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CATHY- (Catch Them Young) Entrepreneurship Mentoring Project "inspiring, equipping and skilling youth as job creators."

The mismatch between the skills that young people offer and the ones that employers need has alarmingly increased the number youth walking in the streets with a clutch of academic papers. The idea therefore is to introduce an experience-based model of education into schools by vocationalizing Agriculture to start and run school-based enterprises “My School Entrepreneurship Project.” It will focus on Leadership, skilled-based Apprenticeship and Business Incubation providing young women with practical skills in employment, business, leadership, financial literacy, communication, peer networking and mentoring opportunities to enable them confidently & competitively enter the global economy and job market as employers or employees.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule

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CATHY- (Catch Them Young) Mentoring Project is an Entrepreneurship Development Skills initiative that will ease youth’s transition from school to work by creating pathways to employment for young women aged 16-24 years. CATHY will be an 18 months project that will be implemented in three secondary schools and two universities in Uganda.  It will ignite young women's self-discovery, confidence, cognitive skills, critical thinking, innovation and inter-dependence skills that are critical for success in the 21st century work places. The project is designed on the premise that y outh must take charge of their lives and destiny by actively engaging in job creation initiatives. The project is aimed at  linking education to employment-demanded skills, creating attitude change for vocational studies and mind-set renewal to engage the youth, their communities and governments to reframe their thinking to empower youth as JOB-CREATORS. To program will bridge the gap between education and work by encouraging schools to form closer relations with local companies, embrace apprenticeships and promote vocational skills in order to counteract the country’s obsession with academic laurels. The project is designed to build and capitalize on the youth's individual strengths, develop their skills and competencies, provide them with resources and support for long-term professional growth.

"The Project’s theory of change is that as a movement of inspired, active, skilled and engaged young women is built, their thinking will be re-framed to confidently take charge of their lives, translate the theoretical study into practical skills that will ignite their entrepreneurial skills to become job creators."


***interim Prototype attached.

The program’s strategic approach will use an innovative methodology to increase the youth’s employability and job creation skills using the  5D CYCLE® Model that will enable the young women to  DISCOVER who they are and the opportunities are around them,  DREAM about what their careers and the businesses they can create,  DESIGN goals and strategies of reaching those visions and  DEVELOP key leadership, business and management skills that lead them to rewarding  DESTINIES to become the best at whatever they choose to do. Information Communication Technologies will be used during the program including use of e-mentoring, motivational audios, videos and other e-learning interactive tools.

How it will work
During the Program, Mentors will go to selected secondary schools and universities to work with students, who we call  Rising Stars. Using 2 hours every week, Mentors will guide the young women through an innovative and experiential curriculum in socio-economic empowerment and transformation that will include five main components described below:

1. Personal Leadership skills Development: The growth-oriented, practical, peer-to-peer driven classroom experience will equip young women with skills like self-discovery, confidence, communication, critical thinking, goal setting, innovation and creativity, writing of CVs and interview skills.

2.Vocationalizing of theoretical subjects: Using the school land, the young women with support from the teachers, parents and community will establish farms to grow vegetables (tomatoes, cabbages, beans, carrots) and rear chickens. With support from Kyambogo and Makerere university food science and nutritionist, using simple technology the young women will add value to the agriculture products to produce tomato ketchup, peanut butter and create snack bars from nuts and fruits. They will set up vegetable canteens and sell products to other students, the school and community.

3. Incubation of business ideas and Setting up Businesses:
The Rising Stars will be trained in management, basic business skills, book keeping, business planning and resource mobilization and will be supported to start school-based enterprises. The students will run the businesses for one year with proper systems, management and employees hired from the students to gain work experience.

4. Financial Literacy:
The Rising Stars will be trained in financial literacy as a basis for personal and business budgeting, financial planning and management as well as self-discipline. Using the Village Savings and Loan Associations-VSLAs model, they will collectively mobilize monthly savings to accumulate funds to further invest in their businesses and for personal goals. Saving 10 dollars a month for example, each Rising Star will have $120 a year, with cumulative group savings of 12,000 for a hundred students.

5. Mentorship and Skills Apprenticeship:
The management team of each Entrepreneurship Project will be linked to successful businesswomen for holiday career-related Apprenticeship to increase their management and leadership skills. The young women will have access role models and mentors that will guide them to have planned and rewarding careers, accumulate new skills, get exposure and networking opportunities. Participants will be organized into Business Clusters and link them to markets. Through Mentoring Clubs, each Rising Star will be tasked to mentor two other young women and the two will mentor four to increase peer-to-peer mentoring, support systems, learning, sharing and collaboration for personal, career and business growth.

 
Key Questions for the Community
Young women:

What is your dream job?
What do you want to become when you grow up?
What are 21st Century skills?
Would you take agriculture as a career option?
Who is your role model for your career dreams?
Do you think that you will get a job after leaving school? 


Teachers and school management
How best can the young women be supported to gain work-relevant skills?
What resources exist within the schools that will support the project implementation?
With the hectic academic curriculum, is there room for practical entrepreneurship sessions?
Are you aware of 21st Century skills? 
Parents and people living in the Community:
How best can we support the young women during holiday breaks? 


Private Sector and Business women
Are there possibilities of taking in young women for internship placements?
Would you spend time mentoring a young woman to do a similar business to yours? 


Government: What strategies are in plan to revamp practical agriculture in schools? 

Why the idea will work:
Youth employment creation is critical: Youth Employment is now on top of the Agenda for the East African countries. Creating linkages with government programs will create funding for the program.

Existing resources for sustainability: Being implemented in the school using existing facilities, students and systems, the project will greatly succeed and impact many youth. This model is feasible because 75% of public secondary schools in Uganda have land for farming and there is ready market within the schools for the products.

Agriculture accounts to 75% of country’s revenue: Agriculture is a number one creator of employment and a key sector on a national level. Revamping of Agriculture as a career option has been cited as a key development avenue for the country. Agriculture value chains are also diverse giving room for value addition and youth can engage in any level of the chain.

Evidenced-based Results: Vocational skills backed with business support services, transforms the trajectory of youth’s lives.

Scalability and Adaptability: This idea can work any where in the world, each school or community has something that students and schools can vocationalize, start businesses and get income.

Experienced Implementers with strong partnerships: The implementing organization CEDA International has successfully implemented other projects that have resulted into creation of over 1000 youth employment in the last 5 years. 

BENEFICIARIES EXPERIENCE
........................................................................................................
Example 1: "My Entrepreneurship Project" makes money and creates employment experience

In Tororo Girls School, the Rising Star students start a demonstration farm growing tomatoes, maize, beans, cabbages and cassava. They engage the community and other students for labour. After 4 months of farming, they get a large harvest from the school farm and sell the vegetables to the school to be consumed by all the other girls in the school. They set up a vegetable canteen and start selling vegetables to other students and a market day to the community every Saturday. The students get hands-on experience working at the farm and managing the business, and being employed as workers and also earn salaries for their work. They collectively save enough money to set up a green house to grow more vegetables during the dry season.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Example 2: Mentorship equips youth to pass interviews, get jobs and rise high to earn more income
Lydia Atimu is in her last year of university studying Hotel Management and Tourism. Her dream job is to become an air hostess in one of the regional airlines. Having been abducted by Kony, the rebel fighter in northern Uganda, her life has always been full of hardships and no hope for the future. At the Mentoring Walk event, she meets the Managing Director of South African Airways in Uganda. By sharing her dream during the 15 minutes discussion they had, she learns of an upcoming interview for young interns at South African Airways. With support and guidance from her peers, Lydia polishes up her CV and practices for the interview. Due to her confidence, attitude and demeanor and globally knowledge, she gets a part time employment  as customer agent at the front desk and is confirmed after six months as a permanent employee.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Example 3: Clusters provide exposure to mentors, markets, equip youth with practical skills, money and employment
Ten young women from Kyambogo University start a group producing Peanut Butter and Tomato Ketchup. Through their cluster, they produce enough products and organize an exhibition and sell to their fellow students, parents and people from the community. At the national boot camp, they pitch their idea and grab the attention of Javas Restaurant, a Ugandan owned business that owns a chain of top eating outlets. Javas Restaurant supports the group in quality management, branding, marketing and exhibition skills. The young women get a contract worth $2000 to supply products to Javas Restaurants for one year. 

Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

The idea will mainly benefit young women who despite the fact that they have manage to successfully graduate from university, formal education alone doesn't empower them to transit into the world. With a country of youth being 75% of the population, the challenge of youth unemployment challenge will be best be addressed by governments, business and civil society working together as partners to create lasting, sustainable solutions, therefore collaborative action will be key in creating better impact for the program. To program will bridge the gap between education and work by upgrading vocational skills subjects, encourage schools to form closer relations with local companies, embrace apprenticeships and promote vocational skills in order to counteract the country’s obsession with academic laurels. Government and relevant Ministries: This being a systemic challenge within the education curricula, the Ministry of Education and sports will be a critical partner to gradually integrate Leadership, Mentoring and Entrepreneurship skills into the existing school curricula for all students to improve youth’s transition into work. Other relevant governments departments like Ministry of Gender, labour and Youth Development, Minister of Industries and Co-operatives will also be partnered with to increase budgets towards youth development programs and ease access to the National Youth Development Fund to finance the businesses started by the youth. Food and Agricultural Organization-FAO will be approached to provide technical and financial support to the agricultural projects through the tele-food program. Through advocacy and effective communication, the program will attract government to commit other economic structures like setting up Business Incubation Centres to support the initiative for country level implementation. Private Companies: The Program will create links to the Coca-Cola 5by20 Program that will provide women jobs to 5 million women by 2020 by creating small businesses in the Coca-Cola value chain. The young women will also be connected to various value chains for companies like Procter and Gamble, Unilever, MTN and Mukwano Industries to have access to discounted products, get training as sales agents or micro-retailers. Financial Institutions: Barclays, citi Bank, DFCU Bank, Strome Micro-finance, Pride Micro-finance: to support business planning and financial literacy, open accounts for the program beneficiaries and other young women in the school and provide affordable credit at growth stages of the businesses. The financial institutions benefit from the monthly deposits and transactions. Telecommunication Companies: Ericsson Africa: provide computers and tablets to enable mentors and the young women to access 21st century tools: audios, videos, publications and other interactive learning materials. Smile Communications: to provide internet routers and internet data to the schools. Mentors and Volunteers: Medium size businesses will provide women employees as role models and mentors for young women. A group of strong, young and committed mentors will deliver the program activities. These are university graduates who are employed and provide their time as part of their career development and community service. As a result of their support, they are also rigorously trained to enhance their leadership skills and are connected to the CEDA International network world wide. Parents and teachers/lecturers: These will be trained to support the programs and act as support mentors and integrate the skills, disciplines and competences into existing family and community structures and systems in order to impact more youth.

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

With a strong conviction that “the greatest injustice facing Uganda and other African country's youth is not poverty, corruption, AIDS, or lack of access to education; the most profound problem is failure of the education systems to empower youth to solve these challenges.” The idea will bridge the mismatch between the skills that young people offer and the ones that employers need by equipping youth with 21st century skills relevant for the job market. Even for young women who may not embrace entrepreneurship, this project will equip them with Self-belief that will get them to apply for jobs, good writing skills will get them through the door to the interview, Communication and Confidence will get them the job, good Attitude and Character will keep them employed and continuous Mentorship will make them rising to the top. Running of small business will provide a unique opportunity to the young women to acquire hands-on experiences in micro-enterprise management, ignite their entrepreneurial skills and also increase survival of their businesses and spur their growth and income. Illustration of the beneficiary Halima Nabukera is a young woman with no work and few prospects: at 22-year-old, she is graduating from Makerere University in 1 year with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science, Nutrition and Technology. With no work experience, no networks, no finances and no hope for the future Halima's prospects of getting a job or starting a business are minimal. Enrolling in the Cathy Project Halima develops her leadership, entrepreneurship and life skills. A mentor helps her to gain self-confidence to design a business idea to start packaging nutritious fresh fruits for corporate company workers. She writes a good business plan, trains in packaging, branding and marketing, brushes up her communication skills and her dressing. She is introduced to a young women's Mentoring Club in her community to start saving and for peer-to-peer learning and is connected to a trade association and an experienced woman entrepreneur for skills apprenticeship and mentorship. By saving 150,000 ($60), Halima proudly starts selling fruits to her other university students at the faculty and in the halls of residence. After 6 months of support, Hal's Fresh Fruits and Juices is officially launched, her main customers are people who work in Banks and Telecommunication company offices near the university.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Build on existing school programs: The Program will building on the existing partnerships and networks established by CEDA International's Rising Stars Mentoring Program in secondary school, the UniAction Program in Universities and the wealth of experience from the Youth Engaged Program that runs an employment and business centre for out-of-school youth. Pilot project: This project will initially work with 4 secondary schools and 3 universities around the country. It will work with sectors that have high market demand (arts and craft), are in National Plan (agriculture), and easy to produce and market (foods and pastries). It will also consider sustainability by utilizing community resources and support, access to technical expertise, relevancy to careers, and scalability of the model for adaption in other school environments and countries. Pro-type of the model: For one year, the program will specifically focus on strengthening and refining the Rising Stars 5D CYCLE® model, gather key learnings, evidence, documentation and develop a strong Monitoring and Evaluation system that will enable the Program’s future scaling up. The Program will engage, collaborate and learn from other youth employment programs about the best practices and most impactful and sustainable solutions. Scale-up: After rigorous testing, a Pro-type model will be finalized and ready for scale up by 2017. The model will be shared for adaptation by various organization implementing youth employment programs. Efforts will be put in working with development partners like MasterCard Foundation, International Labour Organization World Bank and African Development Bank to mainstream youth employment into their strategic plans with emphasis on vocational and entrepreneurship skills development.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

- Sharing and learning from others about result-based and sustainable solutions to youth un employment - Sharing of models, research and learning - Learning how to work with governments to provide budgets for youth development work for civil society organizations - Exploring collaborations and Partnerships with other community leaders

The idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • Keen to prototype it, find partners and pursue implementation

120 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Edward Semambo
Team

This is an interesting and bold idea Rehmah, I particularly love your problem analysis and strategy!

Photo of Alexia Parks
Team

Well done! I am happy to support this exciting project through mentorship and links to resources.

Photo of Job Oyebisi
Team

Wow what a laudable idea. Great work Rhemah. My own idea integrates into yours. My idea is the use of mobile technology to facilitate connections to coaches and masters for apprencticeship. You can check it out and I look forward to working with you.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Wonderful ideas, it will be great to talk to Ericsson Africa with head quarters in South Africa, they recently gave me 20 computers and samsung tablets for e-mentoring. Also you can approach a telecom company to give you routers and monthly data, that will help alot. But I can also share audios and videos that we use in school where there limited internet. Also check out how this platform NEXTWOMEN works, I am a Mentor there: http://www.thenextwomen.com/mentoring/item/rehmah-kasule

Let's keep in touch off line to see how I can support you, wherever I can.

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Hey team,
Here's the beginning of the customer journey, based on Remah's notes. You'll see notes at the bottom in the area where we'd plug in key touch points as youth go through the program. It's a jpeg, and formatted to be uploaded in the post body itself, so it may display funky in your viewer. Looking forward to tweaking and updating the maps! http://goo.gl/eWVDBP

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

You are a STAR :), SO HOW DO I insert it in the body?

