On Monday 9th December, the first cohort YouthMap Uganda Interns graduated from the programme at an event attended by host employers, partners and interns. The atmosphere was celebratory as the interns received their certificates. Over the past six months each young person has had the opportunity to build their skills and secure valuable work experience, positioning them to transition into work or further education.
The graduation event opened with remarks from Mr Nollet Turige of Uganda Telecom and FICA Seeds intern Mr Joel Kyobe . This was followed by contributions from Restless Development Country Director Jessica Greenhalf and YouthMap Advisory Board members Mr Ronald Kalinzi, Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Youth MP Honourable Monicah Amoding. The opening remarks were concluded by Mr Mark Maessick, USAID/Uganda Deputy Mission Director. The atmosphere was celebratory as the guests congratulated the participants on their graduation, thanked partners and host employers for their support and looked forward to welcoming the new cohort of interns that will begin their placements in early 2014.
The programme has already delivered impressive results. While 52% of the interns have secured jobs, 24% are in the process of negotiating job opportunities with their host employers. In addition, 64% have established an enterprise. This clearly highlights the potential of young people when given the opportunity.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the YouthMap Uganda Internship Program is an initiative of the International Youth Foundation (IYF) in partnership with Restless Development Uganda. It is a unique pilot program that seeks to equip 100 young graduates (ages 23-30) from disadvantaged backgrounds with employability, leadership, and life skills, along with the practical experience necessary to work, lead, and contribute to development efforts in Uganda. This program represents a dynamic example of public-private partnerships in Uganda, garnering support not only from the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD) and several Youth Members of Parliament, but also from leading businesses in Uganda.