African Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (AYEDI)

The Adfrican Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (AYEDI) project supported more than 4,000 vulnerable out-of-school adolescents, ages 15 to 17, along a pathway that provided education, vocational training, and decent work opportunities in eastern and northern Uganda.

Funder

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Location

IGANGA, BUGIRI, LIRA, GULU DISTRICTS, UGANDA

Dates

2013 - 2018

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world. High dropout rates, lack of opportunity, and persistent poverty create barriers that make it difficult for youth to access safe, well-paying employment. Many youths end up working in hazardous conditions for minimal compensation. In partnership with local governments, Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans, Straight Talk Foundation, and RECO Industries, the African Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (AYEDI) project supported youth along a pathway that provided education, vocational training, and decent work opportunities for vulnerable out-of-school adolescents, ages 15 to 17.

Youth entered the AYEDI pathway by joining Youth Empowerment Clubs, where they received life skills, occupational safety training, study tours, and career guidance. Upon completion of the club curriculum, youth were able to progress to one of three education and vocational opportunities: the Integrated Functional Literacy for Youth (IFLY) program, the Non-Formal Education (NFE) Trade Certificate program, or a Secondary School Block Grant (SSBG). Along the AYEDI pathway, youth were also supported to establish or join savings groups to build capital, increase their financial literacy skills, and practice saving. Savings groups fostered strong peer support to help youth stay focused on career goals and address challenges.

After four years of operation, key project results include:

  • More than 4,000 out-of-school adolescents have gained skills to earn income from safer, more decent work through AYEDI.
  • 90% of enrolled AYEDI youth (54% girls) have graduated from AYEDI.
  • 82% of AYEDI youth are earning income from decent work.
  • 90% of tested AYEDI youth have passed accredited national skills exams.
  • 97% of AYEDI youth in savings groups are actively saving.
  • 92% of caregivers in savings groups are able to meet at least three basic needs of their children.
Susan Kajura

Country Director

Susan Kajura
+256.790.916.445
susan_kajura@worlded.org