Salome Amuge has been working for Caritas Switzerland in Uganda since February 2022. She gives us here an insight into her role as Project Coordinator, and the positive changes that the Caritas project is bringing about in that East African country.
What motivated you personally to get involved in a Caritas project?
I want to support people who are less well off than myself. That's why the Caritas goal of «fighting poverty», and particularly its work with refugees appealed to me. The work fulfils me and gives me the opportunity to do some good.
Which tasks does your field of responsibility cover?
I am the coordinator for the «Prevention through sustainable poverty reduction» project. Jointly with our local partner AFARD (Agency for Accelerated Regional Development), it is my job to plan various project activities and check whether we are achieving our project goals. To this end, I review the project steps and, and based upon this review, I draw the necessary conclusions in order continuously to improve the project. Also, I am constantly on the lookout for new working methods and tools to increase the efficiency of our work in Uganda.
How does the project help the children and their families?
Using targeted measures, we support particularly vulnerable families in their efforts to free themselves long-term from poverty. In this way, we can prevent children from ending up on the street or having to work. Through our projects, families can develop new income opportunities and gain access to further training and microloans. We cover the basic needs of families with cash payments. In this way, we ensure that the children can go to school for a certain period of time. At a later stage in the project, the parents generate enough money to cover the costs of school themselves.
Can you give an example of a concrete success or positive change that was achieved through the project?
I am proud that we are able, in particular, to empower refugee women from South Sudan. These women are now sufficiently self-confident to speak up in meetings. Together, we want to ensure that they receive the same rights as men. South Sudanese women are now demanding access to education and that they be allowed to take up their own jobs. Thus, together, we are creating, step by step, a stronger and fairer community.
«Women should have the same rights as men.»Salome Amuge
Does your work at Caritas influence your private life? If so, in what way?
Yes, my work does influence my private life. The desire to help people always drives me to complete all tasks as quickly as possible and fulfil all goals. That means, sometimes I work too much. Happily, my husband understands the situation and supports me.
Header image: © Emmanuel Museruka