Started with a mission of empowering slum dwellers with skills and for better cities, and keeping young people engaged, keep busy and enable them earn sustainable income, non-profit organization Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD) this week held a graduation ceremony to reward its trainees for this training period.
The event that was held at the institution’s offices in Kawempe Division saw over 300 trainees graduate; having been started with the singing of the national and Buganda anthems and an opening prayer.
Being an entrepreneurial grooming institute, there was then stall inspection of some of the beneficiaries’ stalls where they exhibited their works, in electrical engineering, catering, among others.
Prudence Atukwase, the Executive Director of AFFCAD in her opening remarks at the ceremony thanked development partners like Agah Khan Foundation.
“we were assigned to train 500 entrepreneurs, and today we are graduating 300, the other 200 will do so in the course of the year. We are highly indebted to the American Embassy for funding the start of AFFCAD in 2009 where we offer marketable skills like catering, tailoring, and many more.”, she noted.
She additionally appreciated the European Union for funding their program between 2015-2016 where they trained over 1,000 young people and were able to give startup capital both financial and equipment to about 600. In their recent survey, AFFCAD established that those startups are still functional and standing despite the challenges that were posed by COVID-19.
Adding to her voice, The Agah Khan Foundation’s Programs Manager Olgah Daphine Namukuza explained the genesis of the foundation’s interest of starting the YEES+ (Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability Plus) Program.
“We came up with this program to help young people who had been hit by COVID-19, as a way of empowering them to be able to put money in their own pockets. We are very excited to see the young people do the different work.”
“I take this opportunity to congratulate you AFFCAD upon the good work you are doing”, she concluded.
While speaking at the event that brought together the alumni of the institution, members of the media, and leadership at the divisional level, Nankumba Saudah one of the beneficiaries of the YEES+ program lauded AFFCAD for their support they offered her in terms of skilling which enabled her Autospare shop business bounce back.
In the same vein, Kamoga Davis, who deals in fish farming appreciated the institute in his own words for courses like business management which enabled him learn skills like business and crisis management.
The graduates/ trainees were given three entrepreneurial takeaways if they are to succeed and these were: to know their individual strength, avoiding trying and hoping onto whichever business, being deaf to the naysayers and building strong social networks.
The U.S Ambassador in his remarks acknowledged the importance of communities, and therefore appreciated their other partners like the European Union with whom they have continuously joined hands with to not only improve livelihoods, but also enable resilience and sustainable development.
The graduation was concluded with rewarding certificates to the graduating techniques, awarding of startup capital and equipment to 20 of the trainees, a photo moment and cake cutting ceremony.