The Bukedea CarePoint in Uganda is making leaps toward sustainability with an aluminum saucepan project! This project focuses on local development and job creation, training CarePoint children and their guardians to make these saucepans. Training the children and guardians not only provides them with an income-generating skill, but it also gives them confidence, a sense of achievement, and greater control over their futures.
With an unemployment rate of 65% in Uganda, occupational skills are a critical step toward healthy community transformation. In 2002, the Bukedea District in Uganda was ranked the 6th poorest district in Uganda, but the community leaders are acting as agents of change and as social influencers to help their community thrive.
Creating aluminum saucepans is an arduous project, and only the older children are selected to attend this skills development course, which is conducted by the local blacksmith. To be selected for training, first the older children volunteered their interest in the project. After interviews, 30 individuals in total (this includes some of the children’s guardians) qualified to attend the skills training.
Because the process of making aluminum saucepans is heat-intensive, a CarePoint child who had skills in carpentry was employed to make a shaded cover for the training ground.
Each step must be completed very carefully because if any mistake is made throughout the process, the end product cannot be used. However, aluminum saucepans are an excellent sustainable product because no material is wasted and everything can be melted down to be reused.
The materials needed to create these saucepans are sand, charcoal, a boiler, a pipe blower, and aluminum scraps. First the aluminum scraps are melted and poured through the sand, which is already made into the shape of the saucepan. The aluminum sits in the sand for five minutes and is then pulled out and left to cool. It is then cleaned and excess aluminum is trimmed.
These saucepans are desired in every home because they are regarded as the strongest and longest-lasting pans when used for boiling. There is a nearby market where the saucepans are taken for sale, and some are brought down to Soroti to be sold. Community members also come by the CarePoint to buy the saucepans.
After completing the skills development course, the trainees said that although they enjoy school as well, they feel empowered with the life skill learned for generating income. During holidays they will be able to make their saucepans and sell for pocket money to use at school and also support their families.
The saucepan project is excelling beyond all of our hopes! The demand for the saucepans is so high that it is hard to meet and trainings for new children who want to learn are taking place!
“I am so overwhelmed by what these children can do. I feel like taking all the saucepans to my house. Nevertheless, I will take four saucepans for now… May the Lord bless the sponsors who are a great support to such skill development in the youth”.
-Karen (Saucepan buyer)