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Chance for the youth of Bwasie. Vocational education and support of entrepreneurship in the biggest slum of Kampala

More than one third of Ugandans live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day per person). Despite the requirement for all children to attend school, only 73% of citizens over the age of 15 can read and write. At the same time, Uganda is one of the youngest societies in the world: as many as half the population is under 14. Meanwhile, the state is not able to guarantee education at all levels. 

The Ugandan education system largely functions on a fee basis. The few free and public schools are not located in poor neighbourhoods, making access to education for children from poor families even more difficult. Children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds usually only manage to complete elementary school. The lack of vocational education further reduces their chances of getting out of unemployment and changing their social status.

Support for the centre that runs vocational courses for young people living in the largest poor district in Kampala aims to reduce youth unemployment. The project continues earlier activities carried out with the support of Poland by the World Culture Foundation (Project No. 912/WPP2014 "Opportunity for young people in Bwaise. Support for local actors to improve career opportunities among young people in the largest Kampala slum").

Chance for the youth of Bwasie. Vocational education and support of entrepreneurship in the biggest slum of Kampala

The project’s activities will be carried out from 23 February to 31 December 2015 in the poor district of Bwaise in Kampala.

The project is based on the proven cooperation of its principal implementer, the World Culture Foundation, with its local partner - Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD).

The Bwaise Youth Employment Centre (BYEC) will host vocational courses as part of the project. Six thematic courses in electrical equipment repair, computing and graphic programs, hairdressing and cosmetology, tailoring and design of clothes, cooking, traditional handicraft and film production will be conducted. Equipment for vocational workshops will be purchased.

Selected BYEC course graduates will take part in 4-month apprenticeships and training in entrepreneurship and management of mini business initiatives. The three best ideas will receive support in the form of equipment and materials.

The aim is  to promote the idea of raising vocational qualifications among Bwaise residents. Informative meetings will be organised during which participants will have a chance to learn about their potential career opportunities.

Chance for the youth of Bwasie. Vocational education and support of entrepreneurship in the biggest slum of Kampala

The project was carried out between 23 February and 31 December 2015.

In the period from May to August, seven vocational courses were organised in the BYEC in hairdressing, tailoring, cooking and catering, repair of electronics, artistic crafts, photography and film and graphic design. Approximately 300 people completed the course. More than half of the participants took part in apprenticeships in small and medium-sized companies, where they improved their acquired skills. Also, eight information sessions on career counselling were organised.

Another component of the project were entrepreneurial courses. Among the beneficiaries were 35 selected students who presented the most interesting ideas for running their own business. The training resulted in five proposals for business initiatives, three of which received funding.

The aim of the project was also to support the business activities of the partner organisations BYEC and AFFCAD. As a result of the consultations, a business plan was developed for a photocopying centre and a kiosk with cold drinks.