Kampala — The European Union (EU) has extended Euros 4.3 million (about Shs18.4 b) to finance income generating projects for the unemployed young people in Kampala.
At least 1,000 unemployed youth from the Kampala slums of Bwaise, Kisenyi, Kabalagala and Katwe are set to benefit from the support under a programme dubbed: "Strengthening Social Cohesion and Stability in slum populations (SSCoS)".
The four-year initiative targets to benefit 200 youth in Kampala. The first beneficiaries were selected during a three-month training in Bwaise where the best were given start-up kits.
Mr Muhammad Kisirisa, the co-founder of Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD), received the first bunch of the support, in form of equipment meant to help beneficiaries start their own businesses.
Through job creation and innovation, the youth will be trained in various skills such as crafts, hair dressing, food production, ICT, plumbing and carpentry, poultry, and tailoring.
"This money will help reduce the high rate of unemployment within the slums. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will also help tackle the human rights issues," Mr Kisirisa said.
A baseline study carried out by the IOM last year shows that 88 per cent of the vulnerable residents of the slums are youth aged between 15 and 35 years.
The sources of grievances for this group include poverty, which accounts for 52 per cent, unemployment (32 per cent), family dispute (27 per cent), political extremism (23 per cent) and religious extremism (10 per cent). Drug abuse, tribalism, injustice, land wrangles, devil worship and unfavourable government policies were all important sources of grievances in slum areas.
According to the report, individuals who earn less than Shs100,000 per month are 53 per cent while 6.3 per cent have a history of violence.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the youth in Bwaise yesterday, Ms Sahra Farah, the IOM programmes manager, said when young people are unemployed and poor, they become desperate, and can easily get overwhelmed by discontent.
"The youth in slums need dire attention because of the trials and tribulations they go through. Poverty and unemployment are the biggest challenges," she said.
Ms Elisa Crowe, the acting chief of Mission IOM Uganda, said: "The strategy of the donors and IOM Uganda and our partners is that with this support, the beneficiaries will start or expand their small businesses and be able to make a decent, peaceful living," she said.