EU project delivers business start-up support to youths in Kampala slums


June 25, 2018

 

By Abubaker Mayemba

At least 56 young women and men in various Kampala slums were recently left smiling, after IOM Uganda delivered business start-up kits to them.
This was under the Strengthening Social Cohesion and Stability in Slum Populations (SSCoS) project, funded by the European Union.
Items such as computers, sewing machines, multi-purpose cookers, plastic tables and chairs, overlock sewing machines, fridges and general merchandize, were delivered to implementing partners in Bwaise, Kisenyi, Katwe, and Kabalagala, before being handed to beneficiaries.
One of SSCoS project’s aims is to empower youth in slums through vocational skills and financial support to start/grow their businesses. The SBS is expected to reduce the risk of young people being sucked into in inter-communal conflicts.
The SSCoS project started in August 2016 and is set to last three and a half years. It is solely funded by the European Union for a total of EUR 4.3 million.
The project is implemented by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD), ACTogether, and Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID).

 

After receiving his items worth UGX 3 million, 19-year-old Farouk Mukhuye was optimistic that they would change his life for the better. He said that as a graphic design graduate from the EU-supported Bwaise Business and Vocational Institute, all he needed were the delivered items to kick-start his journey into self-employment.
“The project has helped me learn skills I didn’t know and they have helped us [beneficiaries] by providing the machines [items] we are going to use,” said Mukhuye, who will now seek a tenant agreement with his prospective landlord in Kawempe.
The SSCoS project also pays three-month’ rent for each beneficiary as they gain their ground in business.
Aisha Namuyiga, another beneficiary, narrates that not only has the project enabled her acquire skills in tailoring, it has also given her a sewing machine. The 24-year-old mother of two plans to open up her own shop soon. Then, she says, she will no longer worry about school fees or food for her children.
“This support is going to change my life because I didn’t have any startup,” says the Bwaise II resident.
So far, the SSCoS project has provided small business start-up (SBS) kits to 174 beneficiaries in the four slums (Bwaise, Kisenyi, Katwe, and Kabalagala) where it is implemented. Another 426 are set to receive their items in the coming months. The beneficiaries receive entrepreneurship training and are supported to develop business plans which they forward to IOM for possible funding.
IOM then procures the items for the selected beneficiaries and delivers them to its implementing partners, who distribute them. IOM further monitors and supports the beneficiaries.