The Largest Class Ever Graduates
October 8, 2019
On October 2, 2019, the largest class ever received their diplomas from the Paper Fig Foundation Skills Training Institute. 103 young women and men ranging from the ages of 12 to 25 completed a 6 month training course under the instruction of Medrine and Dirian, our two full-time teachers. In this area of Kasese, Uganda, it's common for young people to be unable to attend secondary school, meaning they lack basic skills to survive as adults. Without a high school education, options are limited anywhere in the world, and this is no different in Uganda. Unfortunately, school fees make it impossible for many people to continue their education.
The Paper Fig Foundation Skills Training Institute was founded in 2015 as a solution to this problem. Skills training is an essential way to empower individuals to be able to support themsleves. The 103 graduates who celebfrated together this month will now be able to continue improving their skills. They've all been formally invited to join the Paper Fig Alumni Association, through which they can continue to use sewing machines for free, and they can apply for loans for fabric and other necessities to continue their work.
Numerous community leaders came to support the graduates. People gave speeches, and a group of women performed songs and dances. Everyone shared a celebratory cake together, and, after receiving their diplomas, the graduates all came together and danced. It was a celebratory day. Laurie DeJong, founder of the Paper Fig Foundation, gave a speech, and told the graduates, "This is not the end, but the beginning."