Innovation Centre Youth meet Ugandan senior nutritionists and leaders (Feb. 7, 2015)
Today, the yout received inspiration from senior leaders in the centre. Good to have the leaders community to take up some youth to mentor and for having given wisdom to improve the innovations at the centre
Updates: Jan. 15, 2015
Our first set of youth in the centre aka International Youth Empowerment Network were on Jan. 13, 2015 announced as winners of the on going Amplify and OpendIDEO challenge: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/top-ideas/solve-two-legumes-one-cereal-meal-for-smart-children
We are thrilled because this demonstrates how mentoring and coaching youth to work as a team and developing local solution not only helps them improve their communities but also elevate their self status, hopes and dreams as professionals
Since the end of the challenge, Leigh, Wekesa and I continued to brainstorm online on how best to move our joint ideas forward. We refined the concept, looked around for more advisors (including OpenIDEO management) and potential funders to help at least the Innovation Centre get started. I met with my mentor back here in Kampala who helped me shape up an element of the idea into youth and agriculture leadership project. We anticipate submitting a proposal to USAID once the request is out some time early next year.
Out of the Innovation Centre idea, I and our Ugandan mentees have developed several proposals including City Born and Innovation Centre for Youth that we have submitted to Ashoka youth unemployment challenge.
We have acquired and occupied an office space in a Kampala suburb (Sebowa zone, Kiwatule) and recruited twelve youth--mainly nutritionists, statisticians and logisticians as mentees. These youth spend each day in the office as volunteers cracking their heads on ideas to create employment for themselves and they contribute to social change in Uganda. The team started Nutrition Outsourcing Business for hospitals in Kampala, are currently writing proposals on the four ideas submitted to the second AMPLIFY challenge in OpenIDEO: My Clean Little Hands, Two Legumes, Once Cereal and ANCHOR
The youth are engaged in mentorship talks each week and each of them is focused on specific projects to accomplish: Nutrition Outsourcing Business for hospitals, School feeding and gardnening program, urban home gardening, proposal development, monitoring and evaluation, etc.
The team also started seeking collaborative sub granting partnership with established donor funded NGOs like Uganda Health Marketing Group, FHI360 and World Vision. There is nothing concrete yet but we have submitted proposals for consideration by UHMG. In addition, the team through my leadership respond to requests for consultants to conduct evaluations. We have so far submitted five proposals and only one was considered by World Vision.
We have also signed a memorandum of understanding with Kyambogo University to have students join the mentorship program in the network.
We are receiving requests from other youth to join YEN but because we do not have sufficient capacity yet, we are putting those requests on hold.
Innovation Center and Pop Up Bus Idea is still evolving. We are not sure where it will end up but we are sure it is already making a difference in how our small team views themselves and the world.
Tomorrow, we are sure this will be an international agency at the frontline of social change interventions not only for the youth but for everyone. By being multi-disciplinary in nature, we will harvest more dreams, empower and transform them into bigger stuff.
Here is a pictorial story of our team dreaming about how to improve youth employment. We met in a bar in Kampala because we did not have own office to use then. What mattered is we met and discussed to move forward!