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

I cant edit it since it is a jpeg, let me send you my notes for you to insert. Thanx.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Illustration of the beneficiary
Example1: Youth Starting own business while still in university:
Halima Nabukera is a young woman with no work and few prospects: at 22-year-old, she is graduating from Makerere University in 1 year with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science, Nutrition and Technology. With no work experience, no networks, no finances and no hope for the future Halima's prospects of getting a job or starting a business are minimal. Enrolling in the Cathy Project Halima develops her leadership, entrepreneurship and life skills. A mentor helps her to gain self-confidence to design a business idea to start packaging nutritious fresh fruits for corporate company workers. She writes a good business plan, trains in packaging, branding and marketing, brushes up her communication skills and her dressing. She is introduced to a young women's Mentoring Club in her community to start saving and for peer-to-peer learning and is connected to a trade association and an experienced woman entrepreneur for skills apprenticeship and mentorship. By saving 150,000 ($60), Halima proudly starts selling fruits to her other university students at the faculty and in the halls of residence. After 6 months of support, Hal's Fresh Fruits and Juices is officially launched, her main customers are people who work in Banks and Telecommunication company offices near the university.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Example 2: "My Entrepreneurship Project" makes money and creates employment experience
In Tororo Girls School, the Rising Star students start a demonstration farm growing tomatoes, maize, beans, cabbages and cassava. They engage the community and other students for labour. After 4 months of farming, they get a large harvest from the school farm and sell the vegetables to the school to be consumed by all the other girls in the school. They set up a vegetable canteen and start selling vegetables to other students and a market day to the community every Saturday. The students get hands-on experience working at the farm and managing the business, and being employed as workers and also earn salaries for their work. They collectively save enough money to set up a green house to grow more vegetables during the dry season.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Example 3: Mentorship equips youth to pass interviews, get jobs and rise high to earn more income
Lydia Atimu is in her last year of university studying Hotel Management and Tourism. Her dream job is to become an air hostess in one of the regional airlines. Having been abducted by Kony, the rebel fighter in northern Uganda, her life has always been full of hardships and no hope for the future. At the Mentoring Walk event, she meets the Managing Director of South African Airways in Uganda. By sharing her dream during the 15 minutes discussion they had, she learns of an upcoming interview for young interns at South African Airways. With support and guidance from her peers, Lydia polishes up her CV and practices for the interview. Due to her confidence, attitude and demeanor and globally knowledge, she gets a part time employment as customer agent at the front desk and is confirmed after six months as a permanent employee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Example 4: Clusters provide exposure to mentors, markets, equip youth with practical skills, money and employment
Ten young women from Kyambogo University start a group producing Peanut Butter and Tomato Ketchup. Through their cluster, they produce enough products and organize an exhibition and sell to their fellow students, parents and people from the community. At the national boot camp, they pitch their idea and grab the attention of Javas Restaurant, a Ugandan owned business that owns a chain of top eating outlets. Javas Restaurant supports the group in quality management, branding, marketing and exhibition skills. The young women get a contract worth $2000 to supply products to Javas Restaurants for one year.

Photo of Saidah Najjuma
Team

Rehmah, in you write up I didn't see the questions to be asked to the community but I saw in your comments that you visited a number of schools and talked to several youth. It will be good to share those questions and results as foundation for the direction of your project. 

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

We have incorporated the key questions we asked the community during the research. And we are finalizing the outcomes of the sessions.

Photo of Madina Nakibirige
Team

Rehmah,
This is a great idea but I have some input for you, hope it will be useful as you finalize the project design
1. Agriculture and fine arts and crafts are very good to be vocationalized for secondary schools because the schools have farms and the students can easily be mobilized. For universities, you may have to focus on food science and nutrition, and fine arts and crafts. Unless those that really study agriculture as a course University students may not be very active in agricultural activities. That means that in universities you focus on the value addition component of your strategy. Makerere university has a very good faculty for food science and technology with neww innovative ideas and the students are very engaging.
2. Include modules for branding and marketing so that the students come up with business names, make logos and get practical experience marketing their products either in supermarkets or community or at exhibitions. That experience of rejections, making sales and overall communication to the public will stay with them for life.
3. In the project, you need to always refere back to the objectives of the funder, for example when they talk of pathways to employment for me I take these as either youth gaining skills that are relevant, experiencing practical employment or even interacting with people who are employed. Therefore your interventions should be broad and stretch up to holiday breaks so that the youth think about enterprises outside school because that is their ultimate destination.
4. I am not sure if you are doing budgets right now, but it will be good to start thinking about that in relation to your objectives, the results you want to see and link them to the activities. By you clearly streamlining the activities, the budget will become easy to work out. Remember that each activity requires a budget line. In this case focus on activities that will have direct link to results and that will be measured when you get to the stage of designing a log frame work.

Hope I haven't complicated your ideas. Good morning.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

No Madina, you haven't complicated the ideas. We are working on the budget and result log framework tomorrow, so these will come in handy. Thanx much

Photo of Shamim CEDA
Team

Dear Rehmah
My feed back will be for you to focus on Apprenticeship and Mentorship opportunities. During the design of the project, it will be good to contact and pool together a list of companies where the students will do their apprenticeships. It has become very hard to convince companies to take on students because they are pressed for bottom line and targets each month. Taking on students feels like a burden to them. In regards for successful agri-businesses you may have to consider technoserve.org and also link up with other organizations that are doing youth development work especially in economic empowerment. I know ILO, Enterprise Uganda, Educate!,have very good programs where you can pick some ideas.

Partnerships are critical for the success of the project. You need to therefore approach them as soon as possible. Also don't be shy about approaching government for support, sometime they have funds that no one ever utilizes. They can also be very helpful in technical assistance. There is a USAID funded project called Chinomix with a specific arm for agriculture (maize and beans), see if they have some funding or other resources you can utilize. I am sure they give you some agronomists to support your project. As a caution: do not allow to use GMS genetically modified seeds, they are getting a lot of negative reviews. 

Lastly be very clear about roles, responsibilities and terms during the set up of "My School Entrepreneurship Project." The schools may think that since the land is their own, the money from the products is theirs. Establish that from the start by signing MOUs, giving contracts to teachers that will support the project and letters of appointments to the students that will work. That way it will start as a real social enterprise not just another school project. 

All the best.

Photo of Liz Duffy
Team

HOT FEEDBACK -- I really like your 5D model!
COLD FEEDBACK/CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM -- A few sections of your proposal are so dense that they are hard to read. You might consider shortening them or bolding or underlying key points in those sections for those who want to get a quick overview of your plan and so that it is easy to find your many good ideas.

Good luck.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thanx Liz, You are right, just my computer mis behaving, I bold them but when I paste them the formatting goes out. May be I need computer lessons!!! :)

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta's view about youth empowerment. He was speaking at a youth conference PAKASA4 in Uganda on 23rd August. He emphasized the need for equipping youth with 21st century skills and pointed out agriculture as a key sector that will create employment opportunities for young people.
http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/659020-kenyatta-human-capital-biggest-asset-for-e-africa.html

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Wow Rehmah – sounds like your team has been doing lots of great work here! What stage of the project are you currently at? Do you have some partners and funding already in place? Have you been able to demonstrate the success of the model (via an early, lightweight experiment) in order to bring on more partners and funders? We're excited to learn more...

We also hope that, with your experience in this domain & our focus on collaboration, that you'll join conversations across the challenge to help others strengthen their ideas as well.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Meena,
Thank you for the input, yes my team has been blessed to contribute to youth development over the past five years. Our work is currently funded by MacArthur Foundation is funding our program in secondary schools under the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) is a multi-donor collaborative that aims to accelerate innovation in secondary education, programming, research and development in East Africa, India, and Nigeria. Our work is focused on piloting transition of girls from secondary school to university and into work emphasizing 21st century skills relevant to work. In the past we have also had funding from US Mission Kampala and that launched our work in secondary schools and in universities. Food and Agriculture Organization -FAO funded two projects including offering green houses and other agricultural in put and technical advice and were set up in two girls secondary schools-Gayaza high school and Nabisunsa girls school. We have also had successful initiatives in arts and crafts, baking and cooking and fashion designing. However all those projects have been on general youth empowerment. This project will therefore help us focus on entrepreneurship development with specific measurable results. Currently, we are looking at various funders with specific focus, for example banks are interested in business plans and financial literacy, which is a major component of entrepreneurship development; where as other companies are interested in branding and marketing. I am excited about this and need support, guidance and collaborations from the community. 

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Rehma,
Glad to be part of your team. I am excited that I have found three ideas which are exactly like what I would like to do. Whereas your focus is on only girls and women, I am interested in dealing with both sex as each is facing specific challenges and has great ideas and resources to contribute.
I have not yet thought of getting down to secondary schools but would like to start with out of campus graduates as I build on team of mentors to support reach in campus students.
How do you suggest we can refine the two ideas and do something great for our youth right here in Uganda?

Thanks
Alex

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Rehmah, I already have a team of nutritionists , food technologists, behavioural scientists, rural economists and dietitians ready to roll on with our coaching and job creation activity. I wonder if you can tap into their expertise and pilot your model. May be we should meet and up discuss.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Being big fans of collaboration here at OpenIDEO, we're excited at the prospect of you both joining forces to strengthen each others initiatives!

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Alex,
Let's explore the mentors you already have and the ones we have, the ones in Food technology are critical because the project wont stop at agriculture as just growing plants, but our President emphasizes Value Addition. I will share some interesting value additions that young women have come up with including making snack bars out of vegetables.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Yes Rehma. I have quite creative young professionals who can add value to the team. Beyond just food technologists, the team has nutritionists and dietitians as well as qualitative researchers to help with consumer research.

Photo of Tonny Bukeera
Team

Dear Rehmah,

I am happy to see you using the Human Centered Design in developing this idea. I am sure this will go a long way to ensure desirability, feasibility and viability of the project. It will also play a critical role in the development of sustainable strategies and approaches.

