Scarcity of opportunity to cultivate skills such as graphic and web design leaves young people without hope. In Uganda, students who live in the slums find themselves caught up drugs, violence, and prostitution with no concept of a better life. Small business training and loans opens the door for these students to dream big, set goals, and build a new life
This is the type of transformation we see, on average, across era92. We move young people from $2 a day to $15 a day and see them invest their earnings in exactly the kind of things we want to see, like safe housing and nutritious food. They often spend on education for themselves or their family members, and on health care. They’re even able to open up savings accounts.
The Alternativ Global Entrepreneurs course has brought massive life change to many in Uganda and it's being paired with tech training from our partners, Era92, to slingshot students into a new life with thriving business opportunities!
The Era92 Elevate program's sole purpose is to empower youths-at-risk in Uganda through skilling them in Design, Arts and Technology, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Sustainable Development.
By the end of this five-month program, each student will have found a client in their specific field and performed a service for them, be it designing a website, a video, screen printing or graphic designing.
The scarcity of opportunity to cultivate skills such as graphic and web design leaves young people without hope. Small business training and loans open the door for these students to dream big, set goals, and build a new life!
Will you facilitate life change for aspirational youth in Uganda? Students need access to the simplest items such as a desk to put their computer on and a business training booklet. Join us in kickstarting hope and a future!
Impact Nations started sponsoring the Elevate program in 2019. Since then, reports have been coming in of lives that are being transformed.
Last year, the Elevate program in Uganda trained two cohorts of student simultaneously. While the first group graduated in December, the final 170 students graduated this weekend and are already working as freelancers or getting high quality jobs with their newfound skills.
All 100 students of this year's Elevate program are stoked for graduation!
25 have already landed jobs or internships while others have plans to open their own small businesses upon graduation.
“In the month of June, [Uganda] was hit by a deadly Covid’19 wave that forced us to halt for 2 weeks and assess how we would implement virtual classes as we did in 2020. As Elevate, we could not sit back and fold our hands with the lockdown on the horizon. We know that our young people can easily lose morale, give up on school and be forced to get into informal work to support their families. For most of them, that’s not the worst that can happen. They fall back into petty theft and robbery, prostitution or work in precarious environ- ments that exposes them to drug abuse and unwanted preganancies and early marriages. We could not afford to let them be idle so we put in place distributed classrooms in the community spaced out through the week while practicing social distancing and Ministry of Health SOPs. Students are able to continue practicing their craft and learn from each other as they wait for the lockdown to be lifted.”
Click here to view the full report now
Exauce is a refugee from the DRC. She was forced to toughen up at an early age during the war that ravaged their home 10 years ago.
“We used to spend the whole day in the house because bullets would fly all day and bombs dropped all night.”
At the time, she was living in the house alone with her mother. Her father had travelled to Uganda to find better paying work when the war started in Congo. One dreadful night when her mother had gone out in the night to find food for them, she met rebels who held her at gunpoint while dragging her back home. They slapped her, pointed guns at her face and threatened to rape her infront of her daughter.
She brokered a deal with rebels to cook them food everyday in order to keep her life and they agreed. After two days, she made her escape and ran off with Exauce to the nearest refugee camp at the border. Later on, they moved to Kampala to try and find her father but never did.
Exauce was selling jewelry door to door when our team interested her in the Elevate courses during recruitment.
“I love documentary films. They help people like me tell their stories to the world and release their pain. That’s why I signed up for the Films class. I have already applied for an internship at era92 to improve my skill.”
Elevate had a successful first quarter of recruiting 100 students in the Elevate program.
In order to enhance the curriculum, Elevate brought 5 new trainers to the program with 6 additional fields of study.
To continue the growth, in their mission and vision, they have creatively turned pods into learning facilities.
It is exciting to see the creative structure and education Elevate brings to the students, families and the community.
Click here to read the full report!
"When the government gave a directive in March for a nationwide lockdown, companies, schools and businesses across the country began to operate remotely. Unfortunately more and more weeks were added to the initial 3 week lockdown. We had to act quickly...."
Click here to read the full report!
Trinity, the founder of era92 and the Elevate program is an absolute doer.
He and his team recognized that they may be in lockdown for a long time and that was preventing them from helping their youth rise from poverty and crime. “This was not acceptable”.
They hatched a plan and are now providing the Elevate Training material via Video Meetings to their students. A local cafe owner has generously lent the many of the students computers while others are borrowing from friends. Era92 has decided to pay for 2GB of data to be provided to each student on class days. In addition to three class days each week, Saturdays have Q&A homework sessions with the instructors and encouraging seminars from guests.
Trinity’s students are excited to have marketable online skills such as graphic and web design. This will allow them to earn a living for their family from the safety of their home; even during lockdown!
The Elevate Training Program just finished with a grand celebration. 15 students have graduated . Their final report is an inspiring example of the impact that Skills and Business Training has on youth in poverty
“...our young people are completely transformed, empowered, filled with confidence and ready to start their careers that will transform their lives, families and communities.”
- Trinity, era92 founder
Click here to see the full report.
At 12, Joyce survived sexual assault from a group of rowdy gang members in the slum community. Unfortunately, this is a common story among many slum dwelling teens. By 15, Joyce was so toughened by life that she was living a hopeless existence. It was at this point that her grandmother now sickly and frail decided that the best thing to do was to get Joyce a 46-year-old widower with 4 children as a husband. Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
Two slaps and some punches after their second meeting three weeks before the marriage, Joyce decided that she was not going to go ahead with the marriage. So deep on a rainy night, Joyce escaped from the slums to the streets of Kampala where she started living with a few girls who had also run away from the slums.
And that is how we found Joyce, bitter, hopeless and cold. It has been a beautiful but tasking journey teaching Joyce from the very basics of how to switch on a computer to running and applying graphic design software. Today, Joyce is off the streets and living with one of the other elevate program students in a rented room in Kosovo.
Joyce has been given an opportunity to dream, believe and achieve all her goals through the guidance and mentorship at the era92 elevate program.
To read more about Joyce and her classmates, check out the July report from Elevate here.
With another inspiring testomony from the Elevate program, will you help us complete the funding for this project?
This video will show you what life is like in the slums of Kampala and why it is so important that we give these young people an opportunity to escape this dangerous cycle of poverty.