Many barriers, which include cultural practices, poverty, the lack of role models, discrimination, lack of educational facilities and information on the issue that affect life prevent young people from becoming productive. Therefore all our programs aim to create opportunities for disadvantaged young people to break those barriers.
HIV/AIDS prevention and reproductive health promotion, most young people in our region have no access to information about sexual health and AIDS this makes them vulnerable. Every day in our region, five and more youth die of AIDS. According to the WHO report 2004, it is believed every 14 seconds a youth in Uganda is infected by HIV. In response to this crisis, we sensitize young people on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. The intention is to provide them with life skills that will empower them to make informed decisions and choices about their health and sexual behaviors.
Outreach and Advocacy, this program is two-fold i.e.
(i) We reach out to out of school youth, street kids and sex workers to advance their knowledge in social pressing issues i.e. HIV/AIDS, environment, poverty reduction strategies, job creation and employment skills, conflict management, and transformation
(ii) We engage and train local leaders in human rights, mediation, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding, to strengthen their ability to protect and promote Human rights of mainly the disadvantaged young people.
Child and leadership development scheme is being developed as an effective core of our programs, focusing on empowering young emerging leaders but from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their potential and become makers of positive change within their spheres of influence. Through linking up interested sponsors, beneficiaries are those young people at the verge of dropping out or failing to access school due to the financial crisis surrounding them. They are identified with the collaborations of our local communities, then trained, equipped in leadership competencies at an early stage and provided with an opportunity of academics as a compliment.
Humanitarian Aid, having experienced first hand how the poorest members of our society struggle to survive without safe water, proper clothing and enough food, we incorporate humanitarian assistance towards hopeless and helpless mainly elderly members in the society. This is in the form of bedding, clothing, food, etc. The aid enables the recipients to feel that someone out there cares about them. Would you like to join us in this case, if yes contact us with what you have for aid?
Environment, we educate our local communities in environmental issues which include importance and conservation. We engage and encourage the youth to protect and promote environmental sanitation in their areas.
How we work
Seminars, campaigns, and camps are organized to educate and engage public to comprehensively analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats upon hardships young people face to reach their potential, so that we collectively identify, adapt and promote solutions and practices that appropriately work in the development and promotion of young people in general. To contribute to a mechanism that can produce positive generations that will free our region, later on, the nation and the world of hostilities, violence, prejudice, hatred, tyranny, poverty, corruption and diseases.
Drama and sports events, school visits, are creative ways of which we reach out to young people whom others find difficult to reach out.
Vision conference, is the largest annual gathering of young people, outstanding community elders and leaders across the region, rejuvenates and reminds young people while heightening their roles as community members. It creates bonds of friendship and interaction; stimulate networking among students and non-students. YWAV conducts a forum on issues that affect the young people, offers a number of skills-building workshops to evaluate their past and set goals for the next year, present and share experience on what works where, why and how. Conference topics and venue are selected by participants.
The youth service day is a service event in the region, mobilizes youth from schools, organizations, and communities to identify and address the needs of their communities, youth lead and learns through service and are inspired into volunteerism at early stages. Young people plan and organize a number of projects around Masaka district. It supports them into civic engagement, promotes them as resources in their communities, and educates the public about the year-round positive roles and contributions of young people in their communities.
Tool kits and tip sheets, produced by experts in the field are adjusted to suit our location, others are formatted with ideas from beneficiaries and local experience; they are distributed to youth leaders, schools and clubs of our reach. They are formatted to enable young people and leaders in schools and communities of our reach to adapt working solutions, plan, initiate, solicit support and implement and strengthen the sustainability and effectiveness of their innovations.
Our target population The community which YWAV serves is an impoverished, of mainly young people between the ages of 05 years to 30 years who make up to 75% of the entire population.
Most of them come from large extended families whose median household income is $25.00 (£14.00), depending on less than $1.00 a day, nearly all of whom are orphaned by HIV/AIDS mainly, with a lack of basic education, and minimal social, educational and vocational skills necessary to gain employment and participate in society. A big number of them are teen family heads with challenging responsibilities of looking after their younger sisters and brothers (2004 Survey Data).
The large extended families require greater financial resources to sustain themselves. The unemployment rate is overwhelming. Much of this can be traced to the lack of employable skills or a mismatch between the skills of the residents and those required by available firms. Most of the members of the local community who are employed work in low-income jobs such as porter and general labor.
Reports gathered from surveys carried out, further suggest that most of these young people can't meet their necessities, and as result, they engage in unproductive measures like commercial sex and drug trade, etc to earn a living.
The need for regeneration in terms of capacity and skills building for self-sustainability and productivity is critical for the community area which YWAV serves. YWAV currently provides awareness/training seminars, educational materials, and related services for the young people, most with household incomes below 32 percent of the area median household income. Scope of work Primarily, we operate in ten schools and ten parishes within Masaka District, located in the central region of Uganda, 82 miles south of the capital city Kampala. It is largely rural area housing over 900.000 people out of whom approximately 650.000 people (75%) are young people aged between 5 and 30 years. It was once a prosperous region of Uganda well known for the agricultural potential. However, the once prosperous region diminished considerably due to two major reasons.
The civil wars of 1979 which topped Idi Amin and that of the 1980 - 1986 which ousted Milton Obote greatly hindered and halted the development of this area. Scars of these wars are still visible to date as the remains of the destroyed buildings and the rubbles hang helplessly in the center of the town.
Adding an insult to an injury, already devastated by these wars, the region was heavily hit by HIV/AIDS disease. Masaka region marks the history of the first infection and outburst of the AIDS pandemic in the whole of Uganda. The scourge plundered the region of its human resource as able-bodied, energetic educated and family breadwinners succumbed to it in a short while. As a result, agriculture the major economic activity came to a halt simply because there was nobody left able to carry forward the activity as parents went bedridden, children and relatives had to abandon all their other businesses to look after their ill beloved ones. Gradually this led to the economic decline of this once famous region of Uganda.
The other negative results of the above issues are amass of orphans creating a society where adults, having not been properly cared for as children, are themselves unable to bring up their own offspring.
Even though several initiatives are recollecting the former glory, HIV/AIDS, poverty, ineffective leadership, ignorance and corruption remain stumbling blocks. To offer the youth a way out of this quagmire, Youth with a vision envision to empowering and promoting them as makers of positive change.