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British Council to expand Active Citizens programme

By Martin Kitubi, Vivian Agaba

Added 20th March 2017 09:18 AM

In this regard, in 2013 the British Council introduced Active Citizens programme to Uganda in which they empower youths through community development projects with the aim of encouraging volunteerism among youths.

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In this regard, in 2013 the British Council introduced Active Citizens programme to Uganda in which they empower youths through community development projects with the aim of encouraging volunteerism among youths.

Youth unemployment remains a big challenge in Uganda as about 60% youths aged between 15 to 30 remain dependents to the economy for jobs according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics unemployment report 2016.

In this regard, in 2013 the British Council introduced Active Citizens programme to Uganda in which they empower youths through community development projects with the aim of encouraging volunteerism among youths.

This has prompted the British ambassador to Uganda Peter West to acknowledge the success of the Programme and propose for its expansion to other parts of the country.

He made the promise yesterday at the Uganda Museum during the awarding and recognition of successful youths who took part in Active Citizens programme.

The programme is currently running in four districts of Nebbi, Apac, Bushenyi and Palisa with several groups registered participating in employment projects like basket and mat making, volunteering, community sanitation projects and crop production among others.

In his speech the ambassador said,” we will review the provisions of expanding the programme to other youths in the entire country since the initial four districts registered success.”

He also showed commitment by the British government to extend financial and technical assistant with the aim of creating youth employment.

West emphasized that youths should stop the begging culture for employment from government adding that they are in the active age of their life in which they have to be innovate to support the country.

Fiona Inci the Director at British Council in Uganda noted that they are seeking donors and other development partners to hype the programme so as youths are self-reliant and contributing revenue to the economy.

She heaped praise to youths in volunteering programme for setting up self-sustaining employment projects in their areas of localities.

She added, “The programme requires little funding but with great success since many of the youths in the Active Citizens programme have been able to set up self-sustaining projects.”

Since the inception of the programme in 2013, the British Council has been offering about shs300 million budgets annually for sensitization and empowering of community development members.

The budget also caters for empowerment of women employment clubs, training and sanitization on job creations.

Inci raised a challenge that some youths have declined to join the Active Citizens groups citing that youths demand quick money jobs that volunteering.

She proposed that if Ugandans develop digital entrepreneur skills, youths will create foreign market across the globe which could attract exportation of their produce.

“Social media and internet marketing has not been adopted by youths, but one it’s one of the digital entrepreneur skills that innovators need to sale their products elsewhere in the world.” She added.

Mondo Kyateka the assistant commissioner in charge of youths at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development assured British Council government commitment regarding youth empowerment in the country.

“Government is aiming reducing the youth dependence regarding employment and we assure you our commitment.” Kyateka said.

Participants

Florence Achuma the programme coordinator in Apac noted that they have mobilized over 1000 members mostly women in the district engaging in art and craft, community outreaches, crop production for both home consumption and for sale.

However she called for a mindset change among unemployment youths who have negative attitude for starting up businesses.

John Aluma from Nebbi noted that they have engaged the unemployed elderly people, but called for more funding from the British Council to develop the project.

Awards

Groups and individuals were given certificates of recognition and awards for their contribution in enhancing community developments in the country by the British Council.

 

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