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ULink uses a Build, Connect, Empower and Protect model to intersect peace, prosperity and planet in slums and rural communities in Uganda

We empower slums and rural areas to be self-employed, connect employers with job seekers, provide capacity building, and security alerts.

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi

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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional Beneficiary Feedback in this field

We provide access to employment information to slums and rural community dwellers, but also help them to become self-employed through training in renewable solar cooking technology to make solar ovens that can be sold in both local and international markets. Furthermore, we help to build their capacities through the jumpstart capacity building texts that help our users to thrive, boost their self-esteem and confidence while ensuring safety for all.

Explain your project idea in two sentences.

A platform for employment opportunities and income enhancement designed to build, connect, empower and protect slums and rural communities to live a better improved and secure life.

What is your organization name? Explain your organization in one sentence.

Youth Contact Association A think tank for social and economic growth and development for all.

Is this project idea new for you or your organization? If no, how much have you already executed on?

Yes, this is a brand new project idea ready to be implemented in the struggle for the liberation of our planet and creation of everlasting peace and prosperity for all urban slums and rural communities to live a better, safe and prosperous lives with zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero hunger.

What is the problem you aim to solve with this idea? How would you define this problem as urgent and a priority in your target community?

While we are driven by the ability to improve lives, our sense of urgency is driven by the 64%-70% unemployment and poverty levels including 59% violence rate. These social economic evils are a hindrance to people's social and economic growth and development in slums and rural areas in Uganda.

What is the timeline for your project idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

We expect ULink to achieve significant market penetration in the Ugandan formal and informal economies within three years of launch. Key steps shall include; Year 1 -Develop the 4 service platforms and launch -Comprehensive marketing campaign -Recruitment & Training -Delivery Year 2 -Ongoing product and service delivery -Build partnerships with private and public sectors -Progressive monitoring and evaluation Year 3 -Sustain -Scale -Replicate -Impact measurement

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of responsibility).

We are a team of entrepreneurial ICT engineers , programmers, and developers who shall develop the online and SMS platform, capacity building and Stay Safe Alerts,but also partnering with solar tech providers who shall help in guiding, training, and provide renewable solar cooking technology

What do you need the most support with in this project idea?

  • Exposure

What is your primary goal over the next 6 weeks of Refinement?

  • Better understand my user or community

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) results for this project?

We will measure our growth as an organization on performance targets such as the number of partner organizations, number of subscribers, number of cities to which we expand our services, number of employees and employers matched, jobs created, income startups made, entrepreneurs made, market penetrations, convenience of the renewable solar cooking products made and soled, demand and supply of products and services . Through that we will be able to effectively understand our growth patterns.

How has your project proposal changed due to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase?

The Beneficiary Feedback Phase provided an opportunity to critically understand our target audience and their basic needs. We discovered that it is not only unemployment leading to poverty as we had anticipated, but the poor security systems also does not provide a peaceful and safe environment for one to work and prosper. Therefore we had to incorporate new solutions to improve people's lives.

(Optional) What are some of your still unanswered questions or concerns about this idea?

Two questions we are always working to answer, but that are particularly important as we prepare to launch in Uganda: - How do we create a sustainable, replicable process for adapting our model and launching? - As we continue to work with slums and rural communities to implement programs at scale, how do we translate policy reform to a genuinely improved experience for rural and slum communities?

During this Improve Phase, please use the space below to add any additional information to your proposal.

ULink seeks to address the urgent global challenges at the intersections of peace, prosperity and planet using a Build, Connect, Empower and Protect model as explained below. 1. Build: Through capacity building we propose a Jumpstart text service platform for subscribers. Many people are disappointed, discouraged, depressed, stressed with low self-esteem, confidence and boldness to face the job market, some just have a bad attitude toward work and extra. Through our platform we shall provide daily texts to our subscribers that will motivate them, enhance self-esteem, confidence and build a good attitude toward work through motivational and empowerment texts aimed at making them thrive in their daily routines at work or at home. 2. Connect: Using our platform, we seek to connect employers with job seekers through an online database for employers to advertise or post job vacancies and SMS based platform for job seekers to register their details in order to receive free job SMS on their mobile phones, and in turn they are able to contact the potential employers and carry out the remaining part of applying and negotiations. This is aimed at helping slums and rural community residents access to better social and economic opportunities for livelihood growth and development. 3. Empower: We look forward to empower and equip slums and rural residents with relevant skills that lead to self-employment opportunities using renewable solar cooking technology. Even though we connect employers with job seekers, analysis reveals that there are few/less jobs for the many jobless skilled and unskilled Ugandans living in slums and rural communities. Through partnerships with M-Kopa and Solarnow Uganda, we plan to train and equip men and women (unemployed) on the use of renewable solar cooking technology to make solar cooking ovens as seen in the picture above. This will enhance their skills to start up their own small solar projects and become self-employed rather than searching for employment. Additionally, the solar oven project will also work as a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation for semi-skilled and unskilled people in slums and rural communities in Uganda and beyond. 4. Protect: Access to Safety Security Alerts through a community collaborative approach. Prosperity alone without protection is meaningless, that is why we intend to incorporate a mobile safety security alert platform aimed at looking after its users by keeping them alert to everything that is going on around them. Security and traffic concerns have been the major problems for the Ugandan population and foreign visitors. To address rising security concerns, community users themselves can use the platform to inform and warn others of any event or information that could be relevant to traffic and citizen security. This means any citizen consulting our mobile app or web platform can be informed and attuned to events going on around them.

