The youth are Uganda’s greatest asset and a source of hope for the country, yet youth unemployment poses a formidable challenge to development in Uganda, where 78% of Ugandans are below 30 years with the median age being 15 years of age (UBOS 2016). Poverty, lack of access to high quality formal education, high costs of vocational and formal education, weak linkages with the private sector, orphanhood, especially due to AIDS and low levels of industrialization pose barriers for Uganda’s youth seeking safe work in Uganda’s weak economy.
As a result of not being gainfully employed or able to employ themselves, a number of Ugandan youths have even left the country to try employment and better prospects abroad but have not been so successful. A number of them, especially girls, have ended up as victims of human trafficking and prostitution, like the girls who are trafficked to a place called Uganda in Bengaluru the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state. The Uganda police 2017 Annual Crime Report registered 177 cases of human trafficking, a 41.6% rise from the 125 cases recorded in 2016. Girls face unique challenges due to high rates of teenage pregnancies, early marriages and community expectations to stay at home to care for children and households.
Over the years, Reach The Youth Uganda has implemented several youth support projects in the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Kalangala, Rakai, Masaka, Bukomansimbi and other districts of greater Masaka to support youth with vocational training and health projects. The founder and Executive Director of Reach The Youth Uganda, Dr. Abel Mwebembezi, is introducing a project on vocational skills training for the youth aged between 14 and 24 years in Kashari county of Mbarara district with support of international friends including TOOLS With A Mission (TWAM).
With support from Tools with a Mission-UK (TWAM) RTY is to support youth with vocational skills tools. TWAM donated assorted tool kits to be given to out of school and unemployed youths aged 14–24 years. These tools include manual sewing machines, electric sewing machines, haberdashery, knitting machines, hand knitting pack, carpentry kits trade, saws pack, builders’ kit, ground-workers’ kit, motor mechanics kit, garage kit electricians’ kit, electric drills & power tools, small agricultural tools, specialist sewing m/c, drill stand and a box of wood planes.
The beneficiary youth will undergo training in vocational skills before receiving the tools. The initial beneficiaries shall be the youths from the subcounties of Bubaare, Rwanyamahembe, Bukiro and Rubaya. The purpose is to create employment opportunities for out of school youth so that they can realize disposable income to enable them access core services and have meaningful lives.