Serve Uganda Initiative
Serve Uganda Initiative (SUI) is a movement of young educated volunteers working in rural communities to unleash community capacity and promote citizen engagement. In so doing, they address opportunities, solve problems and strengthen community responses.
By bringing youth together through volunteering, they are able to develop a sense of responsibility, share knowledge, skills, aspirations, creativity and learning. They will also be empowered as key actors in building a prosperous and peaceful Uganda, free from chronic poverty.
Through this initiative, the youth volunteers bridge the gap between local issues and reaching solutions as a community. They identify the most pressing issues in their communities, opening dialogue about those issues and working with community members, the local leaders, institutions and civil society groups to reach solutions. Local peoples have better knowledge about local problems, and can develop the best action steps for addressing them.
In return, the youth volunteers develop their qualifications, gain skills, increased self-esteem and an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their life. Through volunteering with community members, partner organisations, private sector and governments, it is an opportunity for the youth to change communities for the better. They refine their own skills, channel energy, gain knowledge and better their understanding of the realities of community sustainable development and empowerment.
We envision a Uganda where youth are prepared to take the lead in building equitable, healthy and flourishing communities.
Building a movement of creative and resourceful youth volunteers to catalyse and facilitate empowerment processes for community–led sustainable development of rural communities.
To achieve our mission and vision, our approach is basing on three I’s that is:
Invest in youth’s knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences, helping them to reach their full potential, improve their well-being and that of their communities and giving them an opportunity to make their voice heard.
Inspire communities to build capacity and act for change by addressing problems hindering rural community development.
Involve both youth and adults in meaningful activities, which contribute to positive sustainable development of rural communities.
What are the issues?
Rural communities in Uganda face challenges ranging from high poverty rates, poor sanitation, difficult to recruit and retain quality teachers and health workers, domestic violence to lack of access to adequate and right information at the right time. These challenges, some considered basic, hinder rural community development and limit chances for livelihood improvement. Although many educated youth grow up in the rural communities, they leave rural areas to study or work in urban centres, which leaves these communities with uneducated youth or an ageing population, harming the areas because the areas can deteriorate without the input of new generations. Most of these educated youth remain in urban centres unemployed or heavily underemployed, and many, after finishing college/university, stay at home idle before getting a job.
How does SUI help?’
Uganda has the highest youth population on the continent. According to the World Bank Report 2013, youth unemployment stands at over 62% in Uganda and each year over 400,000 young people graduate from universities to enter the job market, but only 8,000 are able to find work. This young educated youth population is important, but to a certain extent an untapped resource for development, due to lack of opportunities. These youth are stuck, trying to choose their identity and place in society. This is why Serve Uganda Initiative provides a unique and powerful solution to the educated youth through volunteering. This empowerment framework allows not only interconnecting graduate volunteers with partner organisations, private sector and governments to learn new skills and gain experience but also harness the untapped potential of young people in solving social problems in our societies. It enables youth engagement in the development of local communities, and enhances youth empowerment and social inclusion.
Partners and Supporters
We are thankful for our early stage partners and supporters that help us to achieve our vison of a Uganda where youth are prepared to take the lead in building equitable, healthy and flourishing communities.