“I see my achievements every day.”
“My life has changed. My capacity has changed. I am able to think beyond only myself, but also about how I can help my community and my family. I see my achievements every day. Owning this piece of land makes me so excited and motivated. I know there is something I am doing to improve on my well-being as well as my family’s life” says Fatumah Imanet.
Two years ago, youth reporter, Shivan embarked on a journey of exploration and discovery. She travelled to Mityana District to connect with Fatumah and Razak, youth living in the rural parts of Uganda and discover who they were, their dreams, ambitions and challenges. Fast forward two years and a life altering pandemic later the two are still the inspiration that she met first time around.
Fatumah and Razak are participating in TeamUp Uganda. A joint program by the local NGOs Action 4 Health Uganda, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) and Whave Solutions, bringing project work in the areas of agriculture, water and health under one roof.
Fatumah is now working as the Advocacy and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) coordinator at the Youth friendly corner based at Malangala health center III as well as a member of the District Committee on Adolescent Health representing out of school youth while Razak is a fully trained and salaried hand pump mechanic. At the start of the journey, these were aspiration but now they are a reality for this youth. Razak is also part on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) committee at the Malangala Youth Empowerment Centre.
“Before TeamUp, I was not a professional hand pump mechanic but now I am. I have now started multiple businesses including a salon and two chapatti stalls, and even bought myself a piece of land for agriculture” says Razak Ssebowa.
Like in many rural areas in Uganda, life in Mityana is filled with challenges however Fatumah and Razak are a clear example and beacon of hope for their communities, in two years they have completely changed their lives, improved their livelihoods, joined community development programs, taken up leadership positions to steer their fellow youth into improved lives.
Both Fatumah and Razak are also actively engaged in agriculture, they have transferred the knowledge received in the Youth Farmer Field School (YFFS) demonstration plots into their own pieces of land and are now additionally supplementing their incomes through this avenue as well as improving their saving culture by joining the Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLA).
In TeamUp, everyone is working together and that is also core of the mission. Not only for the implementing partners on the ground, but also for the financing partners in Germany: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ), Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) and Siemens Stiftung.
Fatumah and Razak are not going to stop now, sustainable development can only be achieved when young men and women’s capacities are developed within their communities. Handing them the tools to make their lives better allows them to make continuous change in their lives, their families and communities as a whole. And create the change they desire.
Photos: SAWA World