Every step he takes is from a place of strength. No doubt, what comes easy for many, is a strenuous huddle for Moses Likambo. He, however, refuses to be defined by this. “I was born without disability but in 2001, I got polio,” the 24-year-old resident of Koboko District tells of his encounter with the crippling disease. When he notices the mood getting overcast, he smiles and quickly adds, “But that is not my problem!”
To affirm this, he is one of the beneficiaries of Windle International Uganda’s Skills for Employment Project (SEP) funded by the European Union (EU). He is currently studying electrical mechanics. “I always wanted to do electrical mechanics, but I didn’t have money.” he says. “I was doing some potter work to see if I can save money and do the course, but I had failed.”
Moses whose mother remarried and abandoned him, was left to fend for himself upon his father’s death. “I am the only child of my father, when he died, I had no one to help me,” he narrates. “When daddy died, I dropped out of school in Primary Six and have just been gambling with life since.” Not that he had it any better, his mother has barely educated the three children she had from the new marriage. “There was no hope there,” he whispers.
Hope however, came through the news of a bursary from Windle International Uganda for people with special needs like him. “I heard about this training last year through the local leaders, they said that we have to register,” he recalls. When they told him that it was totally free, he thought that it was a lie.
Even when the leaders called them to start the training, he was doubtful. Moses was wrong. “They did not ask us for money; they allowed us to study. I did not come with any money!” he smiles. Everything was provided on arrival and the tutors were kind and thoughtful. He has since reignited his dreams of becoming Koboko’s go-to for everything electrical engineering.
“My plan is if I put my effort, I will be okay,” he speaks more to himself before staring firmly into space. “I want to be an engineer here in Koboko and anywhere.” To achieve this, he will have to horn his skill, practice all that he has been trained in, save up and upgrade his skills. “I want to go back to school,” he says. “I plan to work, get money and go back to school; I want to join the wiring course in any place because I am ready to build my skills more.”
Moses quickly adds that work has never been his problem but the lack of skills was. “I can even dig, what about wiring houses? He probes. “I give thanks to Windle International Uganda because I feel this course is going to change my life.”
The selfless Moses says that besides helping him start a family of his own, the income will come in handy for his semi-illiterate half-siblings and his mother. “I last saw my mother 3 months ago, she cannot help me, I am the one who helps her,” he says. “Again, I just to say thank you to Windle, may God bless you.”