Trainees editing there projects
BY: Robert Kasumba, Shamim Nabakooza, Shifrah Kayaga and Tracy Kababiito
Unemployment rate in the sub Saharan African countries is rising rampantly and with over 78 percent of people below the age of 30, Uganda has the world’s youngest population.
The Uganda national Bureau of Statistics 2013 report reveals that the share of unemployed youth (national definition, 18-30 years) among the total unemployed persons in the country was 64 percent the rapid growth of the Ugandan population.
Three-quarters of the population are below the age of 30 years coupled with the fact that the biggest percent in the question are educated to at least a diploma leaving the question of under exploitation of learned human resource unanswered.
However Youth in the country still get better education regardless of the situation and quality of education thus putting pressure to resources and opportunity circles in the country.
Smart up factory in Kawempe division a growing and brisk suburb of Kampala city is one of those innovative non-government projects which is under the auspices of Plan international Uganda aiming at creating an enabling environment for young people to be empowered so has to be self-employed and change agents in their communities.
“The hub was formed from the idea that most youths especially those that are marginalized and don’t have opportunities to develop their ideas” says Denis Omara a youth engagement coordinator at plan international and the team leader of Smart up factory.
He adds that smart up factory is an incubation hub that is there to help those who are not educated but have got skills.
The hub engages youths in innovative and creative activities such as making handcraft materials, graphic animations and designs.
The project also focuses on providing safe space for mentoring, training, and empowering young men and women to become problem solvers in their communities. In the hub, young men and women aim at developing innovations with the definitive goal of optimistically transforming society.
It is a free service to the youth which gives them a chance to exploit their ideas so has to meet the national development plan of 2015/16-2019/20 because it’s one of the government policies that is aiming at supporting youth to become self-employed as well as creating opportunities for them.
What the trainees say
Jane Ketra, 24: I joined Smart up through a relative called Henry who had been here (smart up) before. His skills he learnt from smart up brought a positive impact to our society.
I have been at smart up for now three months and the experience is so nice Smart up has helped me to gain confidence of how to talk to people because I want to be a news anchor and also the mentors are friendly.
Message to the youth
The youths out there should be so creative and practical because that where the world is heading too. They should also try to connect and also be social with other people.
Mugagga Juma, 25: Smart up is a good and hospitable place where I have learnt physical skills and I have been here for three months now. I can now write a script well and also direct a video shoot.
Since we also have sessions about leadership I can now stand for any position of a leader for example a local council official or a councilor.
Message to the youths
Youths should utilize such programs like smart up factory because it is free of charge and one gets hands on training because in the end a person will be able to start up something for him or her.
Kakande Alvin, 15: I stay in Kanyanya with my parents; I joined smart when an old man a friend of my father told him about it. I was just sited home and my father didn’t have money to push me to further for studies.
I was a ghetto boy and very stubborn because as teens, we are often distracted and deluded but ever since I joined smart up factory my life changed and I am learning computer skills.
Message to the youths
What I can tell my teens out there, is they have to utilize their time well, they should stop betting and other gambling games because they take us nowhere.
What the community says.
Muhammed Lule Kagubala LC1 chairman Kawempe Mbogo zone, Smart up Factory has helped youth in my community who don’t have what to do because they get hands on training which help them start u their own jobs and I am happy for this project.
Smart up factory has been able to help 3500 youths for the past three years. This means that the hub impact has helped the community to reduce on the crime rate like drug use, gambling, robbery and many more.