The "Personal Leadership skills Development component "will help to equip the young people with High Order Thinking skills that will definitely be critical in driving the socio-economic developments of the 21st Century.

I am a Professional Agricultural Extension Worker, willing to support you in further designing of the Agricultural training offerings and practically be involved in some of these offerings.

Agency for Development and Empowerment Ltd, an organisation I lead is also working with Hon. Victoria Ssekitoleko, a former Minister of Agriculture in the Ugandan government and former United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Regional Representative to Eastern and Southern Africa (currently the Executive Director-Speakers Forum) to design a program focusing on promotion of public speaking. I think, this is an area that we can explore further.

The Agency also piloted an initiative called the "National Annual Youth Inventions and Innovations Exhibition" a multi-stakeholder practical and Social Inventions and Innovations driven program that focuses on identification, engagement and promotion of young people in possession of highly practical and creative inventions and innovations that have potential to create employment and networking opportunities. The objective is to provide youth with an avenue to contribute to the National and Region Development Process, create a better sense of ownership and contribute to sustainable development of the region.

It targets individual youth, youth groups and youth based organisations involved in innovation space and Service providers (Government institutions (Ministries responsible for Youth Affairs) & Institutions and Statutory Bodies, Youth Councils, and Supporting Organizations including private sector, policy makers, academic institutions and NGOs, Financial institutions, telecom service providers, religious Institutions, International development partners and Inter-Government)

Since "innovation" is a key component of "Catch Them Young" mentorship program,
we can also explore potential synergies.

Best regards
Tonny

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Sounds like an exciting opportunity to collaborate, Tonny. And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can appreciate who they're collaborating with here. Think skills, experience, passions & more. Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge...

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Tonny,
Small world it is, Victoria Sekitoleko is a great friend of mine, she introduced me to FOA where I got 2 projects in agriculture, now being implemented in Gayaza and Nabisusnsa Girls school. And she was President of my Rotary Club and I was her Secretary, I am the President next year for Rotary Club of Kampala-Impala and have participated in speakers forum and TEDx Nakaserowomen talk. It is exciting to see minds and people connect. OpenIdeo is indeed a great forum (not sure why I didnt know it before). But yes, it will really be great to connect with you, in the coming weeks, let's explore meeting in person in Kampala. Great great great, I am excited.

Photo of Tonny Bukeera
Team

I agree,

OpenIdeo is a great platform.

Looking forward to meeting you.

God bless you

Photo of Muganzi Jones
Team

Rehmah. Cathy is amazing. We have enormous resources and all young people need is empowerment and education to dive into them. I lead a youth agency that focuses on youth unemployment. Youth At Work Initiative does empowerment and mentoring programs to the young people in Leadership, Entrepreneurship putting alot of emphasis on social enterprising. we also do advocacy to universities, workshops and companies to open up their fabrication centers to the public use so that we can propel innovations and incubation. We have designed programs in conjunction with College of Public Programs, Arizona State University, and surely we can partner on moving CATHY forward.

We are also much focused on agribusinesses and i can see how helpful can be in both programs. I would actually want to link up with you Tonny.

This is what i have realized! The issue of youth unemployment cannot be solved by a single effort, model or plan. Its team effort using different avenues. CATHY is incredible. You have my hand on this.

Best,

Martin

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you Martin for this input, you are right, we need collaborative action for greater impact. As I refine my concept, let me send you an email with afew questions so that we discuss how Youth At Work can really be engaged from design to implementation. Another partnership offer. Wow.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Thanks Rehma for taking time to discuss with me how we can collaborate to operationalize this idea alongside my own https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/ideas/fresh-ideas-for-success

Looking forward to more fruitful engagements. See you in the Pakasa Forum tomorrow.
Alex

Photo of Yahya Kasujja
Team

Another Great Initiative from Hajjat Rehma, Cathy comes at the right time when Africans need to change there approach if the community is to change from survival to success, actually I believe the biggest challenge in Africa is the education system, imagine spending 20years in school being taught how to pass exams without getting any practical skills that are necessary in this competitive world, I believe Cathy is the right prescription for this pandemic that is killing Africa, I have a very bright friend who graduated with a degree in IT and right now he is managing inventory at one of the stores for one of the logistics companies in Uganda, I believe if this guy had an opportunity like the one Cathy is meant to create, he would be busy designing software like Facebook and living "the American dream in Africa" instead he only uses internet to chat because entrepreneurship is not in his DNA and it could be too late to instill it. I would be proud to be part of this project team...

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Brenda, given the wealth of agriculture in Teso I am sure it would make lots sense to have the initiate in Teso kere. Hajjati I know a number of NGOs involved in agriculture, value addition and nutrition in Teso. We have a starting point!

Photo of Saidah Najjuma
Team

As the dean of the Faculty of Social sciences at Ndejje University, I totally support this initiative. Being an academia and having interacted with students for the last 15 Years, I continuously appreciate the need for practical skills in order to empower young people. Many times, students get dis-oriented in their final year of study at University because they are not clear on how to link what they learn in class with the requirements of work. We have worked previously with CEDA International to mentor out female students into leadership skills and that has helped to ease their transition into the field of employment. I believe this is a great idea which will contribute to the transformation of Uganda when implemented. We are ready to support CEDA in the in design and in the implementation of the project when called upon. Mbooge Saidah Najjuma, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Ndejje University

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Great to hear from academia. This is very encouraging for my own experience as someone who has been through Universities in Uganda as a student and lecturer and now as someone engaged in mentoring University students indicates we need to create lasting partnerships with academia to empower our youth. Prof John Muyonga of Makerere in the recent graduation of nutrition fellows said it is not fair to expect the University to address all the capacity issues of students. He called for people with work experience, fellow graduates and even students to help bridge the skills gap by sharing with students and building the soft skills. I cannot agree with him more.

The partnership between CATHY and my own innovation centre https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/ideas/fresh-ideas-for-success is one way of how we can build coalitions to support training institutions to address these gaps.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you Alex and Saida for your input. Thank you for the support from Ndejje and Kyambogo University. In the coming few weeks, we shall firm the partnership.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Khin,thanks for sharing the website of young enterprise. I like the challenge approach this young enterprises uses. I am certain these kind of challenges would keep the youth interested and guessing what next skills sets they will get.
Rehma we should consider such approaches in our prototype..

Alex

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Khin,
Thank you for the link, it is great and fits perfectly in our work. i like the way they divided it into teachers, volunteers etc. These are great examples on how I am going to organize the answers that I got from the brainstorming questions that we had with the teachers and youth in the last few days.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

UP DATE: Results from the Brainstorming and community visits 18th-24th August.

Dear All.
As we come to the end of this ideas generation, I would like to thank each and everyone of you for this incredible and life changing opportunity. Believe me, I have read almost each and every idea. I am very proud of being part of this platform and we tank openideo for giving us this forum. The ideas generated and partnership formed are true testimony that we are ready to "heal and change the world and that each one of use can make a difference." I have learnt so much during this process and my head is now full of ideas moving on, and I see myself adapting a piece from each idea to strengthen our youth empowerment Model. The ideas generated are incredible and will bring transformational changes to our communities, countries and the world over.

This process can be summarized in: Maya Angelou's powerful words "When you learn, teacher others, when you get, give others. And my favouirte African proverbs "Leadership is like a candle, one can light many without losing its glow, but together they create more heat and better light." and "When you walk alone, you go very fast, but when you take others with you, you go very far."

Let me try to summarize our thoughts moving on. It has been a very fruitful, productive and engaging 5 days as we purposefully put my ear on the ground to get insights from the community by engaging them in the design phase of this project.
1.United States Peace Corps Girl Tech camp: As a Motivational Speaker at the camp on Thursday 21st August, I used the opportunity to brainstorm with 80 young girls (13-18 years) about their lives, employment opportunities and specifically about how we can bring CATHY project to life. Incredible ideas the youth had... I will summarize them below.
2. Partner schools and universities: we visited 3 universities and 5 secondary schools to really establish what is one the ground. Since it is a holiday break, we didn't talk to students but talked to the teachers and management of the schools. So far 3 schools and 2 universities have agreed to work with us. They have the facilities to implement the project and they are excited to support us.
3. We attended the Pakasa (literally meaning "work and make money") a youth forum that brought together over 3000 youth from across the county to showcase their work, meet potential funders and partners. With the theme "creating opportunities for youth in East Africa", the President of Kenya and Chairman of the East African Community, Uhuru Kenyatta was the Guest Speaker. He emphasized the need for engaging youth in agriculture, need to build young people's skills for 21st century work environment and need for collaborative action between private sector, government and civil society. I had an opportunity to ask President Kenyatta about what plans they had to revamp agriculture in schools. I also invited Alex Mokori, our team member to attend and also Wekesa in Kenya watched it live on television. I also used the opportunity to talk to 12 youth that have successful enterprises and 20 youth desirous in changing their lives. 
4. We visited an agriculture show at Makerere University to explore ideas that we can incorporate in our project. One business woman from "We are all about Food"offered her farm for the youth to visit as a model farm and to holiday employment. One critical partnership formed!!! (follow up with a meeting this week). 

