Reshaping Youth Identities through Opportunities; Over 95 Youth
Graduate With Certificates in Vocational Skills
Graduation is one of the biggest achievements in anyone’s life. It is the culmination of one sweet chapter in your life and the beginning of another great chapter where you can write a new story. An important accomplishment, but also its viewed by many as the gateway to an important stage in life especially for the 95 graduates from Katwe Skills Vocational training center after a yearlong training in various vocational courses.
At least 100 youths in the slum area of katwe, a Kampala suburb, have so far had their life changed for the better, courtesy of Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forums (UMYDF) program dubbed “Offering positive Alternative to The At-Risk Youth in katwe”.
As a means of preventing young people from being recruited into violent gangs and violent extremist groups in Uganda, UMYDF established a skills center at Katwe (largest slum area in Kampala). As part of recognizing and facilitating the positive contribution of youth towards the efforts of maintaining and supporting peace and security. With generous support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland. This Center offers a wide a range of skills including Hair Dressing, Electronic Engineering and Mechanics as well as Videography and Photography to the youths, identiﬁed as those At-Risk and most likely susceptible to violence and violent extremism.
21-year-old Ramadhan Kaweesi is one of the graduates with a certificate in electrical engineering. A former drug dealer, Ramadhan is now a self employed electrical engineer who earns a decent living through the skilled he has acquired from the center.
I can repair a fridge and restore its functionality as well as other electronic devices like rice cookers. I have now sacriﬁced to struggle ﬁnancially for the time being as I learn the new skills,” he says.
The initiative also targets to solve the perennial unemployment problem in the country by using a positive youth development approach to implement programs within and across all sectors as a means of improving the capacity of young people through engaging with their families, peers and communities at large to exploit their potential given the opportunity presented to them.