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Vocational education for the youth of empoverished neighbourhoods of Kampala

Bwaise is the largest slum in the city of Kampala and also the poorest and most densely populated area of the Ugandan capital. One of its problems is the high unemployment rate among its youth population.

The Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD), the project’s partner organisation, which has a proven model of combating youth unemployment, has implemented large-scale social projects aimed at improving the living conditions of people living in Kampala’s poorest neighbourhoods.

The Polish Fundacja Kultury Świata (Cultures of the World Foundation) has been collaborating with AFFCAD since 2013. Over that time, with the support of a multi-year EU grant, AFFCAD has been able to transform itself from a small entity working for the inhabitants of Kampala’s slums into a large non-governmental organisation that conducts vocational courses for disadvantaged youth. The organisation has grown rapidly, but its staff still lack experience in managing and reporting on large-scale projects.

This project complemented earlier activities carried out as part of the Polish Aid Volunteering Programmes in 2014 and 2015, and of another project funded by the Polish Development Aid Programme in 2015.

Vocational education for the youth of empoverished neighbourhoods of Kampala

The project was carried out between 15 June 2016 and 31 December 2016 in the neighbourhood of Bwaise, the district of the Ugandan capital Kampala with the highest poverty rate. The project’s woman volunteer resided in Kampala from 1 August 2016 to 31 December 2016.

The volunteer’s task was to provide practical assistance for the activities undertaken by the project’s partner organisation, AFFCAD, with the aim of improving the quality of services provided. The volunteer provided staff of the partner organisation with expert support in their operations and worked with young vocational course graduates. In an effort to provide young people with internship placements, she developed a collaborative relationship with private-sector entities with the aim of facilitating the entry of young graduates into the local labour market in the future.

The beneficiaries of the project included AFFCAD staff and disadvantaged youth, who benefited from the opportunity to get internships within the framework of the partnership developed with the private sector.

Vocational education for the youth of empoverished neighbourhoods of Kampala

The project focused on supporting the institutional development of the partner organisation through activities leading to the opening of a new vocational education centre in Kampala and through implementation of that organisation’s strategic plan, which included, among other things, the development of sustainable partnerships with the private sector.

The volunteer participated in a tender for the construction of the centre and oversaw the implementation of the partner organisation’s integrated computer system for data management, teaching and communication with the project beneficiaries (the Learning Database and Communication System). The volunteer was commissioned with the task of identifying an appropriate building and negotiating the terms and conditions of a multi-year lease. Finally, in May 2017, the building was commissioned by the AFFCAD for three years of operation. Previously, AFFCAD had conducted procurement pursuant to the adopted schedule of fund tranche disbursements in compliance with IOM and EU procedures, while in April they conducted the necessary building adaptation works.

During the course of the project, the volunteer also attended to AFFCAD’s promotion on social media and through the website of the Fundacja Kultury Świata.

The volunteer developed a set of organisational documents for the project partner, including human resources policy papers containing rules on equal treatment of men and women, guidelines for the newly established board of directors, a framework for monitoring and evaluation, and organisational communication and branding guidelines.

The volunteer provided 60 hours of training consultation for AFFCAD staff with the aim of streamlining the implementation of the newly developed practices and regulations (staff briefings) and established professional contacts with private-sector entities and helped conclude several framework agreements on standing partnerships in the provision of internships to graduates of the vocational training centre operated by AFFCAD.