Note that you may also edit any of your previous answers within the proposal. Here is a great place to note any big final changes or iterations you have made to your proposal below:

During the research and feedback phases, we interacted with individuals form different communities of our target audience who lamented but also suggested forms of designs that would help to address their current challenges. The following are some of the quotes from those we interviewed. 1. Samuel a father to 6 lamented saying "The rate of violent crimes in Uganda has so much increased that you can find yourself in a pool of death without prior knowledge, so what good is employment if robbers will come for that salary at the end of the month? " 2. Harriet graduated in 2015 but since then she has never been employed regardless of the many application forms she has filled, quoting her own statements, "I am tired and disappointed about employment in Uganda and I won’t apply for a job anymore because I am tired, but sometimes I think my beauty is not attractive enough for employers”. 3. Dora a restaurant owner from Kavule-Kampala is devastated about the price of charcoal that keeps increasing every now and then, as if that is not enough, every time it rains the charcoal she keeps behind her restaurant kitchen gets wet and takes too long to light. In her own words, "It takes me a full hour to light up wet charcoal and that delays my cooking especially breakfast for my customers, and yet I can't afford gas or electric cookers, when I think of giving up, I am reminded of my 4 children who would provide food for them, that makes me endure to keep my children" ULink seeks to address such concerns using a Build, Connect, Empower, and Protect model to address the urgent global challenges at the intersections of peace, prosperity, and planet in radically new ways. Our proposed designs are thoughtful means for slums and rural communities to be self-employed through renewable solar cooking technology training services by our solar partner organizations, but also connect employers with job seekers through an online database for employers and SMS for job seekers, provide capacity building using a daily Jumpstart text to boost confidence and self-esteem among users while ensuring people's safety in their respective communities at home or work using a community collaborative approach.

This is explained further below; 

BUILD:  Provide access to capacity building services for subscribers through JumpStart Texts


We live in a world where many hearts are broken, disappointed, depressed, discouraged, stressed with pressure, low self-esteem, lack confidence and boldness resulting into suicide, prostitution for those who can’t cope-up.

We are designing a therapy to such challenges to help people live a better thrilled life through Jumpstart text an everyday text that will encapsulate themes aimed at building self-esteem, boldness, confidence and motivate our users to face their daily social and economic giants in a much more bold and confident way.

How it works

On JumpStart, each day has a different theme, with a range of topics that can make users become happier, healthier and encourage them to be more confident and productive. The texts often shall include a GIF, quote or pop culture reference. Each including a link to an article relating to the theme of the text.

The Service shall be offered and available to users who are 18 years of age or older. JumpStart shall be motivational and empowering text messaging service for Users who register accounts through the online site or messenger platforms. The service shall require users to have a valid cellphone number and carrier contract allowing the receipt of text messages for as long as users choose to subscribe to and use the service.

 

CONNECT: Provide access to employment information through a dual platform system.



Uganda's unemployment rate is lies at 64% -70 and is believed to go up by 2025 base on ILO report 2014. About 400,000 youths are released annually into the job market to compete for approximately 9,000 available jobs. The 30% of those who are institutionally qualified are unable to find jobs leaving them discouraged, hopeless and resort to giving up the search for jobs.

