Youth Mission Africa

YOUTH MISSION AFRICA

 Founder: Joseph Odongkara (operates in Uganda) You can mail Joseph Odongkara for details

Vision

Empowering the youth to understand the purpose and value of life for holistic transformation.

Mission

Training the youth on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Management and Business Startup skills to enable them create businesses and projects that would holistically transform them socially and economically

Slogan

Arise and Shine  (Isaiah 60:1)

Objectives:

  • To engage and develop the youth in leadership, management and organizational skills
  • To equip the young people to live morally upright values
  • To raise a generation of youth with a purpose and value for life
  • To raise youth who would responsibly transform their communities
  • To expose the youth to socio-economic challenges of societies
  • To identify youthful leaders who would impact communities and the nation
  • To bring together youth to network and develop sustainable businesses and projects based on their talents, gifting and passion

The Youth are the core foundation of development in any community, society and nation. In most countries today including Uganda they are the majority. The latest population census of Uganda indicates that they are about 37 percent of the total population. Most of them are unemployed and without a thought of their future although we all believe that they are the future leaders of the communities, societies and the nation. It is therefore vital that we impact and develop and encourage them to be self-reliant in order to be useful to society.

Today’s world of constant change also demands that we keep our youth abreast of the changes especially the socio-economic challenges that come with great challenges, which the youth find hard to cope with and adapt. The challenges of unemployment for instance are a great one. Many youth feel let down in every aspects of life. There is nothing in place to change this situation they are in. Influences from other sectors of life affect them faster than anything else and force them to give up on the reality of life. They loose the very essence of the purpose and value of life. And worse of all in those factors are negative ones that degrade the youth in every way.

Youth Mission Africa (YMA) is a non-partisan organization impacting the youth in all areas of their lives. We work with youth from all sectors of the communities. Our emphasis is on the development of the youth socially and economically without looking at their faith, affiliation, tribe or clan.

We train the youth in entrepreneurship, business startup, leadership and management and provide career guidance and development. The aim of the training is to enable the youth to realize the purpose and value of their lives.

Many of the youth we encounter are disenfranchised, disgruntled, hopeless, vulnerable and dependent in most cases on their parents and guardians. This dependency syndrome has become a precedent making many of the youth complacent in every way.

The lives of most of the youth have never changed and it is not most likely to change at any one time. Little is being done to bring about change in the lives of these youth especially those in the rural communities. Poverty has become a norm because the youth have failed to utilize their talents, gifting and passion. Most of these youth want quick money and white-collar jobs simply because they university or skilled vocational graduates.

It is here that YMA has come up with the Binary Approach to economic development and sustainability. It helps the youth to not only realize but also understand their strength, weaknesses and opportunities available and the timing for such opportunities. Many have not realized that they can turn their weaknesses into strength and enhance their strength into tangible projects and businesses. The energy they have is just immeasurable and if used wisely could turn around the lives of most of the youth.

YMA uses the Binary Approach to poverty eradication and strengthening of the economic base of the youth and eventually the communities where they are. We tap on their talents, gifting and passion and turn them into projects. This is the down up approach where the youth are actively engaged in realizing their strength and turning them into viable projects or business.

In Kitgum for instance, we gathered 58 youth leaders for training on leadership and management and out of that training, working in groups of 10, they realized many startup business and projects among them piggery, poultry, brick laying and farming, which we then turn into projects. We also understood using the binary approach that working together they could realize potential funding for their projects from within. It only demanded their commitment, determination and courage. They were challenged and started that saving immediately with an aim to gain good fund at the end of 12 months. If successfully maintained, these 58 youth, each saving just 4k a week, would accumulate 11,136,000 (4,000 x 58 x 4 x 12) by the end of the 12 months commitment to funding a business start up or project. It is physically possible for these youth in a span of 12 months to come up with a business startup capital from among themselves. This will create a base for seeking funds from other sources including the Youth Livelihood Fund, Operation Wealth Creation, which are available in each districts managed under the Chief Accounting Officers (CAOs). The aim is to train the youth in entrepreneurship and business startups using the Binary Approach programme. It targets socio-economic development through creating sustainable youth managed projects and networking.

We have achieved this well in Gulu and Kitgum with a total of three projects fully managed by the youth.  We now have piggery, brick laying and metal fabrication projects involving a total of 87 youth. Soon we will be realizing outcomes from these projects and reinvesting it to expand the project. It may sound impossible but it is in fact very possible. We are working to turn the ordinary youth into extraordinary ones with zeal for community development. The factor here is that they own their projects, are accountable to it and monitor and evaluate it themselves.

YMA has also collaborated with a Christian based Samaritan Emergency Voluntary Organization (SEVO) in Kitgum that trains youth as ‘Emergency Rescuers and First Aiders’. YMA trains its youth leaders in leadership, management, servanthood and community service. We also expose them to business startup and most of them are now active members of the pilot entrepreneurship projects in Kitgum.

For the year 2015/2016 YMA trained youth groups in micro saving for their various projects and below is a table indicating the program successes. Kibale, Ntungamo and Adjumani have realized their saving and are now utilizing it in the various projects they have initiated. We are to monitor and evaluate these projects to come up with a graph indicating success. Our long-term plan is to replicate these programs in other parts of the country. Preliminarily, below is a table indicating our success and the progress in the various areas of operation and activities.