Launched in 2011, the Youth Engaged Program runs a Youth Centre in Kawempe division, the biggest slums in Kampala city. The centre caters for youth aged 15-30 years from the predominately Muslim communities of Kawempe with the aim of Countering Violent Extremism and other crimes that perpetuate slum communities. The centre provides youth with a sense of community and purpose in setting up economic incentives that are a strong de-motivator for participation in violence.
The youth design and implement community initiatives and Interreligious Dialogues to sensitize the public about human rights, gender, dangers of religious tensions and hatred with the aim of promoting peace, security and co-existence with people of other religions in the community. The project bridges the leadership and employment gaps among youth by providing them with employment and job creation skills through vocational skills, life skills, leadership and entrepreneurship skills development.
The youth are connected to mentors, internships, social support systems and incubation programs to develop and launch their business ideas, and they form Village Loan and Savings Associations to mobilize funding. The innovative model, the 5D CYCLE® enables youth to Discover who they are, Dream about what they want to become, Design ways of achieving those dreams and Develop key skills and habits that will lead them to rewarding Destinies. Through mentorship and value-based leadership, the experiential learning tools enable youth to ignite their inner potential, transforms their thinking, develops their characters, self-confidence, critical thinking and communication skills and successfully compete in the global economy.
The Project graduated 947 in 2013, with a current class of 300 youth who are equipped with key skills to enable them take charge of their destinies, lead change that positively impacts their communities. 75% of the beneficiaries have started sustainable businesses and 15% are gainfully employed.
First funded by the United States Embassy-Kampala, the project is currently funded by the Islamic Cooperation for the Development of the Private Sector.