Furthermore, Uganda’s job market analysis shows that there are few jobs visa vie the number of job seekers, hence new entrepreneurial ideas need to come up to lessen the rate by creating new opportunities for the unemployed to gain skills, and be able to create self-employment,

http://www.acode-u.org/Files/Publications/infosheet_26.pdf

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2014/08/26/youth-unemployment-challenge-in-uganda-and-the-role-of-employment-policies-in-jobs-creation/

ULink seeks to create a dynamic online database and SMS based platform to facilitate the connectivity of employers with job seekers so that those who had lost hope have another chance to try again. This will effectively and comprehensively address the inefficiency in the labor market of marginalized Ugandan communities, this solution will take into consideration both the needs of the employers and the minimal technological and financial resources at the disposal of the employees. Through the implementation of a dual platform system, ULink hopes to maximize ease of use while minimizing barriers to entry.

The majority of Uganda’s population are employed informally while some are basically peasant farmers. ULink will provide crucial structure of this economic informality by demonstrating the appropriateness of a dual platform system for a highly asymmetric Ugandan labor market in which service providers enjoy disproportionate access to information.

Through the implementation of electronic marketing campaigns easily accessible to slum populations, our team seeks to attract marginalized workers to ULink, thereby reducing frictional unemployment and poverty in the informal economy.

How it works

First platform: Online Database

How it works

After accessing our website, employers will be prompted to enter key information about their future job openings. This brief questionnaire will serve as a one-stop-shop for employers in reaching potential employees.

First, employers will enter their name or the name of their company. Then, the location of the job is requested.

The next section of the questionnaire is critical to the functioning of our project. Employers will indicate which “Job Identifiers” describe the employment opportunity. The design of the questionnaire is crucial: by asking a multiple-choice query, we effectively standardize responses into sortable buckets. This sorting of identifiers will prove essential to project implementation in the SMS-based phase of the project.

Employers may then write a description of the job. This open text field caters to a wide range of employer preferences. For example, Employer A may include a description of expectations, hours per week, pay range, and age or gender preferences. In contrast, Employer B include only a description of expectations, leaving discussions concerning pay range and hours per week open to negotiation.

In order to address concerns of employer response overload, ULink has included in the survey an option that limits the number of job seekers that will be informed of the posting. Should an employer choose “Less than 30,” a maximum of 29 unique subscribers will receive SMS notifications alerting them to the new job opening. This feature is intended to minimize the potential for spamming of employers.

Finally, employers are asked to indicate their preferred method of contact. Employers may choose to be contacted either by phone or email. As the majority of potential job seekers lack access to reliable Internet, ULink has included subtext so as to encourage employers to list a phone number for job inquiries. Our website will use survey logic to prompt employers for the indicated information.

Upon completion of the survey, the data will be moved to a secure online database. In this database, each entry will receive a unique Job Number, which will be used in coordination with the SMS-based platform.

Second platform: SMS Service

As indicated, ULink seeks to connect employers with the marginalized populations of Ugandan slums. Accordingly, ULink proposes a unique integration of online database (for employers) and SMS service (for employees).

Automated SMS systems are a well-established part of life in the developed world. They are perhaps best known for their role in sweepstakes: media outlets often run contests in which listeners’ text a predetermined word or phrase to a specified number in order to gain admission to a raffle for tickets or experiences. ULink plans to emulate this concept, expanding it significantly so as to make an impact on the employment prospects of marginalized Uganda.

In ULink’s automated SMS system, job seekers will be asked a short, user-friendly series of questions to obtain the most relevant matches with employers. After completing the survey, job seekers will, in effect, have created an applicant profile, from which they will receive information concerning job availability.

 Information will be dispersed in the form of simple, user-friendly text messages. When an employer/ service provider posts a job opportunity or information with a given tag (such as “carpentry”) that the job seeker has indicated an interest in, that job seeker will receive a text. The text will contain essential information for the job seeker, pulled from the unique Job Identifier number in the data-base. Such information would include the job description, the location of the job, and the potential employer’s phone number.

This SMS-based platform improves the job seeker’s chances of employment by increasing access to information concerning the job and by providing immediate connectivity to the potential employer. This represents a marked improvement over traditional interpersonal channels of communication, which can often confuse job details and lead to dead ends for employment. It also opens job seekers up to a wide array of employment opportunities, effectively increasing their power to choose satisfying and empowering work.

After making contact the employer and employee will arrange further details concerning duration of employment, wages, and other benefits. It is important to note that ULink does not seek to directly impact such negotiations, but rather to serve as a facilitator of connectivity between employer and employee.


EMPOWER:  Train and equip slums and rural community residents to make solar ovens using renewable solar cooking technology.

