Safeplan Uganda, based in the Masindi region, empowers underskilled women and youth to support themselves and their families, by training them in vocational skills. In September 2022, in association with Enabel Uganda, Safeplan Uganda kick started efforts to train two specific groups of people in the region - 1) Royal Ambassador Youth and 2) Katagurukwa Shoe making women. This program is managed by Enabel Uganda and the government of Uganda, to train youth for work in the Albertine region.
The training includes three broad areas - 1) Skills Enhancement, 2)Marketing and 3)Branding and Business skills. These together ensure that the trainees are able to manage and maintain their enterprises independently on a long term. This three month training started in March 2023. At the end of this training, the trainees will be awarded DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training), a national trade test that will enable the trainees to work anywhere across the east Africa region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi).
The youth and women participating in these training are between the ages of 15-35 years based in the Masindi municipality and the rural community of Masindi district. Most of these trainees are from low-income families, whose main source of income over several generations has been from small agricultural occupations.
The Katagurukwa women group usually adds onto their existing savings and benefits from the credit schemes available to them. These women save their income, as small as $0.5 for 12 months. This allows them to buy an asset for their home as needed or to reinvest. The Katagurukwa group of women have been operational since 2020 with nearly 60 active members. Each member is allowed to borrow upto 100% of their savings to invest in another project during the saving period, and return it around June every year.
The Royal Ambassadors youth work with the Baylor Children’s foundation. Due to its local presence, Safeplan Uganda understands and relates to the situation faced by the youth in the region, and is able to cater the training designed for this group and their benefit. Once the group is trained, some of them start working in different towns, others start their own small enterprise and yet others continue to work on producing products such as liquid soap to sell in the community. This approach enables the youths to be engaged and remain productive citizens in the community.
Safeplan Uganda continues to come up with innovative ways to bring vocational education to its communities, and enable the people in and around Masindi to be self-employed and self-sufficient. This is doing wonders to the local wellbeing of families who otherwise look at other urban cities for support and source of income.
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