This seemed a big achievement in my life given the fact that not so many girls in Uganda could grasp this rare opportunity to attain such a credible level of education, many families look at it as an avenue for a brighter life for their children and the entire family. However, this was not the case; I was a victim of the soaring unemployment in Uganda that is above 70% regardless of someone’s educational background. I kept in touch after graduating to share any developments that could come across, what for sure prevailed was the aspect of having no meaningful job as I thought that this could be the possibility for a few months.
I moved on the city streets, government offices and to companies that take people for the so called “Greener pastures” but all in vain, worrying still, the years were running so fast and the possibility to meet my personal demands seemed to be far from me not until a male friend, who was working at the local district authority under the National Agricultural Advisory Services department in September 2011, contacted me for a workshop. It was on Rural Development Initiatives and it helped me with my friends to acquire knowledge and skills on how to start up an enterprise/initiative with local resources and with little capital. Thereafter, the two of us who attended the workshop contacted the rest our friends to share the knowledge and plans were made to further brainstorm on the possibility of starting a social initiative to address youth unemployment, food insecurity and the poor health in the local communities hence the enterprise, Partners In Development that we started in 2012.
Like any other business, our initiative was faced resentment from the local community since it seemed unrealistic as most farmers were already used to using artificial pesticides and fertilizers, the search for the market for the product was not smooth as many farmers wanted to have a free sample before they could make orders, the collection of raw materials for instance urine was very challenging in the first days and transport was a big problem. The use of partnership and networking strategy that involves various stakeholders, use of public gatherings through which we made publicity as whereas placing product stickers in all community toilets including those in schools. We worked closely with the local authorities for quality control.
Our future seems to be brighter and sustainable as we look forward to establishing a urine processing plant and widening our customer base especially in upcountry districts where farming is very dominant.
It’s on that humble background, that PiNA has hosted me as a job shadower in Koper, Slovenia for a period of two months. My stay at PiNA is intended to promoting entrepreneurship, active participation and non-formal learning with in both EU and non-EU countries and also building capacity of organisations in the field of social youth entrepreneurship (SYE) education especially targeting the unemployed youth.
As a dynamic and enthusiastic youth, I have greater hopes in Job Shadowing as an opportunity that will enable me learn, share and get experience in the field of Social Youth Enterprises and Equality for Change, I am also convinced that voluntary service can make a change in the lives of many people world over and since Uganda Pioneers Association works with youth as primary beneficiaries from it’s projects, I look forward to training the UPA branch youth leaders to acquire more skills and knowledge on SYE. This will enhance their potential to initiate enterprises that shall support them. And also empower the youth socially and economically as agents of change in their respective communities. I will make new friends be more immersed in their cultures hence standing a great chance to understand the different global issues and setting up possible strategies to contribute towards addressing them.
I urge all youth no matter your family or education background to engage in local labs and entrepreneurship as a tool for social-economic sustainable development and also to take on such a challenge to foster development.