The Empowerment Academy (TEA)
This project also has a Changeshop where you can read more about its latest progress.
Go to Changeshop: The Empowerment Academy (TEA).
I imagine my life as a young college graduate in Uganda. I went through the education process hoping to work in some office only to find no such office anywhere. I went to my village to do gardening but my community expected me in an office. I got ridiculed as either a bewitched boy or not sharp enough! This is the life most school leavers are leading in Uganda. The empowerment academy breaks this gap in the education process in Uganda. It trains youths in skills to use to provide relevant services to their immediate communities such as hair dressing and child care. It is located among many secondary schools and attracts as many as space and time can allow.
Your role in education
Counselor, Psychologist, Teacher.
About Your Organization
African Community Team Support (ACTS)
Uganda, MBA, Kampal
Is your organization a
Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
How long has your organization been operating?
References - Please provide two references with a two-sentence biography, email address, and phone number for each
1. Mliroh Bob Zebrone is the current chairperson of ACTS. He is a law clerk in Mbale Law chambers. Email: email@example.com, Tel:+256752954898
2.Dr. Bwonya Ben. He is the secretary of ACTS' governing board. He is a medical doctor working with Ruharo hospital in Mbarara. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel:+256772669880
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Growth (your pilot is up and running, and starting to expand)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for less than a year
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
In Ugandan there is free primary and secondary education. However, due to war, corruption, natural disasters and general poverty, school dropout rates are very high. Moreover, those who drop out of school lack practical skills for survival in communities. Even university graduates are searching for white collar jobs. This is because the formal education does not inculcate creativity and entrepreneurial skills in learners. It makes them job seekers rather than creators. It is exam oriented and those with poor exam grades are given no chance to explore other skill avenues. At the same time widespread internal displacement, children growing up in orphanages and rapid urbanization have disorganized the extended family system that assisted to guide maturing youths in work. They no longer adequately provide care and support. Others are abusing maturing girls as manifested in forced early marriage, domestic violence and rape cases. There is a general level of economic powerlessness that is perpetuated in Ugandan societies now. To circumvent the above, there is a need to avail school going youths avenues for practical survival skills for use after school.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Every child and/or person has some potential to do something. The empowerment academy (TEA) offers school going youths and other vulnerable persons the opportunity, motivation and direction to practically do something which is not necessarily formal or academic. While existing training institutions end at training and leave trainees as vulnerable as before, TEA trains and employs trainees to economically empower them through job placements and guidance. We do this by creating community-supported income generating activities where they work, earn enough to live on and make a contribution to benefit others in subsequent years. We turn what educationists in their institutions such as secondary schools call academic rejects or dwarfs into vital service providers.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
We identify and recruit youths and other victimized persons into the academy through schools and community institutions such as churches and mosques. These know the children who are academically unprivileged or are likely not to succeed.
We then counsel them, streamline their skill potentials and train them. We induct those trained into work placements. That is, those who complete their trainings are contracted to work in our community initiatives.
We initiate community activities (such as schools and saloons) to employ all our trainees and empower them economically. In this case, we hold meetings with local community members to assess and/or show them the need and/or support respectively.
We finally collect contributions from those working and bank them to support others who come after them, covering the academy's sustainability needs. A trust will soon be operational to cater for this particular aspect. In this way, the academy will become self-sustaining in a short time frame of less than five years.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
First, existing skills training institutions lack the job placement component.
Those in this area still emphasize academic papers/qualification but we emphasize skill potentials and motivation. For instance, person does not need a certificate in mathematics or Physics (and the so called compulsory subjects) to cut hair. Our informal, inclusive and needs based approach sets us apart in meeting the needs of all those who belief they can do something to change their social and economic destinies.
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