working to transform the lives of rural youth through Financial Inclusion, Technical and Vocational Education, and Sexual and Reproductive Health interventions.
YETU HEALTH CENTRE
Sexual And Reproductive Health Program
Promoting maternal, adolescent and child birth
Health is a basic human right that every person should enjoy without discrimination. The ability to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights is critical for the health and well-being of all youths especially young women and adolescent girls. However, statistics estimate that 648,000 sexually active Ugandan young women aged 15–19 do not want a child. Yet, more than 60% of them have an unmet need for modern contraception. Approximately half of all pregnancies among adolescent girls ages 15–19 in Uganda are unintended, totaling an approximately 214,000 unintended pregnancies each year.
Through the program, YETU ensures that youth especially young women and adolescent girls have access to and utilise age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education, and sexual reproductive health services. Through collaboration with local government, stakeholders and relevant duty bearers, YETU advocates for the design and implementation or new or existing policies that support the realisation of sexual and reproductive health rights for young women and adolescent girls.
YETU also understands that community based health programs play a key role in improving health and quality of life for rural people. Thus operates a community health centre to improve health outcomes for rural communities. At the health centre, YETU ensures that communities members have access to timely, quality and affordable health services provided by skilled health personnel.
Technical and Vocational Education Program
Skilling The Girl Child And Women
Rural girls and women are key agents of achieving transformational economic and social change for sustainable development but limited access to the necessary resources and opportunities are among the many challenges they face. This is further aggravated by the various social determinants and limited civic engagement. Empowering girls and women is key not only to the well-being of individuals, families and communities but also to overall economic development.
Statistics indicate that out of 100 pupils who join primary one, only 62 complete primary 5 and only 32 complete primary 7. In rural communities were girls and young women fall out of the formal education system early in life, technical and vocational education provides opportunities for them to secure dignified and fulfilling formal and informal work. YETU believes that these skills can foster youth employment and contribute to unlocking young people’s potential.
Through the program, YETU is employing strategies to strengthen vocational education, improve its quality and make it attractive and an alternative pathway to employment for young people. The program also prepares young people for employment and entrepreneurship through skills development, opening door to opportunities and providing necessary resources. This in turn contributes young people’s social, economic and civic participation.
The program builds the traditional technical and vocational skills which include; agriculture, garment making, hair dressing, plumbing, electoral engineering, catering and hotel management into better and marketable skills like agribusiness, construction, manufacturing and information, technology and communications. This is done through strategies like apprenticeship, accelerated learning programs and soft skills trainings.
YETU Financial Services
Financial Inclusion Program
Building An Inclusive Rural Economy
Over 87% of rural women are excluded from financial services, majority of whom (62%) are youth females below 36 years. Over 13.3% of youths are unemployed and those who are employed are highly likely to be underemployed, in precarious and non-rewarding work, or in jobs that cannot offer decent incomes. 83.5% of the Ugandan population aged between 15-29 work in informal jobs, and that figure is 10% higher for young women. In rural communities, young women lack the collateral to access and utilise credit and on other hand financial institutions are concentrated in urbans areas. This leaves out a big percentage of youths who are in rural communities. There are several barriers for youths especially young women to access financial services including the perception that they (financial services) expensive, illiteracy, long distances to financial service providers, lack of collateral for credit among others. Despite having brilliant entrepreneurship ideas, there are limited doors to opportunity and knowledge about existing youths and women support programs.
The opportunities to empower youths especially young women are available, but many are inaccessible and out of touch with reality and thus unable to solve young people’s issues. Many helper agencies including money lenders operate in a different frequency from that accessed by the majority of youth who have no access to technology, let alone read nor write.
Access to financial services plays a critical role in enhancing economic growth and reducing inequalities. Inclusive financial systems allow the rural poor to insure themselves against economic vulnerability, to save and borrow, to build their assets, invest and improve their livelihoods. YETU under this program focuses on establishing and strengthening youth savings and credit groups, mobilizing funds to build a credit pool and building the knowledge/skills of youths in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business skills and records keeping.
Through the program, YETU aims to create communities where all people of working age have access to quality financial services, provided at affordable prices, in a convenient manner, and with dignity. The program also seeks to sustainably increase the access to and utilization of affordable financial services by the rural youth. Because youth do not have any assets to act as collateral for loans, YETU uses the co-guaranteeing method were youth are in collectives to support one another. The collectives are then mentored into savings groups as the incomes from youths’ businesses grow. As the groups grow and increase their savings portfolio, they are linked to the formal sector where they can access advanced financial services.