Together We Are Stronger

28 July 2020, 12:37 PM
Photo: An image with several pictures of people and words

Youth With A Vision Cooperation Circle (CC) is a URI member group based in Nairobi, Kenya founded by inter-university students from different religions and tribes. This CC organizes programs for the youth about education, the environment, health care, the alleviation of poverty, and security. Youth With A Vision created a newsletter, Together We Are Stronger, to share how members have supported communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members provided food and hygiene items

In the month of June 2020 alone, Youth With A Vision raised $919 and in-kind donations of 520 KG of maize flour, through our COVID-19 Appeal and monthly donations.

They were able to provide food and liquid soap for a sanitizer to over 450 people - children, youth, and adults staying in 75 local families who had no one to help them through!

Unlike the previous months where they served 15 families every week, in the month of June 2020, they have provided food and essentials to 18 families every week which brings the total to 75 families served in a month. At the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020 they had planned to provide food and essentials to 200 families. 

However, the demand for food is increasing day by day and they are planning to support an additional 100 families during the months of July through September 2020. They need your contribution to continue providing food and essentials to vulnerable families. 

Members supported youth who lost their  jobs due to the pandemic

Uganda is one of the nations with high numbers of unemployed youth. And the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has made it worse - doubling numbers of unemployed youth. When youth are unemployed, they pose a big threat to the local community as some resort to stealing and other antisocial behaviors as a way of surviving.  

Youth With A Vision’s Youth Finance Scheme, which empowers young people to become financially independent by starting their own enterprises has been greatly battered by the COVID -19 pandemic. The youth whom they had empowered to start enterprises in hairdressing, tailoring, second-hand items, chicken farming, stationery shops, motorcycle transport (Boda boda), essential commodities shops, and crop farming have seen all their enterprises collapsing. Youth are now shattered and needing affirmative actions in terms of business recapitalization and stimulus interest-free loans to enable them to get back on their feet. Some of the youth who have families relying on them are no longer able to provide even basic needs like food to their families.  

Poverty due to Covid-19 has resulted in misunderstandings and domestic violence among young couples in Uganda. Some young people have found themselves at crossroads and been forced to borrow money from different sources to buy food and essentials for their families. However, due to lack of a stable income, most youth fail to pay back these loans and instead run away leaving their spouses and children on their own. The stress from lack of an income and demand for food for the family builds up and ends up in a family fight.

And given that youth enterprises have collapsed and previous beneficiaries are no longer paying back, the Youth Finance Scheme requires funding to be able to support existing and also enroll additional youth.

In the past month of June, they have supported 13 youth to re-design their enterprises, and 5 have already carried out alternative income-generating activities. They have also provided 71 youth with food and essentials through the pandemic. And this number is among the total number of people they have provided food relief.

They are planning to boost previous enterprises with a stimulus interest-free loan of $145 each, for 20 youth to start with. And when they pay back they will stimulate other enterprises. They are also planning to enroll new beneficiaries with interest-free loans worth each. 

They are appealing to you if you can please contribute to the Youth Finance Scheme and you help to lift youth back on their feet.

Members helped students to study from home

Although the government of Uganda has eased the lockdown for some sectors, schools are yet to be opened and students are only encouraged to access education through television, radio, and self-study materials from the internet. Sadly the majority of these students come from very poor financial backgrounds without access to a radio or television and have never worked on a computer and without knowledge of the internet. They have no finances to pay for the internet to make regular print outs of the study materials. So they can't access education without your support.

In fact, hope for vulnerable students to go back to school this year is deferred, and keeping them at home without an alternative education affects their mental health. Making matters worse, recently the government backtracked its initial announcement of providing radios to families and said it has no funds to do so. 

Thanks to all your generous donations - a one-off, monthly, and child sponsorship despite the hard times! All your vital donations pool up and have helped them to establish and facilitate a homeschooling program for some of the vulnerable students through the lockdown.

Under the homeschooling program, they provide television classes to students who are finalists at different levels of education, radio classes, and self-study materials from the internet and newspapers to continuing students. They have provided self -study materials to 50 students, 20 students have received television classes while 50 students accessed radio classes. They have also empowered 20 parents and guardians to support their children's homeschooling. So far 410 students and guardians are benefiting from this program. 

In addition to those they are already serving, there are still many more vulnerable students in need of our homeschooling program through the lockdown. They are committed to continuing facilitating their access to available learning channels, and all they need is your support to empower more parents and guardians to support the program, provide additional television sets, download study materials from the internet, print, sort out enough copies for each student and deliver to their homes every week.  

Click the yellow arrows to scroll through the photos in the slideshow below.

Photo: women picking out shoes
Photo: man and women hold food bags
Photo: woman works at register
Photo: woman holds baby
Photo: children hold school work
Photo: girls hold food bags
Photo: man on motorcycle
Photo: children gather at school
Photo: children gather at school

The group's sponsored child is on the front line of fighting Covid-19

Uganda is one of the nations with fewer health personnel and Covid-19 pandemic has overstretched the health sector creating a vacuum for health workers. The demand for health workers motivated Ingabire Doreen to voluntarily join the health team who are on the front line of fighting against Covid-19 at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital.

Doreen is a first-year student nurse on our child sponsorship program. She had dropped out of her nursing career due to poverty. Youth With A Vision’s benefactor Andrew Hince sympathized and started raising funds for her nursing career. They thank Doreen for the brevity and pray for her and all other health workers on the front line of fighting the pandemic around the world.

