Why we do what we do
A large number of young people lack the skills and opportunities to find and keep a job, or get involved in their communities.
The Youth Watch 2012 points out that nearly one in every three youth in Uganda has received some form of vocational training. Unfortunately, it found that skills’ training is no guarantee of utilizing skills for income-generation. Nearly half of all youth are not using their skills productively for income-generation.
The challenge of unemployment for youth who do not complete school is even greater. Youth are uninformed about the job market and the local economy. Many report not knowing what sort of skills and goods are marketable and identify social challenges as being very concerning.
This is the gap Wezesha Impact seeks to address.
We equip youth with the skills to start and grow businesses, find and thrive at jobs, and actively participate civically.
Education Level: 55.1% of Ugandans have attained some or completed primary education. Only 5.1% have acquired an education above secondary level.
Youth Unemployment: 70% of Ugandan youth are not formally employed for wages. Youth ages 15 to 30 make up 83% of Uganda’s unemployed.
Youth Poverty Rates: Highest youth poverty rates at 94%.
Who We Serve
Wezesha Impact’s work primarily focuses on early school leavers, youth in vocational training plus young potential and existing entrepreneurs. We also provide design and training support to youth focused organisations
1. Experiential Entrepreneurship & Workplace Readiness
2. Product Making and Service Provision Skills Trainings
3. Apprenticeships, Competitions and Exhibitions
4. Linkages to Information, Jobs, Markets & Finance
Youth participate in a transformative experience of life-skills, employability, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship and linkage experiences that enables them to:
Learn marketable skills
Start and grow businesses
Find and keep jobs
Actively participate civically
Wezesha Impact working through Program Facilitators and the community mentor fellows mobilize and recruit youth between the age groups of 15 – 24 from the local communities and in Vocational institutions.
The community mentor fellow through weekly mentorship and facilitating of entrepreneurship modules guide the youth to Identify need with their community. It is these needs that the youth then turn into business ideas, construct business plans and then start businesses. Business startup capital is often got from fundraising, donations from relatives and parents, other youth carry out part time employment accumulative some money then start their own businesses.
Wezesha Impactalso equips youth with market driven technical skills to accelerate business growth. Professional skills trainers is enlisted to train the youth in a practical skill that the youth can turn into business. Skills previously conducted include, liquid and bar soap making, baking, chalk making, book making, Vaseline and candle.
A select number of youth are chosen for apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship training is long term training in which a youth is paired with an apprenticeship provider. Apprenticeship training include auto motor mechanic training, bicycle and motorcycle mechanic, videography and photography, tailoring, hair dressing.
Through mentorship, home visits and enterprise visits we encourage youth to form similar interest groups and saving groups. Similar interest groups are those in which Youth dealing in similar line items come together to share success, challenges and brain storm solutions. Youth become each other’s accountability partners and work collectively to ensure success of their businesses. Example of a similar interest group is Agri- business. This brings together farmers, as well as all in the agricultural value chain line.
We support youth to form savings groups, we go ahead to encourage them to register their savings groups at the subcouty with the Community Development Officer and open up saving groups accounts in youth friendly banks or micro finance institutions.
We link youth to Market, finance and professional mentorship opening up avenues for youth to grow their capital as well as business acumen.
Youth in Vocational institutions are encouraged to start business in small groups. Youth mostly practice business in line with the skills they are being taught at the Vocational Institute. For example youth in the catering class bake cakes and fry snacks which they sell to other youth at the school canteen.
To further encourage entrepreneurship, Wezesha Impactruns an accelerator Program
Participants for the Accelerator are identified from graduates of the Leadership Entrepreneurship and Apprentice Ship program through a competitive referral and application process. Participants are selected for demonstrating commitment and the potential to grow big. Over a 6 months period, youth in the Accelerator participate in a transformative experience that refines their business models, strengthens their business acumen, and makes finance and non-finance linkages needed for growth.
Lydia’s Success Story
“My job is to sell mushroom porridge. I joined the Wezesha Impact LEAP Program. I would travel a long distance from where I live to attend Wezesha Impact classes. On joining, I was already making mushroom porridge but I was operating with little confidence. I was so nervous and often failed to explain to people how I make porridge from mushrooms.
When I joined Wezesha Impact, I was assured of success. They mentored me to carry on with my work because it’s a good initiative. First, they asked me not to lose hope. Secondly, they coached me on how to communicate with people. Thirdly they taught me self-confidence. The fourth lesson was to start a business with minimum available capital. I started small, making only three kilograms. They told me that from small, I can grow big. The most important was managing the business! I was so poor at it but now I can account for my business. I also learned how to keep records of my business.”
Wezesha Impact conducts learning labs with Youth on job search skills, prepare a curriculum vitae (CV) and role plays on interview skills.
We mentor youth on personal productivity, time management and work etiquette, conduct employment visit to mentor youth at the work place and inspire youth to be exemplary at the work of place. We as well find linkages to employment for youth by partnering with companies with work with youth.
Wezesha Impact trains youth on advocacy writing and public speaking promoting leadership among youth.