Youth benefiting from Smart Up factory project

Mar 10, 2022

Justine Nakiwala, the Plan International Uganda communications manager says the project aims at empowering young people

The project aims at empowering young people

NewVision Reporter
Journalist @NewVision

24-years-old Aidah Nkugwa is a resident of Salama in Makindye division. She owns a small business that deals in selling doughnuts and small queen cakes. Unlike many who buy from other bakers, Nkugwa makes all her products by herself.

She says that before, she was frying cassava and samosas. She, however, says the process was too tedious and unhygienic – it also involved polluting the environment since she had to use firewood or sometimes charcoal.

In 2021, Nkugwa had a turning point. She was introduced to a new technology that made her abandon the cassava and samosa business. “I heard our area local council chairman move around telling people of the new training in the community that would change the youth’s lives. One field was training in baking. I immediately went for the training the following day,” Nkugwa says.

the project aims at empowering young people

the project aims at empowering young people

She says they trained them using a Lytefire solar oven, a new technology that had been introduced by Plan International Uganda under their Smart Up factory project.

Justine Nakiwala, the Plan International Uganda communications manager says the project aims at empowering young people, especially girls to create sustainable jobs and to support local productivity while reducing deforestation and contributing to climate change.

She added that it also creates an enabling environment where marginalised young women and men aged 17-26 years are empowered through personal development to incubate innovations for positive social transformation.

“The youths enrol for a three-week training course, and after they are ready to become a baker,” she said.

Nkugwa’s life changed forever after the training. She no longer uses firewood she uses a solar-powered oven to make cakes and doughnuts. 

Susan Nantongo, 25-years was also trained on how to bake using a solar oven. She says that since then, her life has changed. Before the training, she sold fried cassava on Salama Road in Kampala.

She adds that all those who have received training are allowed to access the solar oven free of charge.

The solar oven was introduced by the Finnish solar energy company Solar Fire Concentration Ltd.

The solar oven was introduced by the Finnish solar energy company Solar Fire Concentration Ltd.

About the solar oven project

The solar oven was introduced by the Finnish solar energy company Solar Fire Concentration Ltd.

Tobby Ojok, Project Manager Smart Up Factory says this innovation started in 2018, and it brought the first Lytefire ovens in Uganda.

He explained that one oven can save five tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year when.

According to Ojok, the elements of the training include solar science and climate change, the technical functioning of the oven, effective bookkeeping and recording sales, and learning how to bake delicious baked goods.

“We emphasize functional entrepreneurship training that enables the sales of goods and marketing of the bakery to the public. We strive to empower young people in Uganda, so they have the strength, support, and insight to create a successful business whilst making money and helping to boost the local economy,” he said.

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