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Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development (YLED)

We empower high school students economically.

Photo of Dorcus Odera

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 The Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development (YLED) project is designed to help equip refugee high school students with entrepreneurship skills and even develop an entrepreneurial mindset in preparation to the time they finish school to help them think more on how to create jobs and tackle the problem of unemployment rather than waiting to be employed in the minimal employment opportunities. 

During the training, the students are taken through entrepreneurship and leadership training where they come up with income-generating projects that they want to implement as groups with the youths they lead. They undergo training on how to identify a need in their community, design a solution to the need, and come up with a plan to implement the solution and how to pitch their business idea to an investor. They then are helped to develop business plans for their ideas which we later work with them onto launch and grow to small and medium sized enterprises. 

We have come to realise, social entrepreneurship projects are very important in reducing refugees’ dependency on foreign aid and their ability to promote sustainable living. They are vital for improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of refugee settlements—the youths.


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Photo of Selassie Tay

This program comes at a time when world focus is gradually shifting towards the entrepreneurial skills development of the youth as a tool for achieving socioeconomic development and community peace, especially so for youths coming from war ravaged countries the importance and essence of this program can not be over emphasized. I was privileged to be at this program to witness ideas that has the potential of improving lives beyond the refugee settlement. When given the necessary support this program will revolutionarize refugee upkeep to a more sustainable and self-dignifying one. Good job Dorcus! Keep it up

Photo of Dorcus Odera

Thanks Selassie. It was with the efforts of guys like you that the 2014 YLED program was a success.

Photo of Feka Parchibell Parch

It is very important that the society and social activists take action as well as think about intergrating the refugees in their action for sustainability.
I'm very happy to have been part of this initiative and I learnt a lot on how vulnerable the refugees are and with just a little effort and follow up,they can become independent and atleast take care of their basic needs.From the Kyangwali experience,I was motivated to come and look at the situation in country;Cameroon.The refugees really need to be empowered through trainings like this.In Cameroon,just in the East Region,there are well over three thousand refugees without any thing and are hopelessly 'waiting for Godot'.I am planning to carry out such trainings here and I am sure at the appropriate time,we shall join our forces to help them out.Kudos Dorcus!

Photo of Shane Zhao

Very inspiring to hear how you're taking your Kyangwali experiences to Cameroon Feka! We'd love to hear how you'll be carrying out the trainings there.

Photo of Dorcus Odera

Sure Feka, it was with the help from you people that it was a complete success. I know we can work together and roll up a plan for Cameroon Refugees.
Thanks girl.

Photo of Dorcus Odera

Yeah, Shane. Feka does great stuff in Cameroon and we hope to roll out the program with Feka soon in Cameroon Refugee camp.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Thanks for sharing this project Dorcus.
Considering the extent of youth unemployment in Uganda, (we learned much about this problem in previous challenges), this is a great idea! How long has the program been in place? Has there been success in getting any businesses started?
Would love to learn more about impact from this initiative!

Photo of Dorcus Odera

Bettina, the program is two years old. we have run 2 successful Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development programs in Kyangwali refugee camp. To this moment, we have had over ten business ideas generated from the trainings. 7 of which are in start up phases. We hope to work with them to see them grow to fully fledged businesses.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

That is terrific! What kinds of businesses are they? Is there any means of financial support as they go through the process?
You might be interested in the work of this group of young entrepreneurs/ and OpenIDEOers in Uganda -

I just read this article about small businesses in a refugee camp in Jordan. The circumstances are different but it might interest you and inspire your students?

Photo of Dorcus Odera

Most of them are agricultural businesses( crop and animal farming, farmers's cooperative), solar energy,and water purification.
I will contact the Ugandan group and see how we can work together.

Greatlink there about the refugee camp in Jordan,its a great read.