Youth Reporter Series: The Power of Ugandan Youth to Transform their Community
Fun packed, educative, transformational, and thrilling is the two-year journey we have all been a part of as we followed Jamidah, Thaddeus, Fatumah, and Razak, four amazing young women and men, whose lives have changed for the better after they joined the TeamUp pilot. The multi-sector approach in agriculture, water, and health. Today our blog will be a bit longer because we are saying goodbye to all four of our youth and each has something to say, so please keep reading.
The first step is always the hardest, while change may be inevitable the direction whether positive or negative is never guaranteed. Over the past two years, Fatumah, Thaddeus, Jamida and Razak have shared with us their live stories, ambitions, dreams, and aspiration, all of which Shivan our Youth Reporter has diligently shared with us in her wonderful vlogs as you cheered on these young generation of leaders in Mityana.
They have told their story and today we go further into their lives as we ask the community and family members, as well as their mentors about the changes they have noted in the lives of these four knowing that the change for these four is a sample representation of over 50,000 thousand youth that Team Up Partners to improve livelihood prospects of young people in East Africa using the development cooperation model with a multi-sector approach in agribusiness, water, and health.
Tabitha Kawala, the A4HU advocacy officer, has mentored Fatumah Imanet into a vibrant young woman and a youth champion who represents her fellow youth at sun county, district and even national level on issues of sexual reproductive health, agribusiness and access to safe and clean water, speaks with pride and confidence about Fatumah as she says,
“Fatumah is showing me a lot of tangible things in her, she is constructing a house for her family and has gone into commercial farming. She has the passion and desire to serve her fellow young people, to represent them at all levels.”
Fatumah projects that in five years she wants to be able to represent her fellow youth globally, and what a wonderful thing to hear from a young woman who has finally found her voice and is not afraid to use it. She confidently refers to herself as a youth advocate, her voice and confident smile resound in our minds and we know that she will definitely reach these great heights she aspires to reach, this future is not just for her but for her two young daughters, her family and her fellow youth.
Sentamu Ponsiano, smiles ear to ear when he talks about his son Thaddeus, he says. “Since Thaddeus joined TeamUp it is not just his life that has transformed, but his siblings as well our family and our community. He has brought a sense of organization amongst his peers, he is a hard working young man who even has his own coffee garden, with good and modern agricultural practices learned from the HRNS youth farmer field demonstration plots.” Thaddeus, projects that in a few years-time he will be a large scale farmer, and leader in his community.
One cannot forget the playful Jamidah in the first vlog, who talked about the importance of being a peer facilitator and confidently approached her fellow youth with information on SRHR and the importance of family planning. She is now one of the script writers of the recently concluded radio novella aired in her community. Her knowledge and experience has greatly increased and she speaks up about her advocacy work in her community, how proud she is that when she speaks, people listen to her and they change their lives in positive ways. Ronald a youth farmer field school facilitator talks fondly about Jamidah, “When I compare Jamidah’s life before she joined TeamUp her life has changed in various ways, her mindset has changed and she is very positive now. She has become business oriented, she has supported and trained her youth in agriculture and health”.
Allen, Chairperson LC 1 Magonga, recalls when she recommended Razak to TeamUp to be trained as a hand pump mechanic and how this one action has brought change in this young man’s life, “Razak has become a professional, when we have any problems with our hand pump / water source, we immediately call Whave Solutions who send us Razak to fix the issue. Members of our community have access to reliable and clean water because we have a well-trained young man in our community to routinely maintain our water source. We haven’t had any major problems with long periods of breakdown in our community since Razak joined Whave Solutions”.