S

Photo of Khin Tye
Team

Terrific work! I thought you might like to see the UK's model of entrepreneurship. The charity Young Enterprise http://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/ started more than 20 years ago. I know a managing director of a global bank crediting Young Enterprise in starting him on business when in early secondary school.

Photo of Shamim CEDA
Team

Dear Rehmah,

I would like to thank you for the great work you are doing for the girl child and women in our country. I have interacted with the single mothers whom you have empowered in Kampala Urban Slum areas and for sure, the impact is very significant. Specifically Kabanyoro Margaret's success story was very amazing to see that she can now pay school fees for her four children from her small business that she started early this year!!!!!!!!!!. If this project comes on board, it will therefore, be a great opportunity for other young women in the different parts of the country to be transformed. CATHY is really a great initiative!!!!!

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you Shamim.

Photo of Madina Nakibirige
Team

Indeed for the youth of Uganda, agriculture is a critical way of empowering them and sure strategy for job creation. Itis one area that has not fully been exploited.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

So true Madina, agriculture will boost youth employment in Uganda.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear community member, here is a Funding opportunity: http://www.oer-impact.net,
http://www.itu.int/en/action/women/gem/Pages/award.aspx
https://ideas.itu.int/category/2184

Photo of Rajendra Bendre
Team

Wow! that's a lot of good work Rehmah.

Please take a look at a developing Idea that I have posted at

https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/ideas/creative-wandering-a-pathway-to-design-thinking-creative-confidence-systems-thinking-and-beyond-for-youngsters

I would be delighted to explore with you how we can bring experiential learning in the area of Entrepreneurship. Please read through my idea and the PDF which has some details and let me know how we can work together since my second pilot begins next month at my son's school here in Mumbai, India. We can pilot some of your Ideas right away!.

Also please do let me know your thoughts on the Idea that I have posted and how it might help your cause as well.

Best wishes from Incredible India on your awesome adventure! Applaud included!

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dare Rajendra, I think you saw my comment. We would love to see this idea in your son's school in Mumbai and other parts of the world. My team is now working on the operations manual which we shall share with everyone interested in implementing it. This concept can be implemented anywhere in the world, each school, each country has some subject they can turn into a vocational project to engage the youth. I am excited!!!

***Remind me to connect you to a guy is South Africa who is a wiz of Systems a Thinking , he is incredible.

Photo of Rajendra Bendre
Team

Dear Rehmah,

Just got back from work and read your comments. Would love to explore the parts from your operational manual that works well with students between grade 5 to 8 for the forthcoming pilot.

Also do connect me to the Systems Thinking wiz. Can't wait to get connected and explore more ways to make this really engaging for older youth.

Do let me know when you want to begin. We can connect on skype if you want. My skype id is raju.bendre.

I will be in various calls during the week and we have our favorite Ganesha festival coming up this friday. We will have Ganesh our diety at home for 5 days and would be a good time to get a share of the wisdom from your part of the world. So do let me know how soon we can connect to get this going.

In the meantime would like to share the following URL:
Ordinary love - U2 from Nelson Mandela - Long walk to freedom.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j59PdtpURWk

For lyrics you could check out the following URL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0XJ8oU29Gc

Any system at any scale could use an indispensable component - Ordinary Love. That would be a high leverage point in a complex system.

Photo of Andrew Nalani
Team

CATHY is a game changer not only for Uganda, but for Africa as a whole. The 5D cycle approach reaches beyond the surface. I agree with Mr. Kasujja below that at the core of the challenges that young people face is the way they are educated. We are still stuck in the model of rote memorization. The experiential model of learning takes us beyond mere memorizing for passing an exam, and engages critical thinking, creativity & innovation, and reflection on one's experiences and lessons learned. As a youth who has had exposure to the 5D cycle, I cannot say how instrumental these skills have been as I've emerged into my adulthood. Thank you, David Kafambe, for introducing me to this project and the skills therein. My support is all yours, CATHY.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

I like the phrase "Game Changer", President Uhuru Kenyatta used it on Saturday at the Pakasa youth forum in Kampala while address the issue of how we can create opportunities for youth in East Africa.

Photo of David Kafambe
Team

Dear Rehmah,

Thank you for your thoughtful insights. This is a great initiative which should take off soon. I like the idea that through the project, the youth will balance between academic work and the life skills. In Uganda, parents are always worried about taking away their children focus to academics. Balancing these two takes away this fear.

The initiative also addresses the holistic approach to programming. Having the buy in of the teachers, parents and local leaders is something that should be encouraged for all programming in Uganda.

I am glad that this is an Initiative starting in Uganda soon. Keep it up Rehmah

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you David for the positive re-enforcement. We won't do this alone, we shall call upon all of you during implementation.

Photo of Radosveta Stamenkova
Team

I think that initially it is a great idea. And somehting more - it is well reapized. And it makes ar eal difference for the young girls in Uganda! Wish you lots of successes and opportunities for further dissemination !

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Radosveta, you are right we all need real work experience, unfortunately with the large number of youth companies can afford to take in so many for internships. Do you face this kind of challenge in your country, do you see this kind of idea work there?

Photo of Agnes Nalwanga
Team

Great project. I cant wait to see it start. I have seen the work of CEDA International as shared to me by David. This organization is doing incredible work of mentoring young women especially in schools. As a Ugandan woman who went through our Ugandan Education system, i cant help but to through my weight behind this initiative, CATHY.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Agnes, we may mourn and complain about our education system, but no one is going to transform it except ourselves. That is why our work is critical.

Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Halo Rehmah, u did well at #pakasa4, lots of questions and convo's happened on line too. I wish we did a storify to capture all this convos ...

On a country profile we "had" - Agriculture clubs- 4k clubs-

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Due to the security of President Uhuru Kenyatta, personal camera's were limited, but I am getting the clip especially where he talked about skilling youth, opportunities from regional integration, use of technology and agriculture as a source of employment opportunities for youth.

Photo of wekesa zab
Team

4K CLUB meaning: KUUNGANA - to unite KUFANYA - to do KUSAIDIA - to help KENYA....

4K Clubs is a concept that began in the early 1960s after Kenya’s independence with the aim of uniting Kenyans to work together to build the country’s agricultural sector. Today, majority of primary schools in Kenya have 4K clubs.

http://rafikiwamaendeleo.org/education_agriculture4kclubs.html

But as u knew Agriculture, Music , Business studies, Art and Craft , Home science were term non examinable subject in the Kenyan primary school's curriculum since 2003- perception is they are less important ;(.. Because is an exam heavy system and the matrix for success is the overall mean score - studying a subject that won't be examined/tested/graded= a waste of time.....

http://www.agriculturesnetwork.org/magazines/east-africa/agriculture-and-extension-education/agriculture-education-key-to-development

Benefits of 4 k club are still wildly felt and enjoyed by rural communities..

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Wekesa,
Thank you for the link, let me look at it. And you are right, such clubs really leave their foot prints behind. I am excited about our ideas, let's hit the ground running.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

UP DATE: ideas to build the Prototype for light weight implementation  
Below is the summary of the ideas that we collected and that have been incorporated in our project as we design  and finalize the prototype.

1. Focus on Vocationalizing Agriculture: During the pilot, the project will focus on Vocationalizing agriculture to set up "My School Entrepreneurship Project", Art and Craft and Home Economics and Nutrition will become support channels. The project will therefore set up enterprises in the agricultural value chain from growing seedlings for sale to actual growing of vegetables, trading of products, processing and packaging. Apart from setting up vegetable canteens, the students will also add value to the products to get more income. Specific value added examples from the youth were: making porridge from dry vegetables, making peanut butter, packing roasted corn and nuts, making jam from fruits and selling snack bars from fruits. The art and home economic and nutrition will come in handy in the branding, marketing, processing and packaging. These will also be independent businesses offering services. Vocationalizing agriculture is very feasible and sustainable because most of the resources are readily available: land, seeds, inputs, labour etc; and it will give the youth enough room to experiment and explore various Enterpreneurship projects. The schools are ready to provide the land, enage the students and Invlove the parents and community leaders in the implemtation of the project.

