skills, they are skilling to earn some little money for themselves. In the community I come from I have seen girls suffering, I have seen women suffering and at least I felt that I should add something to empower the women. In any community around the world women suffer a lot.

And it was in 2015 that we thought of having a collaboration with an expert or with experts. We wrote an application. Then we had a reply. Basically, we wanted to have a training, a skill in management. And through this, the expert organization connected us to Claus who has helped us specifically in management. And from there we have been able to fulfill some of our goals. And these goals are very many, only that they are not yet fulfilled at the fullest we feel there is still some gap.

So some of these goals that we target is to empower the rural women through skilling as I earlier said. When you have something known by your hands, then you can do it. And you start small, then grow big. So we thought of having these women skilled in making baskets. And our first training targeted the staff at Rufi. We hired someone to come in and train the staff so that we have permanent now trainees, train us to the new trainees that will keep on being enrolled as time goes on. After the staff was trained, we enrolled some new women and these women we targeted mostly the young girls, the school dropouts, the women that are economically down. So these women from time to time have been brought on board to be skilled about basket weaving then also tailoring.

Then also we have been able to partner with organizations around Kasese like Kadopedi. This is an NGO for persons with disabilities. We recently skilled a physically impaired lady in tailoring and she's doing great, it has improved her life so greatly. And this was through the partnership with Kadopedi here in Kasese 'the Kasese Union of Persons with Disabilities’. And it works under the umbrella Organization of NUPD for that is National Union for People with Disabilities. We have also connected with other organizations like Uwonet, that is Uganda Women Network that is working in Kasese and all over the country. And it has helped us so much in opening up the mindset of the women, specifically the women to have that economic empowerment.

We have so far done so many projects and I must say we have been successful because we recently accomplished one project in October which was about women's economic empowerment. It was in three villages in one sub-county of Kasese, that is Karsandara and women were supported agriculturally. Not that we give money to these women, but we tried to tell them that through agriculture you can also empower yourself and alongside this agriculture we told them you can have this money from your agriculture produce being saved. So they made up a savings group where they save money and have loans for themselves.

transcript by Joy Tushabe