Institutional Development Program (IDP)

Strategic Objective: To influence the mindsets of the youths in Uganda towards Agriculture as a viable livelihood option. 

Background

Seventy five percent of Uganda’s population is below the age of 30 years National youth Policy 2016. However, such meaningful workforce is still grappling with unemployment rates.  Most of the youth in Uganda drop out of school without meaningful life skills. Even those who resort to farming as a cheapest option get frustrated by the negative results due to limited knowledge and access to key production resource like land and water.  Consequently, most of the youth end up shunning Agriculture henceforth criminal activities.

In order to reverse the situation above, AFIRD discovered the need and importance of increasing the youths’ participation in Agriculture which is the backbone of Uganda’s economy. This led to a distinct Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) in 2006 with a view of passing on Ecological farming skills to the young people in and out schools and prisons. The skills enables the youths to appreciate the locally available resources so as to practice profitable farming.

Since then, several hands- on projects have been implemented to enable the young people grow and develop their skills by equipping them with the ecological farming skills, the skills that help them to live a better life in future. The projects include:

  1. A nutrition project (fruit tree planting and breakfast clubs) among 5 schools and 1 prison in 2006 to 2011 in Wakiso and Mukono Districts supported by Seeds for Africa

  2. The youths Scholarship project supported by Gorta-Ireland where four youths attained a certificate in Sustainable agriculture from Baraka Agricultural College in Kenya.

  3.  Integrated Land Use Design (ILUD)/permaculture project for 15 schools in 2014 to 2020 With financial support from the Tudor Trust-UK and technical support from RESCOPE

  4. Environmentally friendly production project for 8 schools and 3 prisons 2020 to 2023 in Mpigi and Wakiso Districts supported by Bread for The World

  5. Sustainable Agriculture project for 5 schools, 5 mother groups and 5 youth groups 2021-2022 Mpigi District supported by Austrian Development Cooperation and HORIZONT3000

During this strategic direction, the YEP will address unnatural behaviors in the underprivileged youths (in and out of school, prison and Refugee Camps)  and provide them opportunities to learn Ecological farming skills and gain experiences that contribute to more positive lifestyles and enhance their capacity to make healthier choices to life.

In order to implement the YEP effectively, strong partnerships with relevant like: schools, farming groups, prisons, Refugees. We appreciate and welcome the likeminded partners and Government agencies for support.

Strategies

  1. Permaculture principles

  2. Sustainable agriculture practices

  3. ILUD- potent examples of sustainable land use/conservation

  4. Restorative Prisoner Rehabilitation approach

  5. Peer to peer learning

  6. Exchange learning

  7. Capacity building/ workshops

  8. Use of ICT

  9. Networking and partnerships

Key Result Areas/ Activities

  1. Youths empowered with permaculture principles.

  2. Youths empowered with both on and off farm business skills

  3. Work done documented with fixed point photos, case studies and reports

  4. A policy study around youth issues conducted and applied to inform the YEP interventions.

  5. Nutrition knowledge disseminated among the youths.

  6. Key stakeholders like mothers and teachers who ensure youths welfare are engaged

  7. Rehabilitating and reintegrating young prisoners with their communities.

  8. ILUD approach demonstrated on target groups (prisons, schools, households and refugee camps) land.

  9. Training community led peer trainers on ecological  farming systems

  10. Exchange/cross learning facilitated across the target groups

  11. Gender and disability mainstreamed across the target groups.

  12. Animal integration in ILUD approach.

  13. AFIRD’s principles realized across with Program interventions.

  14. Potent examples of Ecological land use created within schools, Households, prisons and refugee camps.

  15. Potential networks recognized and purposeful used

  16. Routine program staff capacity building on emerging youth issues done.

  17. All program SOPs documented and appreciated by staff.

  18. A standard program M&E system developed for all program projects to adopt.

  19. Environment conservation campaigns organized for young people to raise their voices

  20.  Use ICT and other social media sharing platforms enhanced for effective communication among the youth.

  21. Open learning and sharing platforms ( exhibitions and radio and TV talk shows) facilitated

  22. Water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) introduced across the target groups.