Bwaise Youth Employment Centre

Bwaise Youth Employment Centre : Engaging Youth in Kampala’s Poorest Slum Areas

Kampala, UgandaKampala, Uganda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

AFFCAD runs Bwaise Youth Employment Centre (BYEC) as a model entrepreneur initiative for disadvantaged youth from Kampala’s slums. We enrol 600-800 youth annually aged 16-25 years for 7 vocational skills training using the Learn, Earn and Save model.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if youth were the CEO's of all businesses in Sub-saharan Africa
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The incidence of unemployment among youth has worsened and resulted into an expansion of the informal economy and consequently raised youth vulnerability to illegal activities such as drug abuse, prostitution, and theft. AFFCAD youth economic empowerment programming is designed to offer young people the requisite hands on skills that can enable youth in Kampala’s poorest slums transit from a life of destitute and crime to a productive occupation

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Learning: Every 4 months 315 youth are enrolled into 7 vocational business skills training including Computer Graphics, Photography and Videography, Catering etc. At the end of the trainings, they go for one-month internships. Earning: During the 2nd month of training, the youth seek for clients from the community and bring them to BYEC where they are provided with hair dressing services, business cards, clothes or electronic repairs and more an affordable cost. Saving: The youth are encouraged to save 20% of the income earned from the services provided with The AFFCAD’s Youth Saving Scheme. These savings add upto their startup capital after they graduate. AFFCAD runs The Youth Entrepreneurship Award to provide startup capital


- On 19 September 2015 the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development. H.E Neven Mimica alongside The EU Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Kristian Schmidt paid an official visit to Bwaise Youth Employment Centre
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In 2014 during our community mobilisation in Kimombasa area found in Bwaise slums with over 787 sexworkers, the place is also one of the top 4 sex work sports in Kampala city. We came across Naiga, aged 12. During our interaction she told us she lost her parents at 5 years, she survived with her Aunti. During her stay she was rapped by her uncle many times and she could not speak out fearing she could break the couple’s relationship. She decided to run away to Kimobasa where she stayed with peers who influenced her to join sex work since to survive. We rescued Naiga under AFFCAD’s Give a Girl a Future, in July she started learning to make local craft and shoes from BYEC. On December 11th, Naiga will be graduating with 416 youth.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

By the end of 2015, AFFCAD will have reached 1030 youth who have gone through our trainings in two years at BYEC. For 2015, AFFCAD recruited 400 youth who have gone through the training and will be graduating on Friday, 11 December 2015. In 2014 AFFCAD enrolled 630 youth (411 female & 219 male), of the total, 565 (387 female and 178 male) graduated in Computer graphics, Photography and Video editing, Catering, Tailoring and Fashion, Electronics, Hair Dressing, Arts. 311 youth majority being girls found decent jobs and 20% started their own businesses by October as a result of the training. 80% of the 311 have increased their net income by 25% or more and increased their saving to 20% with AFFCAD’s Revolving Fund (a youth savings, credit and investment scheme). The scheme also helps them to access loans for startup capital.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

AFFCAD is working with the European Union in Uganda and Intentional Organisation on Migration (IOM) on a four year long-term scalable plan to establish 3 other youth employment centres that will duplicate the Learn Earn and Save model targeting 200 youth every year in the poorest slums areas of Rubaga, Makindye and Central divisions of Kampala capital city starting 2015. AFFCAD, Peer Link Uganda and Youth Build International-USA have designed a two years pilot project to empower 520 urban and rural youth with skills in general construction as a source of alternative decent employment.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In 2014, AFFCAD launched The AFFCAD Unique Fashion and Designs, an emerging tailoring brand show casing Africa’s finest prints hand made by youth from Bwaise. Unique hires former BYEC trainees to make clothes, school uniforms, shoes etc from local fabric. The products are sold to community and some exported for income generations to sustain BYEC. Besides, we have retained some trainees to work as trainers

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our trainees at BYEC learn while earning and saving money at the same time which is a very unique entrepreneurial model. Besides we target 600-800 youth which is a big number of trainees per year and we also have 7 vocational business training courses We are the only youth led and founded organisation that runs such vocational programs in Kampala’s slum areas. In addition, the managers were born and raised from Bwaise slums which puts us in the best position to understand slum youth problems and how we can address them which is not the same case with other organisations.

Founding Story

I was raised from Bwaise, the poorest and largest slum area in Kampala capital. I started working 11 years as a water tap operator, earning $20 per month, I would also pick garbage and sold scrap metal for additional funds for school fees, clothing, food until I finished high school in 2007. When we started AFFCAD in 2009, I realised that many slum youth are engaging in extremely low paying work, hazardous and illegal activities like commercial sex and selling drugs for survival since many are illiterates and lack employable skills. That is why AFFCAD started BYEC in 2013 to provide youth with skills that can help them access decent jobs or become self employed.


Centre Administrator Deputy Centre Administrator Executive Secretary Finance Manager Programs Manager Administrator We have a team of 6 full-time staff and 3 volunteers and 7 trainers. These are creative and vibrant youth from Bwaise with more than 6 years exprience of running community small and large funded projects.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I received emails from Sobel and Isabela Carvalho, Ashoka Changemakers. Besides, I applied last year and did not go through

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

In 2014, AFFCAD launched The AFFCAD Unique Fashion and Designs, an emerging tailoring brand show casing Africa’s finest prints hand made by youth from Bwaise. Unique hires former BYEC trainees to make clothes, school uniforms, shoes etc from local fabric. The products are sold to community and some exported for income generations to sustain BYEC.

2015, we have established a studio for our former trainees to offer photography and videography, computer graphics and secretarial services at a small cost.

Since 2011, AFFCAD has been running Excel Education Centre, its community that provided education to 200 orphans and vulnerable children with from Bwaise slums.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

European Union- Capacity building and platforms for exposure and building partnerships.
International Organisation on Migration- Project implementing partners
British Council Uganda - Capacity building
International Labour Organisation Uganda- Entrepreneurship trainings for trainees and beneficiaries and financial support
Polish Aid- Capacity building and financial support
Segal Family Foundation- Capacity building and financial support
US Department of State- Capacity building and financial support