2. Use of ICTs-information and Communications Technology: the youth would love the project to include use of various ICTs in the project: e-mentoring, use of audio and video presentations, availing them with e-learning materials and other interactive tools, connectivity to other youth entrepreneurs and students around the world for peer-learning and collaborations. The project will also use social media and phone sms messaging for visibility and wider reach especially for university students. Technology will also be used for value addition to agricultural products and challenge youth to think of innovative technological ideas.

3. Engaging parents and teachers and community leaders: The project will deeply and routinely engage parents and teachers and community leaders to get their buy-in the project, and for them to own it for successful implementation and sustainabilty. There is a strong caution about how deep the project will enage the youth in order not to lose focus on their academic work. Another caution was balancing cultures, religions and modern values without conflicting one another. Parents specifically requested for sessions to be designed for them to support the youth better during the holiday breaks.

4. Partnerships and collaborations: With the strong focus for the governments in East Africa to design youth employment opportunities, agriculture is a key sector that in critical. The team is going to use the next 4 weeks to approach the relevant ministries and especially key contacts that were got during the Pakasa youth forum. Other funding avenues will be followed to ensure that the project has a strong foundation. Another critical insight came from private sector, there are very limited internship opportunities for youth especially in Small and Medium enterprises. On a positive note, business owners are committed to visit schools to mentor the youth in their enterprises and also host some for job shadowing in their businesses. 

5. Piloting: In Uganda, in collaboration with Alex Mokori, we shall start with 4 secondary schools and 2 universities, in Kenya Wekesa Zablon is going to pilot the project in 1 school and Rajendra Bedre will pilot 1 school in India.

6. Training resources: The project will adapt the CEDAInternational 5D Cycle model, a powerful personal, business and community development tool tested for the last 5 years. Other tools will be gathered from other openideo community members like Avi Solomon's "Youth Design Thinking workshops", Leigh Cullen's Pop up Bus, Sergio Marrero's "LifeLeap, and Dave Zinsman's "The Book of Lifelong Learning" among others.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Team,
I have had two very fruitful brainstorming sessions with Alex Mokori as a key collaborator in Uganda, I visited a school farm and talked to the managers, school administration and students.i also talked to parents around the school and it is amazing the resources and support that they are ready to give. I also visited afew supermarkets to explore ways of value addition looking at existing products in the shops and I finally went to Makerere university to see what technology can be used but the youth to dais their projects. I will share tomorrow. Very tired now... Cheers!!!

Photo of Leigh Cullen
Team

Dear Rehmah, I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

It's exciting to hear that both you and Alex are collaborating live. Way to go! We all look forward to hearing what insights have come out of your brainstorming sessions together.

Your energy and enthusiasm are contagious. It makes it easy to visualize how young women look forward to participating in your programs. Hats off to you! From a high level, I can see how this initiative can be shaped to aid young women around the world, to help displace workplace gender gaps/issues.

I, personally, am learning quite a bit from you. As I've mentioned to you before, I consider you my mentor. :) And sincerest of thanks for all of your Pop Up Bus pointers.

All the best,
Leigh

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Hi Leigh, I got Alex invited for the youth forum we had where President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta was speaking, and we met in person, yes...this platform introduced us and gave us that opportunity to meet. Alex is a wonderful and enthusiastic young man and we had a brainstorming meeting where we talked about the strategic partnerships that we can create, how we can practically implement this project and support his to grow...and of course I had an opportunity to ask President Kenyatta about what plans they had to revamp agriculture in schools. It was a great weekend.

And... Great that you take me as your mentor, mentoring women is my passion. I love Maya Angelou's line "When you learn, teacher others, when you get, give others. And my favouirte African proverbs "Leadership is like a candle, one can light many without losing its glow, but together they create more heat and better light." and "When you walk alone, you go very fast, but when you take others with you, you go very far."

This is so true on this forum and community, it feels like we have known each other for years, and the ideas generated are incredible and will bring transformational changes to our communities, countries and the world over.

Photo of Umar Weswala
Team

Hajat Rehmah, go go go. At The Community Agenda, we are with you as always.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Hey Umar, Community Agenda is our big partner at CEDA International, when we come to engaging youth in technology and media, we shall definetly reach out to you. Thank you.

Photo of Naki Mukasa
Team

Finally,someone has come up with something that will no only develop us as youth but also enable those before and after us to live in peace and health. This is fantastic!! Bravo

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

I really like the fact that you have mentioned peace. When he was still Secretary General for the UN, Kofi Annan said that "Countries that empower their youth, give them the right education, provide health care, food and employment are more stable than those that neglect the young population." Our work is very critical in creating pathways for employment for youth who make up to 75% of the population.

Photo of Kamoga Hamidu
Team

great work. i think this will help the youth to change their attitude towards work. because attitude is the most important factor of success that today most youths lack. thanx

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

You are right Hamidu, I always say "Your ATTITUDE determines your ALTITUDE" ......and the youth's attitude towards work is definetly something to work on.

Photo of Brenda Maraka
Team

Way to go Rehema. This is a great initiative and I hope it reaches schools in Teso too.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you Brenda, any positive words will keep us focused. Yes, we shall reach schools in Teso as the project progresses. Let me research about organization's working in that region for strategic partnerships. Will keep you updated.

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Curriculum framework draft 1

I just started a Google doc with a 2x2 matrix to frame how we think about curricular design assets for the My School Entrepreneurship Project in Uganda.

There are two basic types of entrepreneurial instruction:
Y axis: "needs based" as generally seen in developing contexts & "venture-backed based" as generally seen in FDI contexts
X axis: "general instruction" as seen in any introductory entrepreneurship courses & "local economy based" which involves skills building specific to the local economy.

I feel like instruction will be necessary from each quadrant. It would be great to quickly discuss how to weight each quadrant at each age or experience level. Then we can basically throw virtual post-its in each of the quadrants.

That's where you come into play Rehmah, making choices as to what to implement. Excited to see what we come up with!

Here's the link:
https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/17efC9eYDpW79hSXMNWdtMifm3u0U5ISnR7y3f65EmNg/edit?usp=sharing

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

We're loving your collaborative strides across so many ideas on this challenge, Dave. Way to go!

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Thanks Meena--very exciting to see where the projects go!

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Team,
I am sure you have all heard about the law of attraction: someone sent me this today: http://www.j2ex.net/events/event/j2ex-conference-creating-a-mindset-for-growth-and-development-antananarivo-madagascar/

then this event is happening in Uganda on Saturday. President of Kenya and Uganda are going to talk about youth entrepreneurship: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/658814-uhuru-kenyatta-coming-for-pakasa-forum.html

This is a wonderful story of a guy who became an entrepreneur at 11 years, he has a very interesting model of supporting ideas: http://eigincorporated.com/about-darrin-hawkins/

Lastly is the funding for those interested in technology for girls: http://www.iie.org/Programs/WeTech/Seed-Fund-Application

Photo of Aziz Kakoza
Team

Dear Rehema
thank you for taking great interest in helping the youth change their paradigm

i am currently conducting a research on career guidance and students subject choice at 'O' level . Students career choices should be a result of their self efficacy , outcome expectation and goal setting . This will help them choose the right subjects for their future careers. i hope with this approach , students will choose subjects not on the basis of being easy or out peer pressure.

Once a career has been chosen , then mentoring can be of great help in assisting the learner to start to fly on their own . This is in the case of those who are still young and in school .

The youth should be advised that all careers / forms of work can lead them to the promised land .

Thank you Rehema , i am available for support anytime you need me

Photo of Sheila Kiwanuka
Team

I just thought of another idea since we are promoting Agriculture amongst our youth we should show them how they can make money out of it. I saw one of the articles talking about farming as a punishment in schools now imagine if each class had a small section of land where they grow crops and at the end they sale these crops just the joy of profiting from it will be motivating to the youth.

How about if they even sale to their parents on visitation days or even introduce an agricultural day where parents come to buy groceries from their children.the class that collects more money will be rewarded, youth will be motivated to continue farming even at home.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you sheila for tis idea. Invloving parents in this project will be critical because the teachers can't do all the meeting. Will share some few ideas tomorrow. Thanx.

