Creating opportunities for women and girls in Uganda

Education for girls is vital to combat the root causes of poverty in Uganda. Our partner, Pearlcrest, gives young women the opportunity to receive education, mentoring, and job skills. 

In Uganda, young women from poor families are often less likely to receive an education when compared with boys. Families often cannot afford to send all their children to school, and feel that housework is more important for girls to learn in order to marry and raise a family.  

Girls who do go to school are more likely to leave early, either to help their families or to avoid the risk of sexual violence. On average, four million girls enrol for primary, education but less than one million progress to secondary education. 

Major gender disparities still exist within the employment and education sector, which has only worsened during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Sixty-two percent of women in Uganda work in vulnerable employment and unpaid care work, which means that the pandemic has disproportionately affected their livelihood. Overall, lack of education and vocational training makes it more difficult for women to become independent and break the cycle of poverty.


Vocational training in Uganda

The Pearlcrest Hospitality Training Institute offers vocational training in the hotel and hospitality industry to marginalised young women in Uganda. The school is located on the peninsula in the outskirts of Entebbe, Uganda. Students board at Pearlcrest, and come from all over the country. 

The courses are open to young women from all over the country, regardless of tribe, religious denomination or background. Pearlcrest provides educational services at subsidized costs, to enable more Ugandan women to gain professional training to improve their lives and the lives of their families. The goal is to give women life-long skills in fields such as catering, management and hospitality, so they can find safe and dignified employment. 

Pearlcrest has a high success rate, with 98% of students who enrol completing their courses and graduating. All students complete a job placement at Pearlcrest’s extensive network of industry partners, providing a clear route into employment. Over 90% of students are able to find work within months of graduating, and are employed in hotels, restaurants and other areas of the hospitality and tourism industry, while others are running successful businesses.  

One such student is Irene, who is 19 years-old and currently studying for a certificate in Hospitality and Accommodations Operations at Pearlcrest. From her love of food and cooking, she wants to pursue cooking as her main career.  She says, “I would recommend the institute because it offers all the hospitality management training, and also helps you grow as a person.”


Our work with Pearlcrest  

We have been working with Pearlcrest since 2020 to support them with their safeguarding practice and vocational training scholarships.  

We are now expanding our partnership to:

  • Improve and scale the mentoring support they offer students 
  • Develop their capacity to engage external stakeholders, building wider networks with the industry beyond their current area of expertise, and to advocate for good working conditions 
  • Increase the number of students by providing vocational training scholarships


Every student at Pearlcrest receives a mentor, which is a key component of WONDER’s work. The mentoring programme helps remove barriers to the graduate’s success, and supports young women to build confidence and a sense of value, as many have experienced trauma.  

Combining mentoring with vocational training gives young women the opportunity to leave poverty for good and benefit their local community. 

Author: Tashnia Anam

Corporate volunteering in London Team building

Corporate Volunteering at WONDER Foundation

WONDER Foundation hosts a variety of corporate volunteering days throughout the year, partnering with organisations and businesses that support our mission and goals.