Vancouverite’s campaign to support unemployed youth in Uganda gains international attention

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      More than 3,000 youth attended the Sawa World Day in Kampala, Uganda last year.

      This spring, organizer Daphne Nederhorst hopes to draw 10,000 people to the event, which aims to help marginalized youth start their own businesses.

      The Vancouverite and founder of the NGO Sawa World has even drawn the attention of Richard Branson and his non-profit foundation Virgin Unite, which promoted Nederhorst’s I Am the Solution campaign on its website.

      Proceeds from the campaign, which seeks to raise $10,000, will fund the second Sawa World Day on March 21.

      “The impact that we want to have is that we want to host 10,000 vulnerable and unemployed youth from Uganda and the East African region and empower them with local, simple skills that allow them to start a small business the next day,” Nederhorst told the Straight by phone.

      The free, one-day exhibition will feature a series of workshops hosted by local leaders on practical solutions for self-employment.

      Nederhorst said some of those initiatives include using local wastepaper and sawdust to create fuel briquettes and growing edible gardens in confined spaces.

      “They can quickly raise their income from $1 to $2-$4 per day,” Nederhorst said. “And that’s really significant. For youth that make $1, then $2 to $4, that means that they can actually now pay their school fees, they can pay their basic necessities, and can pay their rent, versus not being able to do that.”

      According to Nederhorst, unemployment among youth in Uganda is between 60 and 80 percent.

      She noted her vision for Sawa World began as a child growing up in Tanzania, where her parents worked in the international aid sector.

      “I travelled to rural and urban villages and communities and got to see extreme poverty when I was very, very young,” she recounted.

      “But also had amazing parents who said that the best way to solve this is with the people’s own ideas, and I saw these amazing leaders in every community that we travelled to.”

      Sawa World was established in 2007 and is based in both Uganda and Vancouver.



      Fahad Sekweyama

      Jan 12, 2015 at 11:00pm

      Sawa World gave me an opportunity to live a poverty free life, I was employed by Sawa World in June 2014 to help rescue my slum community called Bwaise which is the most deprived and densely populated area in Kampala Uganda housing over 90000 people where 82% survive on less than a dollar each day, over 600 young girls and women are engaged into sex trade. With Sawa World programs, such as the Sawa World days, i managed to mobilize at least 500 vulnerable people to attend and learn different practical solutions that they are using now to help them selves out of extreme poverty. Thanks to Sawa World's Daphne.

      kisakye Allan

      Aug 11, 2015 at 12:02am

      am youth chairman kazinga LC1, i would also like to join sawa world so that u can help my youth here, they are un employed, they need such good programs
      write me ; allankisakye @ twitter, kisakye Allan@ facebook,
      or call +256706895929