OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Promoting environmental conservation and sustainable livelihoods among youth and women in Uganda

Beli will reduce deforestation and waste by promoting briquet use, tree planting, savings, lower cooking costs and income through sales

Photo of catherine
2 2

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The proposed project will be implemented for a period of (3) years in Kamuli District in the Wankole and Kisozi Town Council to promote sustainable livelihoods, improve socio- economic security and environmental degradation through improved knowledge, skills and seed funding among 500 vulnerable unemployed youth and women aged 18- 45 years. Specifically the project will empower youth and women with knowledge in environmental conservation and tree planting, low cost and alternative energy sources to charcoal, entrepreneurship and life skills training to initiate sustainable livelihoods and environmentally friendly interventions. The project will also facilitate the provision of appropriate vocational skills training in briquette making and tool kits for self-employment and job creation, creation of linkages for sustainable livelihoods, facilitate the establishment of self-help groups and Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) to reduce poverty, unemployment and promote community cohesion towards planet and prosperity In order to enhance project ownership and sustainability; the project will be implemented using a multi-sectoral approach involving various key stakeholders that will include; local government local artisans, the Private sector and other agencies in the District. In implementation of the project, Better Lives Initiatives (BELI) will work closely with the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development and Ministry of Lands and environmental Protection to offer the oversight support. The project will be implemented cost will be $ 400,000

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Better Lives Initiatives will target the most vulnerable and needy unemployed youth and women between 18- 45 years in Kisozi and Wankole sub counties in Kamuli District who will be identified through the local leadership and will be trained and equipped with the necessary skills to sustain themselves. Local artisans shall be engaged to train the youth in the selected skills. The beneficiaries will also be equipped with the relevant business and entrepreneurship skills to enable effective management of the interventions while seed capital in form of materials and financial support shall be provided depending on the agreed upon mode of delivery. The skills and seed capital will enable the identified beneficiaries to engage in meaning full self employment, job creation and income generation for self sustainability

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Our approach has two advantages: 1. Financial self-sustainability: the collaboration with local entrepreneurs ensures a solution to problems where traditional vocational training providers face: expensive, inefficient and a lack of connection to the local labour market. BELI in partnership with local communities solicits for space, furniture and classrooms which are rented at a very minimal cost. The beneficiaries will be educated while running their businesses on site and act as role models for other community members. A part of their income, is paid as rent to the training locations. With the income of these rents, the costs for daily management and the programs are covered. 2. Organisational self-sustainability: BELI offices are located in the community we work in, with a local staff, this ensures that costs of operation and supervision of the interventions are reduced. BELI engages local artisans based in the communities. This ensures on continuous mentoring and sustaibility

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Better Lives Initiatives( BELI) is a community based organization in Kamuli District established with a view to promote welfare and human transformation of vulnerable populations through skills building and services provision. The project targets key and priority populations including, youth, adolescents, young women and vulnerable populations like People Living with HIV, orphans and men at risk. The organization has a face book page

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

One form of employment in Kamuli District is charcoal burning. Majority cook using charcoal and firewood. The high demand for charcoal and firewood has increased the rate at which trees are cut for charcoal selling and income generation hence prolonged droughts, with high temperatures hence poor crop yields. BELI thought to stop waste, protect trees and promote clean cooking by introducing paper briquettes. By turning waste into clean energy, income and supporting to plant more trees

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

While tree cutting has been a major influencing factor towards income generation through the sell of charcoal and has improved lively hoods and prosperity in Kamuli District, it has at the same time caused a big negative impact in Climate Change. Afforestation has led to long dry spells and hence reduced rainfall. This affected agricultural productivity and high temperatures that are not favorable to man kind BELIs intervention of training youth and women in briquet making will reduce on cutting trees and improve on climate while helping them generate an income and employment through skills building and sell of briquets as alternative income generating activities to tree charcoal for the people of Kamuli

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

BELI will work with a few partners to deliver the project including the District Community Development Office and sub county Development office to monitor and provide oversight technical guidance towards project implementation. In addition, BELI will work with local artisans to build the skills of women and youth to run and manage the trade. In addition local council Offices will be engaged to provide space and accommodation during training. This will help to reduce costs of project implementation

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The targeted community has a big population of Vulnerable unemployed youth and women. Their attitudes towards interventions that reduce their vulnerability are thus positive and are therefore willing to take up the interventions. The local leadership is committed to supporting interventions that promote prosperity and planet in their community.

Geographic Focus

Implementation will in beUganda, Kamuli District in wankole and Kisozi Town Council, Eastern Region

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project will be implemented for a period of 36 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

This inspired (1)

Energy and Environment


Join the conversation:

Photo of NDEF Cameroon

Dear Catherine, we at NDEF Cameroon have read about your idea with interest. As regards tree planting and environmental protection, which tree species are you planting? We think that tree planting should be targeted at meeting specific needs. If farmers plant high value fruit trees or tree spices, they would not dare to cut the trees because of the benefits that they derive from them. This will control rampant tree cutting and your proposed alternative solutions would help greatly.

What about using vegetative tree propagation methods such as grafting to produce tree seedlings which bear fruits faster? Nkeng Pius (Executive Director)

View all comments