St. Francis UGANDA

Family Helper Programme

Registered charity
Ireland CHY18409, Uganda S5917/278, UK 1079811
Recognized for tax purposes by Kindermissionswerk of Aachen, Germany; Email:
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Vocational Training Institute

Founded in 1986, a total number of 60 students are currently enrolled in our tailoring school. As of February 2015, Jovita Hamajuni, in close cooperation with Mukwasibwe Valerian will replace Margaret Odit as manager of the school. Margaret has new plans for her life as she leaves to develop other projects. She has expressed willingness to come back as an external facilitator in some of our trainings.

Each member of the tailoring school staff is specialized in one area of clothing construction--designing, dressmaking, tailoring, pattern cutting, machine embroidery, machine use and maintenance and of course stock taking and inventory. We employ outsiders for extra courses such as. small business and financial management. The students also learn English and computer use.

Students busy making a beautiful bedspread. Photo and description need to be changed.
As many of the students experience pressure at home, the staff of the Counsellor Training Institute are always available for students who might require counselling.

During the last two years, 58 students have successfully graduated from our school, some of whom have chosen to form small co-operative groups to start up their own businesses.

St Francis Tailoring School is a member of UGAPRIVI (Uganda Association of Private Vocational Institutions), and has a working relationship with a Franciscan Technical school in Kivumu Rwanda. Valerie Kae Ken of Alberta, Canada, has assisted both schools from their foundation.

The Ministry of Education grants Trade Certificates to those who pass Government examinations. To obtain a certificate, our students are required to pursue a two-year Programme. Students need to successfully complete all of the six required levels in order to complete the training.

During their training students acquire a variety of skills from designing to the production of garments for men, women and children as well as furnishings for the home or office. Former students work in a variety of fields. In addition St Francis has a small production unit where people can place special orders.

Our present concern is that the clothing industry in Uganda is very underdeveloped. Instead of producting our own fabrics and having our own production factories, the majority of Ugandans wear very good and cheap items of clothing which are imported ready made from the second hand clothes which come into the country in large quantities. Other technical schools deal with this problem by offering a variety of technical skills like woodwork, metal work, building construction, brick making, and other such possibilities. We believe if students specialise in some luxury item of high quality they could earn more money. However convincing them of this is a challenge. In Uganda poor quality of work is still widespread and acceptable.
graduating students wearing clothes they have made
(apart from Shinichi IT teacher)

As many of the students experience pressure at home, the staff of the Counsellor Training Institute are always available to offer counselling services or career and guidance counselling.

In 2012, the government selected the Tailoring School to carry out a government initiative to lower unemployment and to raise the skill level of older men and women in a project called ‘non formal' education. The project is government funded.

Some students from the tailoring school are sponsored by donors. All students are subsidised.

Each year the students make little angels for sale in either Germany or the USA or indeed wherever a market can be found. You are encouraged to place orders for some of the favourite products bought by our customers.

This year the school was particularly blessed to have received money from the UK for renovation of the classrooms, for building of showers and water borne toilets, for paving the compound and beautifying the gardens. A lot of labour was done by volunteers from Armagh, Donegal and Carrickmacross. Thanks to the builders from Armagh for teaching paving to our Ugandan workers and to Michael Moran and John McGoldrick for their garden design and construction.
bags made by the students school
Christmas tree angels made by the students.
Student modeling her own design
Certificate of accreditation
St. Francis Family Helper Programme
Made by:
(CroDodo, 2013 ~ 2024)