By Stephen Wandera
KIU, Main Campus - Peace Marion Awori is a student pursuing a diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication at Kampala International University.
A daughter of a retired teacher and a peasant dad, Awori is in the first semester of her first year in university. She grew up in Bukasa, Kampala, a densely populated area characterized by a high rate of school dropouts and crime.
"The lockdown came on us as a tragedy because as freshers we were just into our new life at campus,” Awori says.
“Our studies were cut short during our first semester and we really couldn't know what to do. I lost my job at 'mwana mugimu', an organization at Mulago National Referral Hospital because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she adds.
This means life and her means of survival became difficult. Her earnings instantly became zero yet she had no savings and to make matters worse, there was no hope about when the lockdown would be lifted.
Awori says she, however, poured all her energies into her studies, with the online tutorials on KIU’s e-learning platform proving to be the proverbial stitch in time that saved nine.
"It was a new phenomenon to us but we had to adopt online teaching. It was a good innovation by Kampala International University for continuity of learning during the lockdown,” she says
Awori says since they are yet to return to school, she makes necklaces and earrings which she learnt when she downloaded a YouTube video which gave a step-by-step guide on how to make the jewellery. She now markets these to her close friends, former workmates and relatives whom she connects with via social media platforms.
"In the middle of the lockdown after having been laid off from work, I thought of how to manage financially and had to do it fast. So as I searched the net I landed on a YouTube video showing necklace making which interested me and I downloaded it,” Awori reveals.
A pair of earrings goes for 15,000 shillings and necklaces range from 10,000shs to 25,000 shs depending on the nature of beads used and the layers that constitute the necklace.
Awori advises young people to move out of their comfort zones and make the best use of social media, not as hookups sites but a source of inspiration to discover something that would aid them to become better