Their child sponsorship program not only helps children to achieve their educational ambitions but also empowers them to become community leaders and helps to transform communities. 

Click here for child sponsorship program details, photos, and details of children in need of a sponsor.

Members have supported expectant and teenage mothers

We are all living under difficult times but have devastated many helpless expectant and teenage mothers in Uganda. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, majority of teen mothers here were unemployed primary school dropouts lacking employable skills, single parents, always isolated and with insufficient knowledge on parenting and childcare, and already traumatized by an early and unwanted pregnancy, they find it so difficult to cope up through the pandemic.

A study has shown that most of the expectant and teenage mothers are girls from poor financial backgrounds, who are not cared for early, and they not only constitute to a cycle of generations of elders, having not properly cared for as children, are themselves unable to bring up their own offspring but also adults who fail to offer the right example to their children who, in turn, become infant adults.

Children born to teen mothers are always malnourished, suffering, and die from infections, parasitic, and malnutrition diseases including kwashiorkor. All of this is associated with ignorance, lack of employable skills, income, resources, and stereotype support. 

Thanks to your contributions, through Healthy Teen Mums Healthy babies Program which supports expectant and teen mothers, to cope up with their new role as a parent, Youth With A Vision has provided food and essentials to 5 expectant and teenage mothers.

Currently, they are in need of clothes for babies and teenage mothers, nutritional food supplements for teenage mothers and their babies. They also need materials to provide vocational skills to empower teenage mothers to start their own income-generating activities so that they improve their condition of life.

Today they present before you; Latifa Nanyondo already orphaned, got pregnant at 17, abandoned by her unemployed spouse, alienated by her relatives, and struggling to bring up her 6 months baby. Latifa has something to say about how COVID-19 has changed her way of living.

''When the sun draws down I start thinking of where to sleep with my baby and when it rises in the morning I start thinking of where to get food and essentials for myself and my child.'' - Latifa Nanyondo

Latifa is among the teenage mothers on our program whose dream after lockdown wants to turn her life around by pursuing a career in hairdressing.

Youth With A Vision needs a motorcycle to help with pressing daily transport demands. 

Now than ever before, members need their own motorcycle, the lack of which has been a big hindrance to food and essentials emergency distribution to vulnerable populations here at Masaka Uganda. Lack of transport means has always been a major barrier to reaching hard-to-reach and distant places. However, this time around, it has greatly affected food and essentials emergency distribution. "Each time we have to do door-to-door distribution of food and essentials, we have to hire, and this takes a toll on our meager resources."

Buying a motorcycle will not only help to minimize or offset transport costs, but will also help to relocate transport hire expenses to food and effectively transport sick children and pregnant women in emergency situations to health centers. It will transport food and sanitizers to vulnerable families and self-study materials for students to access education during the lockdown, through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. However, they can't achieve this without your help. If you can, please donate to enable them to have a breakthrough with a motorcycle.

Other ways you can help

Please consider telling your friends and family about their project and the work they are doing to support the vulnerable communities through COVID-19 - you can share this link to their web-page on social media, or just bring them up in conversation. Sharing with your community why you chose to support their organization will help them increase the work they can do in our community as it will continue to grow their community of supporters like you! 

EID AL-ADHA

“At Youth With A Vision work with children of all denominations and faith, and among them, we work with over 50 Muslim children and youth through our child sponsorship, teenage mums, and youth finance scheme programs. We are concerned that we have been watching events where less fortunate Muslim young people in our community have not been considered for Eid al - Adha celebrations. Before COVID-19 draining our resources, we have been providing a goat for them to slaughter on previous Eid al – Adha celebrations. This year 2020, we are organizing a special Eid al – Adha to allow over 50 less fortunate Muslim children, youth and their guardians we work with to have a chance to commemorate Eid al - Adha, by providing them a cow to slaughter and fulfill their obligations. We have a Sheik Muhammad Kalanzi who teaches Islam to the Muslim children and youth under our care and is available to lead the 31st July 2020 Eid al – Adha celebrations. But now the pandemic has taken a toll on our resources and much of our funding has been diverted towards food for the vulnerable families. We can’t continue doing this without your help. We are seeking to raise $570 to buy a cow of 180kg where at least each of the 50 children and youth will get at least 3.5kg of meat for their families. A contribution of any amount is very much appreciated and will be used to provide a cow for the Muslim children, youth, and their families under the care of Youth With A Vision to slaughter on the Eid al – Adha this 31 July 2020. In case you would like please donate to support this cause.” 

Support through GlobalGiving Accelerator Programme

Youth With A Vision has been accepted for the September 2020 GlobalGiving Accelerator Program, where they seek to raise donations globally for “Building 2 Classrooms to support quality and affordable education for over 700 vulnerable children at our partner schools” – ST. Catherine Nursery and Primary School Kisaalizi in Kyotera District and Aunt Sarah Junior School in Rakai District in Uganda.

The GlobalGiving Accelerator Programme is a virtual training program and crowdfunding campaign that helps organizations like Youth With A Vision to connect with donors, nonprofits, and companies in nearly every country around the world.

See more information on the newsletter to see how your contribution can help.

Dine So They Can Day -  Saturday, October 3, 2020

This is an annual fundraising day where friends and supporters around the world help to host a meal or do something in their community or donate or ask their networks to donate to raise funds for the work of Youth With A Vision. All funds raised on this day add up and supplement our budget and also help to fund non-sponsored projects targeting disadvantaged children and youth they work with.

They warmly invite you to participate - the more the number of participants, the merrier it becomes! Please click here for details, past participants, and to participate.