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Social Boda-Boda Hub-Combining motorcycle business and vocational training for refugees and rural youth to improve livelihoods

A social Boda-Boda hub that distributes and maintains quality motorcycles, offers employment, trains and supports refugees and rural youth.

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project is a social Boda-Boda (motorcycle) hub aiming to empower millions of refugee youth ages 18-30 in Ugandan IDP camps and those in the surrounding rural communities with access to boda-boda business opportunities as well as vocational training for a better life improvement. Uganda is currently hosting the highest number of refugees in the country’s history, and is receiving simultaneous emergency influxes from South Sudan, DRC and Burundi. The number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda has exceeded one million, and the daily arrival rate remains high. Arrivals from DRC have risen since Late December 2017. Chronic under-funding of the refugee response is threatening humanitarian organizations’ ability to continue delivering lifesaving and critical assistance. On the other hand, as mobility is considered an important prerequisite for any economic, social and cultural development. Uganda and its sparsely populated rural areas pose a striking example of the far- reaching consequences that a lack of mobility produces. Also, there is a high share of young talent between 18 and 30 looking for a decent and productive job, however are faced with severe economic, social or governmental barriers to unfold their potential. Together with the local team, we establish the infrastructure to run an independent social boda-boda hub infrastructure in the location accessible by all our beneficiaries. Infrastructure includes among others a fully equipped and modern workshop, storage area, training room, sales area and offices. Training is conducted for 3 months to equip our beneficiaries (men and women) with both job specific skills (mechanical inputs) and soft skills (like accounting, sales, and language) that allow them to become employable and improve their chances in the labor market. After the training, we identify potential beneficiaries’ families and distribute a motorcycle for each family as a starting capital for business.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Ugandan refugees and youths aged 18-30. Benefits? Education and income opportunities to improve refugees and rural livelihoods through Job creation that contributes sustainably to economic development by getting equipped with job specific (mechanical inputs) and soft skills (e.g. accounting, sales, and language) that allow them to become employable and improve their chances in the labor market. Empowerment of young women: Encourages young girls to become motorcycle mechanics and serve as role models for other women as well as start their own motorcycle businesses as young entrepreneurs. Access to boda-boda mobility for all: Boda-boda hubs provide access to affordable mobility for large segments to be able to engage in new business&trade opportunities, business productivity, and increase the delivery of extension services. Project facilitates access to basic everyday services, such as water, healthcare, agricultural fields, schools, religious institutions and social activities.

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

We combine integration work, vocational training and boda-boda mobility in a social impact business! The boda-boda as powerful tool along the value chain. Throughout the country, there is no other organization meeting the needs of refugees and youth using our model, this means our model is the first of its kind in Uganda to offer business opportunities, train and equip both refugees as a bridge to peace and prosperity a better life in society. Our organization has both experienced and motivated down to earth individuals ready and willing liberate the lives of many from worry and poverty.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

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

We are a formal registered company in Uganda working to bring about innovative solutions that address the most pressing needs of the people in and around our communities.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

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

While working with as UN volunteer, I witnessed a male refugee fighting to get a meal for his 3 children and a wife. This pricked my heart and I felt compelled to help. I sacrificed what i had to eat for this family, but I felt that was not enough. It is upon such background that I sought for ways through which refugees can be empowered to live a better life.

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

Peace in IDP camps has become very hard, Uganda is feeling the neglect. The country has one of the world’s most compassionate refugee policies, which grants migrants land to build a home and enjoy rights to travel and work that are practically unheard of elsewhere. But without relief in sight, the cracks are beginning to show. A single settlement, called Bidi Bidi, hosts at least 270,000 refugees – more than any other place in the world. It was closed to new arrivals in December to prevent overcrowding. Since then, new settlements have opened roughly every two months. On the other hand rural communities neighboring these refugee settlements have started to feel the burden of scarcity of resources in their local areas. Our project come to address the problem of worry, scarcity and being a displaced person without a job and/or sense of purpose, whether due to being unskilled, uneducated, or due to drought, poverty or war/armed conflicts.

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

We are open to partnership with both local and international humanitarian organizations such as the Uganda ministry of internal affairs, ministry of labor and international NGOs such as UNFP, UNICEF, UNHCR. These shall be key in advising and the general selection of relevant skills curriculum for our beneficiaries as well as offer financial support towards the growth and expansion of the project.

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

The communities we intend to work have receptive and skilled individuals who have already given us a green light towards working with us. These shall lead in the projects service delivery and help in the identification of potential beneficiaries while working as project ambassadors in their own communities and camps.

Geographic Focus

Northern and Western Uganda with influx of families displace by conflict or drought or poverty.

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

In approximately 24 months, the project will be up and running.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sydney Gray

Hello! Have you ever connected with Tugende? They have a similar project in Kampala and might be a good mentor or partner.

Photo of Joseph Mulabbi

Hey Sydney Gray,
Thanks for the info, we are collaborating with them in this model.