Solar energy plays an important role in reducing carbon emissions thereby slowing the negative impacts of deforestation, and reduce air pollution from burnt products like firewood,charcoal and kerosene.


Even though we help to connect employers with job seekers, there are few/less jobs for the many jobless skilled and unskilled Ugandans living in urban slums and rural communities.

Through partnerships with http://www.m-kopa.com/ and https://www.solarnow.eu/

We intend to train and equip men and women on the use of renewable solar cooking technology to make solar cooking ovens as seen in the picture above. This will enhance their skills to be self-employed but also work as a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation for semi-skilled and unskilled people in slums and rural communities in Uganda.

In Uganda a household spends between $15 to $20 to purchase a small sac of charcoal which would last in 2 to 3 weeks or less depending on the household size, restaurants and hotels will spend many times compared to households. This is very devastating not only to lungs and forests but also turns out to be very expensive for unemployed individuals to afford.

Our project does not only remove charcoal and other cooking fuels but also works as a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation for semi-skilled and unskilled majority in slums and rural communities.

Cooking all around the world is the most universal skill for both men and women regardless whether skilled or unskilled.The sun is a natural resource which is already available.  Through partnerships and collaborations with renewable solar cooking technology providers, we shall train and equip men and women to become solar engineers and operators hence men and women shall learn to fabricate and make renewable solar cooking products to leverage on the considerable skills they already have.

Beneficiary feedback story

Dora runs a restaurant in Kavule Kampala.  She stocks 5 bags of charcoal behind the kitchen after every 3 weeks. Every time it rains the charcoal becomes wet and very difficult to light up in order for her to prepare food for her customers. "It takes me a full hour to light up wet charcoal and that delays my cooking especially breakfast for my customers, and i can't afford gas or electric cookers "

Our project is designed to help people like Dora work in a more convenient and effective way in service delivery to their customers, but also train and equip others to be self-employed.

The product shall a  solar cooking oven but at scale and replication we intend to incorporate solar for lighting, waters heaters, cookers and extra.


PROTECT: Provide access to security alerts to the general public through a community collaborative approach.


Background

In 2015, the U.S. Embassy received reports of street crime, sometimes violence in proximity to areas where U.S. citizens congregate and reside. Outside of Kampala, there were occasional reports of violent crime sprees in the Karamoja Region near the Sudan border. Gulu region experienced some violent crime against private citizens. The Lira region also experienced a wave of violent crime against business owners that prompted the Inspector General of Police to replace the police leadership in the city and to visit the city himself in an effort to reassure local residents. Kampala and its environs saw an increase in incidents involving small organized groups carrying out crimes that could be attributed to poor living conditions, high unemployment, and low-income wages.

Furthermore, driving hazards at night include: broken-down vehicles, pedestrians, drunk drivers, stray animals, poor road conditions, and the possibility of armed robbery. Under normal driving conditions, drivers contend with excessive speed, unpredictable local driving habits, pedestrians/livestock, commuter bus drivers who ignore traffic laws, and vehicles that are not roadworthy (including lack of brake/indicator lights). While general vehicle travel during daylight hours is considered relatively safe, varying conditions of the roadways (potholes) combined with excessive speed can lead to serious accidents. In some areas, piles of trash, missing manhole covers, gaping ditches/potholes, wayward/oblivious pedestrians, and animals are threats to vehicular safety. In the market areas, vendors have taken over the sidewalks and in some cases, much of the roadway, forcing pedestrians into the streets. There have been occasional reports of highway robbery, including carjacking by armed bandits outside urban areas. Some incidents have been accompanied by violence.

ULink is attempting to solve traffic and citizen security problems using a collaborative approach with the help of the communities in Uganda. Using technology, the stay safe alerts will ensure that the members of any community have free, real-time access to information about local conditions, thus allowing them to make better decisions and improve their quality of life (getting home faster and more safely, helping other members avoid areas in which robberies are taking place.

How it works

Community users themselves inform and alert others of traffic and citizen security concerns. Our mobile app or web platform will allow citizens in different communities to be informed and attuned to events going on around them, and it will have the potential to save users time and money, and to lessen risk. Every day, people need to know they are safe in that regard they try to find the safest and fastest route for their journey and therefore media houses will use the information shared via ULink to produce their own informational content, thus creating a virtuous cycle in which all citizens unite with the objective of creating a peaceful environment in a safer and more efficient manner.

