Uganda’s young population is a resource to be leveraged for social economic transformation.
Enhancing the capacity of young women is UgWO’s contribution to nation-building.
UgWO is a product of Supporters of young women, and Champions of Uganda.
UgWO was founded by Eunice Ajambo, a young Ugandan woman who saw many young women like herself in Uganda who had great potential but, for lack of know-how, support and opportunity, were all too often unable to realize their goals.
This constitutes a tragic loss of the human capital that could be the driving force of Uganda’s development.
Most young Ugandans, especially in rural areas, face many challenges in their lives, but young women from marginalized and underprivileged backgrounds face even greater barriers to participating in society and fully reaching their potential.
Between the ages of 15 and 30, young women make decisions that influence the rest of their lives.
They also encounter risks that can easily derail their dreams and plans.
Yet, there is very little support to help young Ugandan women avoid these traps, and even less to help those who do achieve their professional aspirations. They are expected to fend for themselves, but they often lack the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate the risks and challenges in their personal and work lives.
UgWO believes that this is not only a personal tragedy for the young women, but also a national tragedy that could potentially stunt her country’s development.
Eunice herself knows too well that her talent, intelligence and aspirations – her very life – might have amounted to little if not for the support she received from others at key moments in her teenage years.
It was this conviction that led her to found UgWO. Today, Eunice’s personal experiences inform UgWO’s programs and ensure they are customized to serve the needs of young Ugandan women.
Consider these facts:
- Uganda has the youngest population in the world. A total of 78% of Ugandans are below the age of 30 years and 52% below 15 years, according to the “State of Uganda Population Report”
- Uganda’s youth unemployment rate has been estimated at about 80% by the World Bank.
- Majority of Uganda’s youth live in rural areas, according to the country’s National Youth Policy which sets out guidance on the inclusion of youth.
- According to a report by YouthMap Uganda, female youth are disproportionately affected by discrimination at home, work and in society. 70% of female youth are engaged in unpaid family work. In total, women account for only 37% of public sector employment and women who own businesses, pay significantly more bribes than their male counterparts.