YOUTH EMPLOYMENT FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
Overview and Challenge:
The Boy Child Uplifing Program (BCUP) is District 9213 flagship project for the RY2023/24. The 5-year programme is a targeted effort aimed to bridge the significant gender disparities, and create equal educational and economic opportunities for over 2m boys and girls in Uganda. In this particular project, over 10,000 youth, mainly young men will be empowered and supported through mentorship, mindset change training, hands-on skilling, and support with business start-ups.
Uganda's historical focus on mentoring and empowering the girl child has led to a skewed societal landscape, marked by challenges such as high crime rate, low self-esteem, widespread alcoholism and drug abuse, low productivity, little entrepreneurship and high school dropout rates among boys. Socially, there is increasingly more failed marriages, dysfunctional families, and high incidences of Gender Based Violence. Statistical data from the Uganda Prisons Service reports indicates a stark gender disparity in incarceration rates, with male prisoners, mainly young men, accounting for approximately 95.4% of the prison population. Research has also shown that the majority of alcohol and drug abusers as well as admissions to drug rehabilitation centers are boys and young men; and that boys are now more likely to drop out of school than girls. Another study that investigated determinants of youth unemployment in Uganda reported that the male youth are more likely to be unemployed compared to their female counterparts. The boy child is also often more likely to engage in manual jobs, and be exploited as result of child labour.
Uganda has the second youngest population in the world with more than 78% of its citizens below the age of 35 years, and this youthful population is projected to double in the next 25 years. Youth unemployment stands at between 64% and 70%, and about 700,000 youths are released annually into the job market to compete for approximately 113,000 available jobs. About 30% of the youths who are institutionally qualified are unable to find jobs, and the situation is even worse for semi-skilled and unskilled youths. Youths who remain unemployed or underemployed and do not exploit their full potential, are often associated with high incidences of crime, drug abuse and gambling. Unemployed youths migrate from rural to urban areas for work, which negatively impacts on the social services sector in urban centres. Ugandan youths shun the agricultural sector, one of the biggest employers in rural areas, preferring to work in service sector jobs like riding motorcycle taxis (boda-bodas), or as low-wage laborers in industries. The government response has been to issue soft loans and youth grants to agricultural programmes such as NAADS, the Youth Livelihood Fund, and youth SACCOs. Despite these interventions, the problem of youth unemployment remains high.
The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges, leaving the boy child vulnerable to education gaps, abuse, and discrimination. Other factors that have led to the lagging behind of the boy child in Uganda include exclusion of the boy child in the gender agenda, poverty (41% of the people live in poverty), lack of necessary skills to secure employment, poor mind-set and attitude of youth, absence of role models and parental guidance in homes, peer pressure, societal changes in norms and values, and disintegration of the family unit. The youth are also often blind to opportunities around them.
In order to reduce the widening gender disparities; and provide equal opportunities for both girls and boys, D9213 proposes a "Boy Child Uplifting Program" that aims to offer youth, with particular focus on young males (18-35 years) the chance to create employment, secure jobs faster, to be self-reliant, and to establish their own businesses through mentorship, mindset training, hands-on skilling and provision of business start-ups. To address the youth unemployment challenge, a program of Rotary called Rotary Vijana Poa was piloted in RY2015/16 throughout the then RD 9211 of Uganda and Tanzania as an initiative of the District. The programme's goal was to support the young people so that they can have a proper attitude that would help them to get employed or develop their entrepreneurial skills to earn a living. Its approach was to provide school-to-work transition for graduates; to generate common sense enterprises for uneducated youth and school dropouts; and mentorship and coaching to equip youth with employable and entrepreneurship skills. The proposed project will build on the lessons and successes of the Rotary Vijana Poa programme.
The project will be a D9213-sponsored grant with the Rotary Club of Kampala Ssese Islands as the lead club. Project implementation will be at Club level through 50 participating Rotary and Rotaract Clubs. Each Club will be required to identify local artisans and skilling technicians for youth attachments, enlist reputable workplaces for attachment opportunities as well as identify and support an average of 200 youth in their localities. A pool of 120 trainers, mentors and coaches on mindset change and enterprise development among volunteer Rotarians and Rotaractors will also be created for sustainability. The program will actively involve and partner with the Uganda Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (ministry responsible for youth affairs), Uganda Prison Services, educational institutions, religious bodies, cultural institutions, mental and psychological rehabilitation centres, community stakeholders and parents. Uganda Royal Institute of Business and Technical Education (BRIBTE) Mengo will offer the training and mentorship. BRIBTE was founded by Buganda Kingdom in 1999 with a view to equip students with practical knowledge and skills for employability. Rotary will finance the training/mentorship and skilling programmes, and fund the business start-ups. A full time project manager will be hired for one year to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the project.
a. To equip youth with employable skills through training, mentorship and coaching
b. To provide youth with practical and entrepreneur skills that match with the local labor market demands and self-employment
c. To provide youth with tool kits and business start-ups for self-employment and job creation
d. To create a pool of 120 trainers, mentors and coaches on mindset change and enterprise development among volunteer Rotarians and Rotaractors as well as a pool of 35 well established organisations for workplace attachment opportunities
The project will directly benefit over 10,000 youths from all over Uganda as well as 120 trainers, mentors and coaches for mindset change and enterprise development. Over 30 District Local Governments and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development will also benefit from the project.
1. Mentorship and mindset change training US$ 20,250
2. Hands-on skilling and re-skilling US$ 35,000
3. Provision of business start-ups US$ 133,750
4. Project management (Project manager) US$ 6,575
5. Monitoring & Evaluation US$ 6,200
6. Rotary signage US$ 1,000
7. Contingency US$ 5,800
TOTAL US$ 202,000
1. Cash contribution from 50 Rotary/Rotaract Clubs @US$1,500 US$ 75,000
2. DDF from D9213 US$ 25,000
3. Non TRF contribution (cash from PDG Urs Harzog) US$ 5,000
4. DDF from D9214 US$ 5,000
5. Cash from Lead Club (RC Kampala Ssese Islands) US$ 5,000
6. WF match (80 percent of US$25,000 DDF) US$ 20,000
TOTAL US$ 146,000
a. Nelson Kabwama Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +256 774 130341
b. Jennifer Mirembe Sensuwa Email: email@example.com Tel. +256 775 325258
b. Edward Kakembo Nsubuga Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +256 782 888888