The female refugee champions of sustainable construction

For this year’s international women’s day HYT would like to honour the women in Uganda at the leading edge of sustainable innovation.

Female education is principal in breaking the cycle of poverty in developing countries. In Uganda’s urban hubs woman are advancing in equal education and opportunity. Unfortunately, there is still work to be done in rural and refugee effected areas. Women are expected to marry young, birth large families and give any money they make selling surplus crops to husbands, fathers, uncles or brothers to control.

Construction is a male dominated industry, this compounded by Uganda’s already patriarchal society makes it very rare to see women on work sites. HYT has been increasingly pushing for higher female enrolment in our construction training programs and the results have been fantastic.

Meet Akanyesiga Dauphine

Dauphine graduated with her certificate in January 2021

Dauphine joined HYT’s training in Kyaka II in 2020. In a team of four trainees she has learned all aspects of construction and worked on the construction of an early childhood development centre which will serve the children in her community.

‘I have been learning how to build and of course I have got the skills to build and teach others. I want to have a brighter future. Building will help me, I can get jobs. I want to build a better future.’ Dauphine, aged 23.

You can watch an interview with Dauphine here.

Dauphine was involved the construction of this two classroom block

Meet Florence Ropani

Trainees, Florence and Adam on graduation day September 2019

Florence was in HYT’s first cohort of refugee trainees in 2019. Since completing her training she was immediately employed on a large HYT project in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement. Later, she joined HYT in a training role, helping to train a further 10 refugees in the construction of rainwater harvesting tanks.

Florence has been able to help train other refugees in ISSB construction

 ‘HYT helped me a lot, the skills allow me to raise an income. I am now able to buy clothes for the children, change the diet at home and even buy bedding. What I lost in South Sudan I am able to regain some here’ Florence, aged 20.

Meet Elizabeth Tabu

Since training with HYT Elizabeth has travelled across Uganda working on ISSB projects

Elizabeth trained with HYT in 2019. She excelled during the training and quickly became a regular member of HYT’s workforce. Today Elizabeth is working in Kyaka II refugee settlement, her presence as a mason inspires the women in the settlement to break the mould and sign up for training. 

‘My kids are happy to see their mum working. HYT has given me the skills to earn a living.’ Elizabeth, aged 26.

Elizabeth at her graduation in 2019

In the first quarter of 2021, HYT will have 35 young men and woman in training programs across Uganda. We are thrilled to celebrate these success stories and look forward to sharing many more.


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