In the Makindye region, one of the youth groups that received micro-grants was Kintu youth uplift, savings group. The group is headquartered in the Lukuli hamlet in the Makindye division-Kintu zone.
The group started as a product of a community security meeting held to explore security concerns in the neighborhood, according to Katusabe Diana, one of the group’s co-founders and the group chairperson. “Many young people in Lukuli were becoming more involved in illegal activities such as theft and murder, prompting officials to assemble in order to devise a long-term solution. The group was founded with the participation of young people who were known to be involved in criminal activity”.
According to Diana, one intervention that might help avoid this tendency in communities was to form a collective group of passionate young people. She claims that they started with 25 members and that in 2019, they began rallying additional young people, bringing the total number of members to 45. They save every day and meet every Saturday to discuss group and community concerns.
Kintu’s level of organization is astounding. The group has put up a leadership team to help in its efforts. Currently, the group is involved in a number of businesses, including the manufacture of liquid soap and publication business.
According to Diana, the group has reaped significant benefits from the grants they received. “Our first objective has always been to entice young people, particularly those who are unemployed and involved in illicit activities such as drugs and crime, to join our movement and constructively contribute to our community”. The grants arrived just in time to help us achieve our goal. Grants were provided to us to carry out an initiative aimed at raising community awareness about drug usage. The message was delivered in several zones using megaphones and banners containing preventive actions and the consequences of drug misuse”.
Diana adds that this community initiative has resulted in a number of real consequences. “As a result of this initiative, many young people have accepted our message, and we have drawn a growing number of new members to our group”. These recruits, many of whom were drug users, were given directions in saving and leadership and they are actively participating in group activities. The initiative has also bolstered our self-esteem and our sense of community. Because of this, we are always available to respond to the challenges affecting our communities”. She added.
Diana adds that the benefits of the grants have broadened their prospects, allowing them to form alliances and partnerships with other community organizations. “We’ve collaborated with organizations like Save a Child, SWAT, and Sankara business partners. These entities have agreed to join us in our attempts to engage young people in productive work and to strengthen our capacity through training in productivity, art, and activism, among other things.”
In terms of the initiative on drugs, Diana points out that the obstacles in their path are still young people’s inflexible mentality. This, she claims, limits their adaptation and would necessitate a rehabilitation process, which is currently prohibitively expensive for them. The group also lacks sufficient resources to advance its aim of transforming into an association with robust ventures such as event management and large production.
The group already has some young people who are skilled in cooking and design. They intend to purchase land on which to make large investments to employ and train additional young people.