Musana Newsletter June 2017
Igniting Creativity Through Skills

On June 24th, Musana graduated its fourth class of women from our Skill Development Training Program. There were forty-one women who finished the fourteen week course, coming from various ages, educational backgrounds, and economic status. These women graduated in tailoring, knitting, or baking with a component of business, learning to market their own products. They will go on to be self-employed, dignified women, with the capacity to produce clothing or baked goods for individual customers or on a contract basis with larger institutions. With the ability to earn an income, they are empowered with the ability to support themselves and their families!

This may have been the fourth class to graduate from the program, but it was by far the most exciting and emotional for all of us at Musana. Six of the graduates were among the original eighty children that inspired Musana’s foundation nine years ago. It was amazing to see these women in their caps and gowns as they walked across the stage with dignity and pride, with the confidence and vision to be entrepreneurs. There were many tear-streaked faces as these young women gave testimonies about how far they have come, grateful for everything Musana has done in their lives. Who knows where they would be without Musana’s intervention in 2008! Now Jacinta, Aida, Susan, Racheal, Sandra, and Juliet will enter the working world as self-sufficient adults who have the skills and the knowledge to thrive. They can, in turn, serve as role models and economic engines in their communities and for the other children coming up at Musana!

It was an honor to have Iganga’s Resident District Commissioner (the highest local government official) attend the festivities and give a powerful speech, speaking into the impact Musana is having in the lives of Ugandans. As a woman of power in a very patriarchal community, she praised Musana’s efforts in empowering more strong independent women! ….Girl Power! 

Meet the amazing, Jacinta- aka “The Designer”
Jacinta came to Musana when she was thirteen years old. She had been living in the horrible conditions of another orphanage in Iganga Town where she, along with the other children, suffered immensely from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Jacinta comes from a village 10 kilometers away from Iganga where her mother and father live along with her four brothers and two sisters. Due to the large size of her family and the lack of means to provide for their children, her parents sent Jacinta to the original orphanage for the opportunity to study. It has been a true blessing to have her at Musana, witnessing her transformation into an incredible leader. In November 2016, she graduated from her ordinary level of high school and enrolled in this course to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer. It was amazing to see her bloom during the last three months as she learned to make her own clothes and led her classmates to tap into their potential through creativity and hard work. Her class came to graduation debuting gorgeous self-made dresses
dresses at their graduation, inspired and encouraged by Jacinta who they all call “The Designer”! Now twenty two years old, we are SO proud of the creative and ambitious young woman Jacinta has become! 
Introducing Susie Knight, Stateside Administrative Coordinator Susie is a retired teacher of 26 years.  She taught kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, and most recently worked with special education students at the elementary level.  She earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Colorado. She is married and has 4 children aging from 21 to 26.  Her trip to Musana in 2013 was life changing and her new passion is to help empower people, especially the most vulnerable and those affected by addiction.  She is living her dream of working for Musana. Welcome Susie! (Susie is the one in red!) 
Partnership with Homes of Living Hope 
This summer we are partnering with Homes of Living Hope to transform two shipping containers
into vocational training centers for our students at Musana.  In addition, we will be filling the containers with much needed medical equipment for our new hospital expansion and other supplies for our patients and students.  If you would like more information, visit our Homes of Living Hope project page or reach out to Casey Payne.   

A HUGE Musana THANKS goes to: