223 youth graduate with certificates in vocational skills

Some of the graduates celebrate while raising their caps to the sky during the graduation celebration at the UYDEL Youth Centre in Makindye division, Kampala.


223 youth graduate after a yearlong training in various vocational courses at the Uganda Youth Development Link-UYDEL Youth Centre in Makindye division, Kampala district.

With scholarships from Icelandic Church Aid (ICA) through the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), graduates from urban slums have acquired skills and certificates in Hairdressing and Cosmetology; Fashion and Design; Electrical Engineering and Catering.   

21-year-old Robert Katungi is one of the graduates with a certificate in Fashion and Design. A hopeless erstwhile school dropout, Katungi is now an employed graduate who earns a living from designing clothes. “With my earnings and skills, my siblings never lack basics of life and, they have enough to cloth their bodies.” Says a beaming Katungi who dropped out of school in S.2 after the death of his parents.  

Some of the graduates celebrate during the graduation ceremony at the UYDEL Youth Centre in Makindye division, Kampala.

Getrude Nasimbwa was a street vendor whose dream was to establish a beauty parlor but she neither had skills nor financial capital. After a yearlong practical training in Hairdressing and Cosmetology, Nasimbwa is now employed at a beauty salon in Kampala and is saving some of her income to establish a beauty parlor in the near future.

“I have learned to braid, cut, color and lighten hair. I can also wash, treat, retouch and style hair. It’s from these skills that I earn UGX 200,000 a month.” Says Nasimbwa who explains that the training has raised her confidence and esteem. “The skills I have attained are a ray of hope for a brighter future ahead of me. I am going to use them to establish a business for myself and to offer employment and free training opportunities to other hopeless young people out there.”  

Some of the Fashion and Design graduates with tailoring machines (business start-up kit) they received from LWF through UYDEL with funds from ICA.

Establish medium-size enterprises for a living

While delivering a speech at the graduation event, Rogers Kasirye, the Executive Director of UYDEL urged graduates to use the knowledge, skills and start-up kits they acquired from LWF with funds from ICA to establish businesses and contribute to transforming their societies from poverty.

Fashion and Design graduates received tailoring machines; Hairdressing and Cosmetology graduates were offered salon equipment and styling tools; while Catering graduates took home kitchen equipment. “I implore you to establish medium-sized enterprises to employ yourselves and others too.” Kasirye.

Some of the Hairdressing and Cosmetology graduates with salon equipment and styling tools (business start-up kit) they received from LWF through UYDEL with funds from ICA.

Why the support towards urban youth?

Uganda is ranked the youngest population in the world with 77% of its population under 30 years of age. Being a young population, it faces a number of challenges especially, unemployment.

According to statistics from the Uganda Bureau of statistics (UBOS), only 113,000 out 400,000 young Ugandans who enter the labor market each year get absorbed in formal employment, leaving the rest to settle for jobs in the informal sector.

Available data shows that youth unemployment is worse in urban areas. In the slum areas of Makindye division, youth unemployment is recorded at over 90%. Lack of employment and income pushes youth to engage in organized crime like robbery and prostitution.

One of the graduates receives a certificate from Anna Kavuma UYDEL’s Deputy Executive Director.

To tackle unemployment, LWF with funds from ICA and in partnership with UYDEL is extending vocational training to youth from Kampala’s slums to equip them with the right skills to meet the labor market needs and to facilitate them establish businesses.  

“If they can get jobs or establish businesses, they can be rest assured of sustainable income. Sustainable income can that facilitate their self-sustenance and poverty eradication in not only their communities but in Uganda at large.” Says LWF’s Pius Kikomeko who adds that jobs and income can also keep youth busy and away from wrongdoings.

LWF appreciates  Icelandic Churc Aid’s (ICA) support towards its humanitarian activities in Kampala district aimed at improving livelihoods among urban youth.