Photo of Marie Kasule
Team

Dear Rehmah,
You always come up with amazing ideas. As a parent, I agree with the idea of engaging parents in this project. In our school, we have an existing association that you can tap into. Children need to be supported to run these enterprises even during holiday breaks. For parents who are not entrepreneurs, you need to develop a simple manual to guide us on how to support the children. I will send you an email to further follow up on this conversation.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

You are right Marie, parents are too busy and they have divorced their role of guiding children. That makes our work exciting, when we see the transformational changes that we make in children's lives and future we are proud that we can make such positive impact.

Photo of Akwi Ann
Team

Rehema dear,
Great idea here and Thank you for putting the youths at the forefront of whatever that you set to do. I imagine that you will also use the concept to link the youth to their communities since the essence of employment is to better our families/communities well as ourselves. All the best to you.

Ann Akwi

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Ann,
Yes for sustainability, we have a plan of linking the project to the community, schools, teachers, parents and people living near the schools. Wie have a plan to do Resource Mapping at the beginning of the project to establish what is available that we can tap into. Thank you for the input.

Photo of Aziz Kakoza
Team

Dear Rehema
thank you for taking great interest in helping the youth change their paradigm

i am currently conducting a research on career guidance and students subject choice at 'O' level . Students career choices should be a result of their self efficacy , outcome expectation and goal setting . This will help them choose the right subjects for their future careers. i hope with this approach , students will choose subjects not on the basis of being easy or out peer pressure.

Once a career has been chosen , then mentoring can be of great help in assisting the learner to start to fly on their own . This is in the case of those who are still young and in school .

The youth should be advised that all careers / forms of work can lead them to the promised land .

Thank you Rehama , i am available for support anytime you need me

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Aziz,
It will be great for you to share results of the research about careers guidance, I know in schools it is a big day, but Unfortunatley they only bring the usual professionals, doctors, lawyers, engineers etc to talk to students. Rarely do they bring like designers, traders, people who are doing great work but not in the main aspirational professions. Thank you for sharing

Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Thanks Rehmah for adding me up to Cathy team.. CEDA international provides an interesting element to this idea, it more on a continuum.. :)
..
Exciting

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

HERE ARE MORE EXAMPLES ON HOW THE PROJECT WILL CREATE MORE EMPLOYMENT:
Example 1: "My Entrepreneurship Project" makes money and creates employment experience
In Tororo Girls School, the Rising Star students start a demonstration farm growing tomatoes, maize, beans, cabbages and cassava. They engage the community and other students for labour. After 4 months of farming, they get a large harvest from the school farm and sell the vegetables to the school to be consumed by all the other girls in the school. They set up a vegetable canteen and start selling vegetables to other students and a market day to the community every Saturday. The students get hands-on experience working at the farm and managing the business, and being employed as workers and also earn salaries for their work. They collectively save enough money to set up a green house to grow more vegetables during the dry season.

....................................................................................................................

Example 2: Clusters provide exposure to mentors, markets, equip youth with practical skills, money and employment
Ten young women from Mukono University start a group producing jewelry. Through their cluster, they produce enough jewelry and organize an exhibition and sell to their fellow students, parents and people from the community. At the national boot camp, they pitch their idea and grab the attention of Katchy Collections, a woman owned company in Kenya that exports Jewelry to Walmart USA. Katchy Collections supports the group in quality management, designing, branding, marketing and exhibition skills. The young women get a contract worth $2000 to produce products for Katchy Collections.

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Example 3: Mentorship equips youth to pass interviews, get jobs and rise high to earn more income
Lydia Atimu is in her last year of university studying Hotel Management and Tourism. Her dream job is to become an air hostess in one of the regional airlines. Having been abducted by Kony, the rebel fighter in northern Uganda, her life has always been full of hardships and no hope for the future. At the Mentoring Walk event, she meets the Managing Director of South African Airways in Uganda. By sharing her dream during the 15 minutes discussion they had, she learns of an upcoming interview for young interns at South African Airways. With support and guidance from her peers, Lydia polishes up her CV and practices for the interview. Due to her confidence, attitude and demeanor and globally knowledge, she gets a part time employment as customer agent at the front desk and is confirmed after six months as a permanent employee.
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Example 4: Youth Starting own business while still in university: Halima Nabukera is a young woman with no work and few prospects: at 22-year-old, she is graduating from Makerere University in 1 year with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science, Nutrition and Technology. With no work experience, no networks, no finances and no hope for the future Halima's prospects of getting a job or starting a business are minimal. Enrolling in the Cathy Project Halima develops her leadership, entrepreneurship and life skills. A mentor helps her to gain self-confidence to design a business idea to start packaging nutritious fresh fruits for corporate company workers. She writes a good business plan, trains in packaging, branding and marketing, brushes up her communication skills and her dressing. She is introduced to a young women's Mentoring Club in her community to start saving and for peer-to-peer learning and is connected to a trade association and an experienced woman entrepreneur for skills apprenticeship and mentorship. By saving 150,000 ($60), Halima proudly starts selling fruits to her other university students at the faculty and in the halls of residence. After 6 months of support, Hal's Fresh Fruits and Juices is officially launched, her main customers are people who work in Banks and Telecommunication company offices near the university.

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Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Team,
I thank you all for such inspirational inputs and insights, I have incorporated them in the ideas so far. Great work all. Keep the fire burning. This is true testimony to my favourite African proverb that: "if you walk alone, you go very fast, when you talk others with you, you go very far" Thank you, thank you.

Photo of priyanka botny
Team

Rehmah,

I was doing some research on the insights you provided, they are truly inspirational. I couldn't imagine a world that needs tremendous improvement and the project that is proposed by you are tangible models of success.
The potential is there in the mentors and teachers. How can we make this effective in terms of delivery ? I plan to get into research for the initial few years of my career and then get into academic teaching in management. I have noticed that there are very few mentors/teachers who can bring valuable outcomes in a class. This is a challenge in almost every country.

The networks and collaborative efforts that you are presenting are of tremendous use to view our projects to reach to greater altitudes.
Thank you,
Pri

Photo of Leigh Cullen
Team

Dear Rehmah,

This is truly an inspiring and exceptionally planned project. It's an honor to be part of the team.

The Washington Post recently ran an article that notes that the educational system isn't adapting quickly enough to job market changes and trends. Fundamentally this seems to be a core issue that resonates across developing and developed countries:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/want-a-tech-job-study-this-advice-from-the-bosses-at-mozilla-reddit-tumblr/2014/07/30/41443afe-06f0-11e4-bbf1-cc51275e7f8f_story.html

Are there any insights or research (or anything else) that this team could gather that would be of help to you?

ps - I love how colorful and engaging the brand is!

All the best,
Leigh

Photo of Asia Tusiime
Team

It is a very brilliant project, so similar to the rising star mentoring program of which am a beneficiary with my own business of jewelry designing.Not forgetting the entrepreneurship and communication skills that I developed. Am so in love with the project name" Catch Them Young" I think it should have broad vocational training in marketable fields.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Hey Asia, you are one our beneficiaries from the Rising Stars Mentoring Program from Nabisunsa Girls School and you make us proud. Your Jewlry enterprise is a model for other young women in the university.

Photo of Madina Nakibirige
Team

This is a great idea. From experience, I know that a lot of changes can happen in our societies if we can reframe the minds of stakeholders including government, schools, communities and the youth themselves. I also applaud the fact that the intention is to build and capitalize on the beneficiary strengths and developing of skills and competencies as well as and support for long-term professional growth.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you Madina, yes Re-framing of minds is one of the critical outcomes that we are envisioning.

Photo of FATUMA WAMALA
Team

Dear Hajjat, this is a great Idea of advancing agriculture as a skills discipline for young people. Starting in secondary schools is highly strategic, at GEM -Uganda, you are most welcome for partnership, we are with you.
Fatuma Wamala,
GEM -Uganda.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Fatuma. You are absolutely right, as a country, we have no choice but to re-vamp agriculture as a career option. And yes, since GEM-Uganda works in schools around the country, we shall explore ways of working together one we start implementation.

