Jackline, a truck driver graduate from the Professional Driver Training Uganda Project Phase Two
Financial constraints and a lack of opportunities had always prevented Jackline Latigi, a 38-year-old single mother and grandmother, from satisfying her enthusiasm for driving and dream of becoming a professional truck driver.
Her motivation to become a truck driver stemmed from seeing another woman on TV who drove buses and trucks for a living, but with few training schools near to her home and those that were charging a considerable fee, Jackline’s options were limited.
She applied to train at a driver training school in Uganda, but just as she was invited for training, the country went into a national lockdown due to COVID-19. Jackline said: “This was so frustrating and made me wonder when I would be able to achieve my dream.”
Aware of her ambition to becoming a professional driver, Jackline’s brother who trained at the Safe Way Right Way Driver Training Centre, intervened and advised that it was offering training for women free of charge.
After practicing and perfecting her driving of a manual car, Jackline passed the assessment at the training centre, and soon after was contacted to begin training to drive a truck. She said: “The theory lessons were by video conference because Uganda was in lockdown at that time. During the practical training, I had few difficulties – it went so well. The trainers at Safe Way Right Way have so much knowledge, they know how to teach properly and take you through each stage. They want to motivate you and give you strength so that you can be a great driver.
“I truly recommend that all drivers go through this training.”
Jackline’s training was sponsored, but she still had other costs to cover, and so worked as a taxi driver in the meantime before returning to complete the training.
“I faced so many challenges in making ends meet financially, but throughout it all I remained committed to my goal and worked hard to pass all of the theory and practical training.”
As part of the Professional Driver Training Uganda Project Phase Two’s commitment to finding employment opportunities for the trainees, Jackline went for interviews at several different organisations.
“My dream is almost coming true, I have now been hired by Victoria Motors. I will be driving large trucks throughout East Africa and beyond to earn a living, which will enable me to support my daughter and my grandchildren. I am so grateful for Safe Way Right Way because without the sponsorship, I would not be a truck driver. It is not just me who has benefited, but my family too.
“I am proud. Some people in Uganda still think that truck driving is only for men, but when it comes to avoiding accidents, women are outperforming men on the road. Many women have doubts about entering this industry, but having done it myself I encourage fellow women to use this opportunity that Safe Way Right Way is offering and join me.”
Despite all of the obstacles, Jackline persevered and achieved her dream of becoming a truck driver. Her story is a testimony to the power of perseverance, self-belief, and a passion for one’s dream.
The Professional Driver Training Uganda Project Phase Two, which is part of the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme, aims to upskill drivers to take advantage of employment opportunities, while equipping them with the knowledge to be safer drivers on Uganda’s roads. It is being implemented jointly by Transaid and Safe Way Right Way on behalf of GIZ E4D.