Linking Youth Ventures and Social Media

The development agenda is the most important debates of our time and all the while, the decapitating effects of poverty are far reaching and entrenched in Uganda just like any other developing nation. This is a fact that most people who are in one way or another, directly and indirectly affected by it have resorted to conform to and understand how to live with.

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world (over 50% are aged under 15 years, and up to 78% are aged under 30 years), Uganda has the potential, can and should play a major role in championing the youth agenda at the global level particularly in influencing and occasion the reality of Youth industrialization to focus on self-employment.

Despite their numbers, young people currently face challenges and huddles setting up, articulating their agenda for the core goal of influencing global and local decision-making processes that affect their well-being. Young people need to lobby government at the highest decision making level to recognize their participation in the development agenda a near perfect opportunity and entry point targeting inclusive and sustainable growth that devotes more attention to higher standards and to outcomes that improve the quality of young people’s lives.

In Namutumba District, Ivukula Sub County, Ivukula Parish, 35 male and female Youth have joined efforts to mitigate the impact of poverty from as low as their household. This group is known as Journey of Miles Youth Development Association.

In April 2013, with the technical support of Actionaid – Busiki LRP, they were supported to come together and formed this group coupled with basic skills in group management. They started off with three projects; a piggery, poultry, coffee bed nursery and ground nuts farming. All members contributed and took turns in managing the projects.

Youth at their Coffee Nursery
Meddi catering to the Poultry
Tezeta during Ground Nuts harvesting

The members are male and female Youth of ages ranging from 17 – 33 years with education levels ranging from Primary 3 drop outs to Senior 6 graduates. Their education backgrounds set them apart – but that’s all. Their rise has particularly been informed by their dedication and commitment to achieve something while still in their Youthful years against all odds.

The group has made numerous attempts to reach the Namutumba Local Government for support to market their produce and products but the response they have been getting from the officials there have over time intimated that they have to part with the small monies that they have acquired from their proceeds for support.

As such, I supported the group members to attain basic social media knowledge so as to be in a position to market their produce themselves online from the comfort of their mobile phones. I trained the Youth on how to operate specific social media platforms and work is underway for them to have a facebook page, a twitter handle and a google+ platform. They will continually be supported to ensure that they exploit all the opportunities available in the social media platform.  
This shows that there is more to supporting the Youth than giving them capital. They should be supported to understand and be in a position to manage and multiply the resources, market their produce and diversify into other spheres – more so building their individual and group capacities for sustainability.


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