Alternative Education and Livelihoods
We empower young people, parents and guardians with the education, skills and resources needed to take up productive livelihoods and employment opportunities within their own communities.
A large proportion of the slum’s community is illiterate and lacks professional skills. Most jobs available are in the informal sector which means casual or unreliable work, no job security and low pay.
Youth unemployment is also a big issue in Uganda with the unemployment rate for young people ages 15–24 at 83%.
To try and address this, we have launched several programs designed to give skills to the young people and caregivers of children on our programme. With caregivers we are primarily working with women as many of our families are female-headed households and women are more likely to spend their income on the basic needs of their family.
What we do
Afternoon Programme and Candle Making
For children who are too old to join the sponsorship programme (generally aged between 10 and 18) we offer an informal education and skills training. Each Tuesday-Friday afternoon, children are taught simple reading, writing, and maths as well as other topics.
These young people are also equipped with the knowledge to make candles, which are made to order on an individual basis.
Solar Lights Programme
Very few people in the community have electricity, and most use either gasoline lanterns or candles to light their house at night which is dangerous and can cause health problems. Use of solar lights will not only provide a safer home environment and better air quality but also create additional income for our care givers.
Each person on the programme can purchase subsidised solar lights and then began renting out the lights to each of their customers for a small rental fee everyday. The income they earn each week is sufficient to payback their loan and earn a profit.
One of the women (Mama Rehema) who was previously on the programme has been able to extend her house with the profit and start renting out this living area. Another mother has used the additional income to expand her chicken business.
Some of the older children we support, identified through our sponsorship programme or throuh the afternoon programme, are supported to vocational training where they learn a specific skill and are prepared to work a specific trade or occupation.
Recently we have had young people attending courses in hairdressing, mechanics and catering.
Small Loans Programme
Due to high unemployment rates, social norms and low education levels the employment opportunities for women are limited. We provide support and advice to women to allow them to either start up a small business or improve an existing one.
Most of these women lack collateral, steady employment and credit history, so they do not qualify for access to banking or traditional loans.
Through increased income, those who take a loan are able to better provide for their families.