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Innovation – A Ray of Inspiration to Youths

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Innovation – A Ray of Inspiration to Youths

BY Christine Awor

As many people struggle to make ends meet again after coming face to face with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have managed to juggle through the Post pandemic effects by going extraordinary miles in creativity for survival, Anna Bwerisa 26, a resident of Bulambuli District, Eastern Uganda is a unique epitome of living hope.

The photos below are an end-to-end event that defines her success in an innovative environment that elevated her from Grass to endless grace after joining an innovative environment of Tropical Institute of Development Innovations(TRIDI), which is the leading implementer of a Sericulture project in Uganda, Sericulture is the rearing of silkworms. Silkworms are the larva of a moth native to Asia that spins a cocoon of fine, strong, lustrous fibre that is the source of commercial silk according to the Silkworm Shop website.

Anna’s story portrays resilience and dedication in the face of calamity, even after losing her job as a paid volunteer in a refugee settlement, she chose to move on and start something more innovative, this is not what most youths are doing, with a faint ray of hope, after losing a job, they always tend to focus more on the storm, than thinking on how to move on.

When the Uganda COVID-19 lockdown was announced, Anna Bwerisa, 26 discovered she was laid off and was stuck at Palabek Refugee Settlement in Kitgum District, Northern Uganda, and she did not speak the language. It took her months, learning and flexibility to land a job at TRIDI, an innovative non-profit that produced silk from silkworms, as a Field Officer.

The silkworms feed on Mulberry leaves because it is the only food it survives on. According to TRIDI, silkworms feed on mulberry leaves for 28-30days before they form cocoons, the worms in the first stage are always fed on soft leaves and other stages are fed on matured leaves.

Anna feeds the Mulberry leaves to Silkworms.

Silkworms eat mulberry leaves on a rearing rack at the TRIDI factory.

Close-up of silkworms, silkworms are harvested in the 5th stage to get cocoons.

The Youths are always first trained by professional engineers before they get to do any production process in the factory and they are always guided on every step for first few weeks to ensure they are on track.

Youths working in the Production Process of silk reeling.

At this stage, the threads can be raw but after boiling, the process formulates foams and the foams are moulded and later collected and twisted to make silk yarns.

The worms are boiled with hot air in a compartment and then the threads are reeled.

Cocoons are silky webs woven by silk larvae after feeding for a maximum of 28-30 days before they pass to a pupa stage.

A sample of cocoons that the silkworms produce after spinning, spinning is simply the process by which silkworms produce cocoons.

After Spinning, a cocoon is formed which is later hatched into butterflies but often time they are always reeled off to make various products before they become butterflies.

Cocoons ready and packed

Once the threads are removed from the gums and the threads are twisted, the raw silk becomes silk yarn.

Apart from silk clothes, carpets and mats Silk has other industrial and commercial importance like making bicycle tyres, parachutes, and artillery gun powder bags according to experts at the Tropical Institute of Development Innovations and this is what the project envisions.

Some of the Silk clothes are weaved out of the treated silk yarns

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Christine Awor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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