At-least 6300 young women and men in Nwoya district, northern Uganda have been trained in fruit farming, modern agricultural practices as well as financial literacy, and entrepreneurial skills.
The beneficiaries were part of the Delight with the Youth project implemented by Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Delight Uganda Limited and supported by the Mastercard Foundation.
They were identified from the community and underwent two and half years of theoretical and practical lessons from the Delight Farm Institute in Lungulu Sub County, Nwoya district.
Stephen Asiimwe, the PSFU Chief Executive Officer disclosed that the beneficiaries were supported under the Lead Firm Structure Young Africa Works Project which aims at transforming the economic livelihoods of individuals.
“I am excited to be here to witness the transformation that has happened in this place, thanks to our partnership with Delight Uganda. We are celebrating the founders of Delight Uganda, local authority and the community for embracing the project and making it work. But more importantly, we are celebrating giving value to primary products such as fruits and crops so that our people can earn a living and transform their communities,” Mr. Asiimwe said.
Apollo Mayanja, the Lead Firm Structure Project Lead said that the beneficiaries gained skills in growing fruits, mindset change, commercial agriculture, value addition, marketing, and managing finances. He further disclosed that the Lead Firm Structure project has so far unlocked at-least 90,000 new work opportunities for the youth out of the intended 300,000 jobs targeted by the end of 2025.
“We are looking at directing creating 300,000 jobs but remember for every job, we create, it also unlocks other opportunities. We believe that the 300,000 we will create will also create thousands of other jobs. That is our humble contribution to addressing the unemployment issue in Uganda,” Mr. Mbaziira said.
Dr. Julian Adyeri, the chief executive officer of Delight Uganda noted that the project that sits on two square miles in Anaka, Nwoya district now supports a community school, fruits & trees nurseries, and cereals plantations, in addition to dormitories, irrigation schemes and silos storage facilities.
“We thank PSFU and Mastercard Foundation for this intervention. The hundreds of young women and men that have benefited from this project continue to transform their communities in different ways. We nonetheless acknowledge that this is just the start and much more deliberate efforts must be implemented if our country is to achieve total transformation,” Dr. Adyeri said.
Minus, the over 6,000 job opportunities created by this project, Delight Uganda has a skilling institute where 12,167 (71 per cent being women) have received practical/hands-on trainings on selected business development modules.
Twenty-Six-year-old Milly Oroma, one of the direct beneficiaries from this project testified that the knowledge she attained from the Delight Uganda project has transformed her from a poor single mother into a confident, self-sustaining and productive business lady.
“I am now able to take care of myself, pay my kid’s school fees, support my parents and live calmly without worry about what to eat tomorrow. My dream is to become as successful as Dr. Adyeri and create opportunities for hundreds of youth that are suffering like I used to,” Oroma said.
The Guest of Honour, Col. Charles Okello Engola, the state minister for Labour and Gender applauded Delight Uganda, PSFU and Mastercard Foundation for their contribution to Uganda’s economic transformation. He pledged government’s support towards interventions aimed at addressing unemployment and closing the poverty gap.
“We are all inspired by how Dr. Adyeri and her team have transformed this place from a poor unknown village into an income generating hub. The impact this project has had on young people is wonderful. The Nwoya youth are very luck for this project. We now need to recreate similar projects across the country. As government, we are ready to partner with all stakeholders on matters youth empowerment, jobs creation and poverty alleviation. We are committed to creating a conducive working environment for our Youth and Women.”
Brendah Ankunda, the PSFU Investment Specialist in charge of crops noted that 56 per cent of those that took part in this training were women, adding that the beneficiaries will now be primary producers of mangoes, citrus, and guavas for the Delight Factory that will process them in to juice and other value added products.
She disclosed that the training was done in cohorts of between 100 to 200 trainees within the two and half years.