Every subscribed user shall have access to a personalized virtual traffic and security assistant before and during excursions in their city. In this way, subscribers can receive messages and intelligent alerts to help them make better decisions in order to save time and feel more secure.

The mobile app platform will make it possible for its users to be alert to both crime and traffic in the surrounding areas. The key component is the cooperation of the community itself, which will share and update information in real time. The free mobile app will be available for download on iPhone and Android platforms and will be simple to operate, users simply download the app and register, and then are able to check reports for their local area and/or create reports to share with the community.

With this platform, we believe we shall maintain peace and stability in Uganda's rural and urban areas for both Ugandans and foreigners.


ULink Sustainability, Scalability and Replication Plan.

Revenue streams shall include

-Support and partnerships with the government of Uganda’s public sectors like the police, wealth creation sector, youth livelihood program, education sector, healthy etc., including the private sector the continuation of the project shall be sustainable and scaled.

-Through a comprehensive marketing plan, we anticipate to fetch employers to out platforms who in turn shall help us generate revenue from subscribed employers to advertise on our platform based on standard or corporate subscription fees.


-Sale of solar ovens:  As a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation, manufacture solar ovens shall be sold in the already available local and international markets and realize income to offset operational costs.

 -Sale of data to transport providers or other clients seeking historical and predictive traffic and safety info in Uganda.

-Product licenses for the media and/or institutions, commissions for leads, partnerships with police and sponsorships.

-Advertising fees on the platform to integrate real time crime and safety information for auto companies, insurance firms, pharmacies, convenience stores, alcohol companies, service stations, on their websites and newscasts.

-Consultation fees for companies wishing to start their own solar energy manufacturing projects in their communities. This we believe shall be another source of income generation for the platform.


Scalability/Replication

Security Alert System: During replication phase cities or municipalities in the world can license the platform and customize it to the needs, preferences, and tastes of its population. As long as the basic structure of geo-positioned reports is respected, we can provide city-by-city customized user reports, tracking, and methods of communication with users. We can also customize the look and feel of the platform for each city or municipality allowing municipal governments to invest in technology to improve their constituents’ safety and lives.

As we get integrated with global Geo-positioning technology, all we need to operate in a new market is a community of users. The technology can scale on its own, both for live reporting and for our new on-demand model, which is powered by artificial intelligence and goes beyond an app. Therefore, the marginal costs for every new market are reduced to the cost of creating a marketing campaign and a sales team (if the market is not English-speaking, we may need to translate the platform’s user interface as well, which is fairly easy and inexpensive to do).

Solar oven project: Through product sales in the neighboring countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Congo and extra, we shall be able to scale and replicate based on the demand and supply needs of the product in those countries. This will be easy by establishing product sales centers and later develop solar oven manufacturing centers for slums and rural community semi-skilled, unskilled, and skilled but un employed residents in our target areas.

Therefore, ULink shall be able to scale and replicate including managing operational costs through ways but not limited to as listed above.

Explain your idea

ULink seeks to address unemployment, poverty, and insecurity challenges in Uganda and beyond using a Build, Connect, Empower and Protect model as explained below. 1. Build: Through capacity building we propose a Jumpstart text services for subscribers. Many people are disappointed, discouraged, depressed, stressed with low self-esteem, confidence and boldness to face the job market, some just have a bad attitude toward work and extra. Through our platform we shall provide daily texts to our subscribers that will motivate them, enhance self-esteem, confidence and build a good attitude toward work through motivational and empowerment texts aimed at making them thrive in their daily routines at work or at home. 2. Connect: Using our platform, we seek to connect employers with job seekers through an online database for employers to advertise or post job vacancies and SMS based platform for job seekers to register their details in order to receive free job SMS on their mobile phones, and in turn they are able to contact the potential employers and carry out the remaining part of applying and negotiations. This is aimed at helping slums and rural community residents access to better social and economic opportunities for livelihood growth and development. 3. Empower: We look forward to empower and equip slums and rural residents with relevant skills that lead to self-employment opportunities using renewable solar cooking technology. Even though we connect employers with job seekers, analysis reveals that there are few/less jobs for the many jobless skilled and unskilled Ugandans living in slums and rural communities. Through partnerships with M-Kopa and Solarnow Uganda, we plan to train and equip men and women (unemployed) on the use of renewable solar cooking technology to make solar cooking ovens as seen in the picture above. This will enhance their skills to start up their own small solar projects and become self-employed rather than searching for employment. Additionally, the solar oven project will also work as a catalyst for income enhancement and job creation for semi-skilled and unskilled people in slums and rural communities in Uganda and beyond. 4. Protect: Access to Safety Security Alerts through a community collaborative approach. Prosperity alone without protection is meaningless, that is why we intend to incorporate a mobile safety security alert platform aimed at looking after its users by keeping them alert to everything that is going on around them. Security and traffic concerns have been the major problems for the Ugandan population and foreign visitors. To address rising security concerns, community users themselves can use the platform to inform and warn others of any event or information that could be relevant to traffic and citizen security. This means any citizen consulting our mobile app or web platform can be informed and attuned to events going on around them.