Photo of Charity Byarugaba
Team

Dear Rehmah, i really love this great idea. As a young youth leader, i via so much for such creative approaches that solve the unemployment Paradox in Uganda. Doing a simple study in one of the schools where i mentored over 160 young girls and boys in secondary school, over 90% look at getting a job after their University programs as the Ultimate end goal! But unfortunately, the labour Supply market in Uganda has overtime outgrown the demand! and you are right to say that many of the young people look at agriculture as a punishment in schools!. Take a few a samples of the young people who have ventured into business, it is ultimately the last option in a seemingly hopeless situation like losing parents , dropping out of school, etc. See this: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/23/business/paper-bag-empire-andrew-mupuya/
http://www.oaic.org/young-women-in-agriculture-how-farming-is-changing-lives-of-the-young-farmers-in-uganda/
I think the project should indeed nature enterpreneurship skills development at a young age to solve the UNEMPLOYMENT Paradox.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you Charity for these insights, such stories of other youth creating employment give us an affirmation that indeed our vision for youth is a critical one.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Team,
See below a very interesting comment and links to how youth in Uganda are transforming their lives through agriculture, another one through making paper bags and he is featured on CNN. Such youth will become mentors for others by giving motivational talks.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/23/business/paper-bag-empire-andrew-mupuya/
http://www.oaic.org/young-women-in-agriculture-how-farming-is-changing-lives-of-the-young-farmers-in-uganda/

Photo of Ahmed Kibirige
Team

This is an incredible idea. Yes, entrepreneurship development is the I am on my way to develop youth employment world over. I remember when I started as an entrepreneur, I had no funds, no guidance and no networks... But 15 years now and my business is still running. Your project is giving that to the youth and I am sure their success and sustainability will rise greatly. Uganda is known to be an entrepreneurial country as per the GEM-Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, however 75% of the businesses fail with in 1-2 years. By mentoring youth to start their own businesses and giving them skills and networks, you will be transforming not only their lives but also the economy. Thank you for such innovative ideas.

Photo of Leigh Cullen
Team

Happy Monday Rehmah,

Thank you for adding me to your team! Will add you to the Pop Up Bus team so we can cross-collaborate. Looking forward to it!

All best,
Leigh

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Research: Economic Areas of Opportunity
Purpose: Tailor curriculum for venture-backed entrepreneurial skills, as well as micro business needs based entrepreneurship.

Please see this KPMG report: Uganda, Key Growth Sector Priority Areas, p. 4
Snippet:

Agribusiness Sector:

Agriculture and agribusiness is a priority to government to create jobs, improve productivity and expand exports in the medium term. During the year 2014/15, government
will support interventions in the agriculture sector as follows:-
»» Focus on provision of inputs;
»» Minimize expenditure on administrative costs, seminars and workshops;
»» Place resources available for inputs under a single umbrella and leverage them by focusing on graduates;
»» Encourage small holders to produce surplus;
»» Focus on enterprises that provide high returns to farmers; and...

www.kpmg.com/eastafrica/en/Documents/KPMG_Uganda_Budget_Brief_2014.pdf

If accurate, the government "focusing on enterprises that provide high returns to farmers" has venture-backed potential written all over it.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dave, thanx so much for giving insights to those outside Uganda. Great ideas and research. Yes, agriculture is a number one creator of employment and a key sector on a national level. However there is low visibility among youth. This model is feasible because 75% of public secondary schools in Uganda have land for farming, which is currently under utilized. And further, there is ready market within the schools for the products. And then when we talk about crafts, because of AGOA, and work done by International Trade Centre Geneva, crafts from Uganda are on high demand. The exporters need suppliers and so the schools can do that, just putting in 2 hours a week per student.

Lucy, this idea can work in Nigeria and world wide, each school or community has something that students and schools can vocationalize, start businesses and get income.

Dave, CATHY Project doesnt have a website, it is still riding on my organization one www.ceda-uganda.org, it is a project under Riding Stars Mentoring Program. Thanx team for great input.

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Hi All!

What do you think about designating a design challenge for CATHY? Here's one:

How may we shape entrepreneurship learning environments that empower Ugandan youth to compete in the global market?

Photo of Lucy Kanu
Team

Hi All,
I truly believe that this model could work in Nigeria too... thanks Dave Zinsman for the background country info.

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Agreed, Lucy. While there may be some differences in targeted curriculum, core curriculum would likely be identical. Certainly something to think about for scalability of the program!

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

PS: Does CATHY have a website?

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Hey Rehmah, I'm posting this basic research about Uganda for those outside of the region. While there are fundamental similarities to any entrepreneurial activity, I think for many of us here, our appropriate entrepreneurial approaches and related solutions will be very different from appropriate solutions in Uganda.

Your movement needs tailored solutions appropriate for the region, and specific to Uganda's economy. Once we have a basic idea of the context of the economy and current entrepreneurial obstacles, insights, etc., we'll be better prepared to think of the following specific to Uganda:

->Entrepreneurial best practices
-->Basic entrepreneurship curriculum
--->Actionable instructional and curricular assets for your kids

Basic research on CATHY's Operating Environment:

IFC/World Bank resource for quick reference:
http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/uganda/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Penetration as of July 2014: ~17%

Source: Internet Live Stats (www.InternetLiveStats.com)
Elaboration of data by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Population Division, Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), World Bank.
July 1 2014 Estimate
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force.
-Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues.
-The global economic downturn hurt Uganda's exports; however, Uganda's GDP growth has largely recovered due to past reforms and sound management of the downturn.
-Oil revenues and taxes will become a larger source of government funding as oil comes on line in the next few years.
-Instability in South Sudan is a risk for the Ugandan economy because Uganda's main export partner is Sudan, and Uganda is a key destination for Sudanese refugees.
-Unreliable power, high energy costs, inadequate transportation infrastructure, and corruption inhibit economic development and investor confidence.

Accessed August 16, 2014: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ug.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. State Department Commercial Guide (2011) http://goo.gl/xvDmZd

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Love it! What stage are you in currently? If I understand correctly, the project has already received seed funding from various institutional donors. Are you now looking at additional services within the same project? Scale your already validated service, etc.?

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Dear Dave,
With this idea, we are still on ideation, but it is a built up to our existing program that is funded by MacArthur Foundation that aims to accelerate innovation in secondary education specifically focusing on transition of girls from secondary school to university and into work emphasizing 21st century skills relevant to work. Food and Agriculture Organization -FAO funded two projects that set up green houses in two girls secondary schools and these have become social enterprises. However all those projects have been on general youth empowerment. This project will therefore help us focus on entrepreneurship development with specific measurable results. Currently, we are looking at various funders with specific focus, for example banks are interested in business plans and financial literacy, which is a major component of entrepreneurship development; where as other companies are interested in branding and marketing. How can we collaborate, share and learn so that both our projects create more impact? Your thoughts….

;................................
Yes, we are looking for additional services to exiting project so that we validate the model, capture key learnings and success stories to lead to prototyping of the model and scale up.

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Got it. What's your next milestone, and what are the top one or two things you need to get there?

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Next Milestone is to officially launch the vocational enterprises in the schools, I need to get partners for funds or technical support. For Agriculture Food and Agriculture Organization will support that, I have approached a jewelry exporter in Kenya is is going to help us in quality management and design. once we have her on board, the students can produce products with a ready market, meaning she outsources them to produce and she already has a market in USA in Walmart.

Photo of Dave Zinsman
Team

Got it. You mentioned that your goal is to empower youth in East Africa, India, and Nigeria. I'd like to visualize appropriate solutions. In which cities are you going to deliver entrepreneurship training first?

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Actually, our focus is Uganda, there are other grantees in Nigeria, India and other East African countries all working towards the same goal and with the same funder.

Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Amazing.. Going through the idea, ;) ..

Photo of Namu Kakooza
Team

Dear Rehmah, this is a brilliant idea. I wish this can be introduced in my school due to lack of enough guidance by teachers and the low levels of discipline some students exhibit. I think it would benefit us in so many ways by showing us that discipline is required in all areas of life and not just school in order to be a successful person. Congratulations to you and your group on this wonderful idea.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

You are right, teachers cant guide you into the world, they focus on academics and remember they are tight already for them. And the parents are also busy making money. That is where we come in, to mentor you as leaders and entrepreneurs, you represent our future as a country.

Photo of Janet Namugenyi
Team

Dear Rehmah this is an amazing idea. As young people we sometimes feel that the education we receive is so theoretical. We need such good programs to guide us to be leaders and young entrepreneurs. Agriculture is a key sector that needs to be revamped by showing youth that it can become a source of dignified employment and income. Thank you for this great idea and I hope we shall be part of it. Get back to me on how we can collaborate.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Thank you Janet for the comment. Yes Agriculture in schools is still taken as a punishment and a job for the un educated. Re-framing of minds is critical here.

Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

More emphasis should also be put on connecting communities to youth empowerment efforts.

Photo of zura naki
Team

Great idea that will truly transform the way we think. Young people need mentoring and role models to show them the way. They consume too much media and they think the reality shows is the reality. Thank you.