A Working Future (AWF) is a long-term, high-impact project working to develop Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) models for scalability and replicability in Uganda, as well as in different countries throughout the East African region. The goal of the project in Uganda is to support employment and improve the economic empowerment of 12,000 youth in Tororo and Kamuli districts of Eastern Uganda.
- Swedish Sida and Accenture
- Project Start Date
- November 2012
- Project End Date
- June 2016
- Technical Areas Covered
- Microfinance and Youth Savings Groups (YSGs)
Through AWF, Plan International is achieving the following objectives:
- Increasing access to, and utilization of, financial services by 400 youth-led Youth Savings Groups (YSGs) in Eastern Uganda by 2016.
- Supporting young women and men in Eastern Uganda to acquire entrepreneurship, life, and technical skills leading to establishment of 800 youth-led producer groups, 600 micro-franchises, and 240 job placements by 2016.
- Increasing private sector involvement to support the employability of young women and men in Eastern Uganda by 2016.
The AWF model involves participating youth in entrepreneurship, technical, vocational, and life skills trainings. Working with private sector partners, Plan’s aim is to transform VSGs into viable producer groups that can engage in multiple activities in the agriculture sector, including production and marketing, resulting in opportunities for youth in self-employment through increased access to finance and better produce markets. AWF is assisting youth to obtain small-scale paid employment through job placements and linking youth entrepreneurs with private sector firms for opportunities in their distribution networks.
Plan has cultivated key partnerships under AWF with Airtel Uganda and Grameen Foundation to develop a mobile money e-wallet service, allowing VSGs to store their group’s cash more securely. Plan is also working with Barclays Bank and the Bank of Uganda to provide linkages to formal financial services and financial literacy training, respectively. In the agriculture sector, Plan is engaging with KK Fresh Produce Exporters Limited to support production on a cost-sharing basis and marketing of selected horticultural crops, including hot pepper, okra, and passion fruit by participating youth groups. In its third year of implementation, AWF has trained more than 7,000 youth (54 percent female) on VSG methodology and 258 groups are practicing VSGs. More than 63 percent of beneficiary young people have moved out of poverty (above $1.25 per person per day). Most of those who moved out of poverty were female, married, and engaged in crop agribusiness and micro-enterprises. The mid-term evaluation revealed positive changes in attitudes and practices towards young people’s employment, including increases in monthly incomes by 451% and in monthly savings by 294%; increased asset accumulation; improved group cohesion; and enhanced sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and aspiration for a better future.