Who Benefits?

Auto companies, insurance firms, pharmacies, convenience stores, alcohol companies, service stations, Job seekers, public and private sectors, and the general public. -Employment: Our platform will provide beneficiaries access to relevant information and opportunities outside of their local vicinity in a way that is, for the first time, simple and accessible. -ULink will also give employers access to labor resources they would be unaware of, providing an opportunity to hire from a larger group, and more easily fill positions that suit candidate qualifications. -JumpStart Texts: This every day text in diverse fields will help our users to thrive, build self-esteem and confidence, encourage and motivate them. -Stay Safe Alerts: Community users themselves inform and alert others of traffic and citizen security concerns and allow citizens in different communities to be informed and attuned to events going on around them, and save users time and money, and to lessen risk.

How is your idea unique?

We are among the first organizations to use solar as an economic empowerment tool for informal workers in Uganda and beyond. In regard to the development of the new technologies we're working to adopt, we're the first organization to empower and equip slums and rural communities in Uganda to develop a solar oven meant to meet their need to cook faster and with no smoke while working as a catalyst for job creation and income enhancement. ULink takes other service providers’ (paper-based system) central concept and expands it far beyond the scope of the domestic services industry. While other platforms limit possible employment locations to a short list of broad options, we more effectively identify locations via the use of postal codes, thus better matching employers with potential employees simply by SMS. Additionally, We are the first to develop a convenient security system designed to provide safety alerts to the public through a community collaborative approach.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

Tell us more about you

Youth Contact Association (YCA) is a registered non governmental organization based in Uganda Vision: Together positively transforming and shaping Africa. Mission: Advocate for change in the African communities to foster permanent change and transformation for all. YCA is fully registered and incorporated as an NGO in 2013 (Reg No. 9628) and has since then executed its services in different parts of Uganda in pursuit of its vision. Many lives of young people have been transformed, jobs created, and the helpless people catered for. YCA works with low-income populations in Uganda which include slum communities and rural communities reason being they are the primary agents of change and transformation that we are for in Africa. Youth Contact has well experienced people who are available and ready to carry on the project and achieve its vision through its mission.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

17 comments

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Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Joseph,

How long would the solar fabrication plant take to set up? There is a lot of elements of this project. What do you hope to achieve by year 1, 2 and 3?

Are there any specific types organisations in terms of geographic reach and sector coverage that you are keen to connect to for this project or in general?

I am tagging a few OpenIDEO members here who might be able to give you additional feedback - Shefali Kothari Ken Oatman Suzannah Hall Kyusa Uganda 
Are you able to share some feedback from beneficiaries (the youths and future employers) on your updated project and the user experience map?

Spam
Photo of Joseph Mulabbi
Team

Hi Kate

Thanks for asking
The solar oven is designed to kick off with 4 to 5 months following the ULink project launch . We anticipate that within this period all human and material resources shall be available to make this project a reality having established relationships with expert organizations of solar energy who have consented and pledged to work with ULink in establishing this project. Furthermore, This project is aimed at inculcating entrepreneurial skills among the unemployed youth in order for them to lead a self-employed life. We are not setting up a solar plant, rather this is just a small solar scheme which will require a simple technology and personnel to kick off.
In year 2 after set up, we hope to train over 5000 youths as possible as solar engineers, and fabricate as many equipment as possible which shall be sold in both local and international markets. Though this project is a skills development project, we shall use it as catalyst for job creation and income enhancement for ULink but also for urban slums and rural communities in Uganda and beyond hence hope to create over 10,000 jobs.

And yes, there are several organizations we have approached and shared with them our project viability including the government of Uganda and have accepted to work with us for instance http://www.m-kopa.com/, https://www.solarnow.eu/ and many others.

With the help of the OpenIDEO members tagged in your comments, we shall seek for more advise and counsel on how to go about this entire project.
We intend to incorporate feed back from our beneficiaries as requested please check out our the project updates.

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