KAMPALA —The U.S Mission Uganda alongside her Nile Explorer initiative has on Friday, November 5, 2021 launched the 12-stop youth engagement tour at Blend gardens in Kawempe. The launch was officiated by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Christopher Krafft of the U.S Embassy in Uganda and the RCC of Kawempe Division, Nalubega Mariam Seguya.
The Nile Explorer bus will make tours around the country visiting various underserved communities in the selected nine districts around the country. While visiting the various communities, trainers will engage the selected youths in educative lectures and trainings aimed at equipping the young ones with skills in science and technology. The tour is aimed at empowering the youth leaders with knowledge on how to solve the various social challenges they face like HIV/AIDS, malaria, COVID-19.
The Nile Explorer has been visualized as an American Space for innovation and exploration and is an essential part of the United States’ commitment to empowering youth across Uganda. The Deputy Chief of Mission, Christopher Krafft of the U.S Embassy in Uganda said the U.S government is interested in empowering Ugandan youth and helping young people to achieve their full potential. “Nile Explorer is all about putting all your dreams in motion. The opportunities are only limited as far as your imagination,” he added.
“U.S is proud to provide support to Uganda by helping the country stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, providing mosquito nets and encouraging the youth to use the bed nets to stop the spread of malaria. The U.S government has also donated Covid-19 vaccines and is yet to send more vaccines expected to arrive on Saturday or Sunday,” he said. He further noted that he is proud say that all trainers are vaccinated. “So, I encourage you all to have your families vaccinated. The vaccine has been proven to be safe,” he stressed.
In response to the Nile Explorer initiative, the RCC Kawempe division, MS. Nalubega Mariam Seguya who is also passionate about the Youth Network, thanked the U.S government for establishing such an initiative and engaging the youth and keeping the young ones busy especially during the long Covid-19 lockdown holiday. “We are glad and welcome the initiative. Thank you for joining Uganda to fight Covid-19 and malaria. We thank you for the donations, mosquito nets and vaccines,” she added in her remarks.
Speaking to one of the students at the training in Kawempe, Kyeyune Barbarita Morris a 17- year-old student at Pride College School, Mpigi, noted that the program is good and helps her gain more experience and fun as she gets to make new friends whilst learning about HIV/AIDS prevention. When asked how she feels about the long Covid-19 holiday, the senior five-student expressed her displeasure about the delay in school reopening induced by lockdown instigated by the Covid-19 outbreak since 2019. “Now I would be going to campus but now, am stuck at home and still in the same class,” she narrated. “But the program has helped me to keep occupied as I learn different things and skills,” she added.
The Nile Explorer tour will carry on till December and resume in January as schools reopen and the trainers are able to access the young ones in their various respective schools. In the meantime, the organization will continue to engage the youth on social media, radios and mind opening initiatives like the Nile Explorer youth engagement bus tour.