Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment
managed by N. Ssempijja
Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment (YICE) is a registered Youth-led Community Empowerment Initiative founded in May 2011 by Youth volunteers in Mubende district-Central Uganda, with a mission of Empowering children, youths and women with practical knowledge and skills for scale and sustainable livelihoods. We implement a wide range of activities aimed at improving the living standards of children, youths and women. These include; Women Small Enterprise development trainings, Orphans and other vulnerable children program, sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDs, Information and Communication Technology training, vocational training and youth skills development.
YICE was conceived in response to limited access to valuable information and community development services gap that existed in Mubende district; as a result of very few service providers implementing youth and women empowerment development programs. For example, only one international organization (Action Aid) was implementing women empowerment and human rights program in the entire district, without grassroots organizations supporting this development work. It can therefore be noted that, a lot was desired to be done so as to promote integrated sustainable development at grassroots level and enable the poor especially youths and women live a descent and dignified life; which gave birth to YICE.
Since its inception, YICE has grown into an influential grassroot organization in the field of youth and women empowerment and support. The organization’s services have grown to cover a wide range of programs that include, women network for enterprise identification and development, food security and nutrition promotion, youths’ capacity building and training, orphans and elderly livelihoods improvements, sexual and reproductive health awareness; and hygiene and health awareness clubs in schools and care for people living with HIV/AIDs and disabilities. All this work is done though YICE’s community groups.
YICE is governed by a five-member board of directors including representatives from different target groups (women, youths) and local community leadership. The program implementation team is led by the program director, who is assisted by the program coordinator, Program assistant and specialized project volunteers. The project activities are planned and implemented by community-based volunteers and community members, who also form the organization’s general assembly. In addition to the local program team and community-based volunteers, YICE also leverages the efforts of international volunteers help to build the capacity of local volunteers and support the organization in resource mobilization.
YICE implements projects in Nalutuntu and Myanzi sub counties, with a strategy to scale to other sub counties and neighboring districts. Mubende is a multi-ethnic district, and a member of the four districts that make up Luweero triangle – an area that was severely torn by the 1985-86 Uganda liberation wars. Like has much of Uganda, Mubende district has been strongly hit by absolute poverty, women and girl child marginalization, and illiteracy, with a large number of orphans and the helpless elderly due to effects of the HIV/AIDs scourge and the 1985-86 Liberation wars coupled with lack of Community Based service providers in the area. Therefore, YICE serves an evidently needy population.
Bringing rural communities together for innovative initiatives to enable the vulnerable (especially) women and youths to live a descent and dignified life.
To empower vulnerable women and youth with practical knowledge and skills for self-dependence and sustainable livelihoods
Overall YICE Goal:
We work to implement innovative community based initiatives to empower vulnerable women and youths with knowledge, skills and appropriate information and services for self-dependence.
What we want to achieve:
1. Vulnerable women economic empowerment and self-dependency. Under this, we intend to:
a. Promote and improve women business skills through tailored small business and enterprise trainings for vulnerable women.
b. Build scalable, high-quality, replicable operations and networks to reach more women at lower cost.
c. Develop innovative and sustainable social enterprise models, and partnerships to sustain growth for YICE, Women and the entire Community.
In order to achieve that, we intend to:
- Organize practical trainings on small enterprise identification, management, record keeping, customer care services, and financial management skills.
- Form women self-help village groups through which women shall share experiences, save their earnings and get regular support on their enterprises
- Train women group promoters that shall recruit and train more other women and encourage them to join self-help groups
- Provide startup capital for small enterprises to selected participants. This capital shall be a revolving fund that shall be passed onto other self-help group members.
- Provide regular monitoring and support
- Establish partnerships and linkages with other organizations both national and international for project support and sustainability.
Our target women groups are: Widows, out of school girls, women living with HIV/AIDs, women with disabilities and divorced women.
2. Improving youth income and access to information through youth skills development. We intend to:
a. Promote youth empowerment and alternative education to school dropouts through vocational skills trainings and development of entrepreneurial skills
b. Promote Youth access to valuable information relevant for improving their standards of living and incomes. For example, information on youth government programs, access to savings and financial services, information on health, leadership and life skills development.
In order to achieve that, we intend to:
- Set up a vocational training center, offering training courses in carpentry, construction, tailoring, computer skills, basic agricultural skills, weaving and art and craft.
- Set up an information sharing and giving center from which youths shall have access to free information sessions, share their experiences, and get access to free counseling services
- Conduct youth sensitization workshops, leadership trainings, entrepreneurial skills trainings and life skills development skills.
Target group: Boda boda cyclists, Youths Living with HIV/AIDs, School dropout youths, unemployed youths
3. Promote integrated care and support for orphans and other Vulnerable
a. Promote the rights of vulnerable children through community sensitization
b. Improve the livelihood of vulnerable children through establishment of income generating activities like piggery, poultry, and goat rearing.
c. Establish care and support mechanisms for the most needy like provision of scholastic materials, clothes, school fees, and ensure social inclusion.
Target group: children with no or one parent, children living with HIV/AIDs, children with disabilities, children subjected to child labor, children under juvenile delinquency, children on streets
4. Improve community access to information on HIV/AIDs, Sanitation, Hygiene and environmental conservation
a. Promote access to HIV/AIDs prevention and care services to the community with a focus on women and youths
b. Empower the community to achieve sanitation, hygiene and environmental conservation
In order to achieve this, we intend to:
- Conduct HIV/AIDs sensitization workshops, screen videos on HIV/AIDs,
- Train HIV/AIDs peer educators, conduct HIV/AIDs testing and counseling services
- Conduct community sensitization trainings on sanitation, hygiene and environmental conservation
Target group: All community members
5. ICT for Empowerment program
This program is aims at empowering women, girls and boys in the basic ICT skills like computer training, repair and maintenance so as to widen their chances of establishing small businesses and favorably compete in the job market.
In order to achieve this, we intend to,
- Train school going and out of school girls in basic computer skills like Ms word, Excel, PowerPoint and publisher packages
- Train youths in basic computer skills, repair and maintenance skills
- Empower women with skills of using social network channels like face book, twitter, etc. to share their personal and family experiences to the rest of the world.