At 23, Namubiru uses baking to give self-sustaining skills to fellow girls

At the age of 23 Lavis Namubiru Amooti, the last born of seven siblings has done what many have failed to do.

She offers self-sustaining and employment skills to fellow young girls.

Born to late William Kijjambu and Miriam Namata from Wakiso district, the graduate of Social Sciences majoring in mental health psychology from Kyambogo University says while working as a maid and home caretaker in 2014, she learnt from her then boss the skills of baking.

“I was motivated by my childhood experience where my mother couldn’t afford cakes and this mean I never ate cake in my childhood yet they are delicious. Whereas I had never undertaken any baking lessons, I kept on learning from my boss and developed my own recipes as I kept on adding and reducing ingredients to suit what I wanted,” Namubiru says.

She says she kept on teaching herself and could use home utensils like cooking pans and a cooking stove for trying out her skills and later, she used her meagre salary to pay in installment for the items she wanted.

By then she had left the home when she worked as a maid.

Namubiru says paying in installments, it took her a year to complete the payment for baking pans and when she moved to university, she continued with her baking skills at the hostel.

Trains fellow girls

With youth unemployment being a serious challenge to Uganda with over 40% of the graduates not employed, Namubiru took it upon herself to train fellow girls to get skills that can sustain them in life.

She says the idea of training fellow girls came out of her experience.

“As a young lady, I needed money to pay for my school fees, a sustainable and constant source of income which at some point I did not have. This made me realize and know there are many girls in the same state as me. I had to do something to change this state of affairs,” Namubiru says.

She explains that she started off with training her friends in baking and before she knew it, everything had expanded as many other girls came through recommendation from those who saw her work as well as those she had trained.

“After a while, I started making schedules for cake baking. I later started making announcements on my social media and many showed interest in the training,” she says.

Namubiru says she has two schedules including one where she visits the individuals at their respective homes for individual training.

“For group training we get one convenient home or venue and train them to bake using the home and locally available materials. The girls pay some money which I use to cater for material and equipment used during the training. After three months, the girls are ready to go on their own but the equipment and materials bought are given to them as startup capital,” she says.

She insists that during her training, her emphasis is on self- employment and self-sustaining skills for fellow girls.

No regrets

She says she has no regrets about the job she gave herself of imparting skills in fellow girls.

She has since started Lavis Cakes, a baking house for cakes that she sells to earn money.

“This kind of work has boosted my network by linking my projects to community and enhanced trust. It has increased my own personal growth and development but also the students have become my friends and business partners,” Namubiru says.

She says she proud that in a short period, she has been able to train over 480 girls, with majority of them from Northern Uganda.

Future is bright

The 23-year-old says her plan is to start a Lavis Cake Arena, a training centre that will focus on empowerment of and enabling of girls to learn skills that will transform their own lives, communities and the country at large.

“My advice to youths is that our generation is very lucky. We should not get stuck between getting good grades and scrolling throughout social media. Let us learn beyond the classroom because opportunities come beyond anything we have ever known. Find an adult mentor, focus on their contribution and not achievements because your contribution has nothing to do with your career but how committed you are and how much you care,” the 23-year-old Namubiru advises.

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