Lukonge Frank (now 18) has been under the support of HUYSLINCI since 2014, having been identified at age 16. He’s a resident of Gangu C village, Busabala Parish, Maikindye Ssabagabo Sub County, Wakiso District-Uganda.
The double orphan stopped in primary grade 6 after he lost his father and the only parent he had then. The mother had died earlier, during the birth of Frank’s young sister.
“When I lost my father, my ambitions to study began fading away and I dropped out. I stayed in the village (upcountry Masaka District) for a while and later got a friend who guided me to Kampala in 2011. I tried all sorts of work like serving in restaurants, gathering and selling scrap material, vending of domestic appliances on commission, and as a porter at construction sites”. My employers would pay me as they wished; giving me less money than what I expect, sometimes not paying me at all and I remember surviving lynching when I was still collecting scrap- we used to steal some of the material and sell it as scrap and if the owner saw you, the results would be disastrous! Frank said but with confidence.
He recollects his sad past when he went without food for the entire day because he did not have work or someone to depend on!
When he lost his employer’s merchandise to city authorities for hawking it in unauthorized locations!
When he tirelessly worked for the whole day only to return home without money to buy his evening meal!
When he wanted to take care of his siblings but without the means!
At the time he was identified for withdrawal from hazardous labour, Frank was a porter at construction sites in Makindye Ssabagabo Sub County.
“When a friend alerted me of Huys Link and the opportunity they had brought, of training people like me into meaningful vocations, I registered my name with the Local Council 1 chairperson. I could not afford to miss that chance and luckily, I was selected” Frank narrated.
Frank underwent a 6 months training in motor vehicle mechanics at Agalyawamu Auto garage in Gangu Busabala where he skilled in motor vehicle servicing, changing tires, wheel alignment and balancing, panel beating, breaking system repair and maintenance, engine servicing and repair.
After the training, Frank received a kit from HUYSLINCI with basic tools for use just like his colleagues and as such, teamed up with two others, to start their Triple Boys Garage, in Kibiri Trading centre, Busabala. The two other colleagues are: Katongole Alvin and Kiwanuka Julius.
The three rent the premises where they operate from, paying a monthly charge of Uganda shillings One hundred fifty thousand, approximately USD 42, and each taking home shillings Five thousand daily as an income, approximately UDS 1.5.
“We have so far worked for 5 months; have set aside a small but gradual pool fund which we hope to use to secure our own piece of land to quit this expensive rent that we pay monthly.” He commits.
Frank hopes to inspire other youth just like he does to his colleagues, share his skills with other youth in vulnerable conditions like he was and make them better persons with their lives.
He now prides in being able to take care of himself, renting his own house, sending aide to his siblings upcountry (Masaka)- helping to raise part of their school fees and access basic household amenities.