According to (Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2015), youth and women constitute the highest proportion of Uganda’s population at 78% and 52% respectively. Majority of them are uninformed about how to profoundly and effectively engage in the governance and decision making processes, ascribed to biased perceptions against women and youth.
However, this sidelined group of people will worry no more! As stated by Thomas Stigmann from European Union in Uganda during Sauti Ya Sasa Mentoring program launch, “for Ugandan youth, the time is now and not tomorrow, to show them in the right direction".
The program, that seeks to increase the capacity of women and young people already actively engaged in Civil Society by strengthening their leadership abilities, helping them gain more knowledge in areas such as; governance, gender, political participation and furthering their career development was launched in a pulsating and jubilant function that was graced by government officials, media practitioners, development partners, like minded organisations as well as the selected mentors, mentees and ACFODE staff at Skyz Hotel on 21st November, 2018.
While at the launch, Mondo Kyateeka, the Acting Commissioner of Youth & Children at Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development accredited, “As the Government of Uganda, we say this is the way to go. For those that know me, I'm not easily excitable but the Sauti Ya Sasa program thrilled me upon reading the project documents ACFODE furnished me with prior to the launch. Hence, I prioritized attending this function and on behalf of the Ministry, I commit to support the program."
The program is implemented by ACFODE in partnership with GIZ Uganda, with financial support from the European Union and the German Government under the Civil Society in Uganda Support Programme (CUSP).
Considerably, the day marked the beginning of a resilient, educative and interactive mentoring session by accomplished mentors paired with 30 committed women and youth in an eight months journey of personal and professional growth, bi-monthly training sessions for mentees, peer exchange and support, network building and strategic engagements to deepen Civil Society engagement and media advocacy on youth and women’s civic engagement.
ACFODE appreciates Sauti Ya Sasa mentors for volunteering their time and expertise to this exciting program and wishes the mentees an amazing eight (8) months learning experience.