ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND SOCIAL REINTEGRATION OF YOUTH EX-PRISONERS IN LANGO AND ACHOLI SUB-REGION (SREE)
The Economic Empowerment and Social Reintegration of Youth Ex-Prisoners project is a three year action implemented by Advance Afrika in partnership with Uganda Prisons Service with funding from European Union and Caritas Switzerland. The project focuses on social economic rehabilitation and reintegration of 1,200 youth prisoners in 28 prison units in Acholi and Lango sub-regions in northern Uganda. The project objectives include; the Economic and social reintegration of youth ex-prisoners by:
- Developing their entrepreneurship and life skills
- Establishing learning and mentorship mechanisms to accompany them in the development and implementation of small businesses
- Providing them with start-up kits to launch small businesses
- Improving their reintegration into communities
- Strengthening the capacities of key stakeholders.
EMPOWERING LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN WEST NILE (ELVWC)
The Empowering local communities to prevent violence against women and children in West Nile (ELVWC) project is a two year and six months action implemented by Advance Afrika and Partners in Community Transformation (PICOT) in partnership with Uganda Prisons Service with funding from the European Union. The project focuses on empowering women and children in Koboko and Arua districts to live peaceful and dignified lives as they enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights. The project objectives include; i) Female (ex) inmates have access to improved and impactful rehabilitation and reintegration services; ii) Community structures actively engage in changing attitudes, perceptions and practices regarding respect for women’s and children’s rights.The action hereby is two-fold, as it seeks to support (a) vulnerable women in and after prison as well as (b) vulnerable women in the community at large. The action identifies women as particularly vulnerable to falling victims to domestic violence and SexualGender Based Violence. Hence it seeks to engage both duty bearers (such as local government leadership structures, police and Uganda Prisons Service leadership) as well as rights holders (particularly women) in efforts to enable women to live dignified lives in full realisation of their rights.
VICTIM OFFENDER RELATIONSHIP PROJECT
The Victim-Offenders Relationship Project (VOP) is a pilot intervention, which is being implemented by Advance Afrika in Partnership with Uganda Prisons Service with funding and support from AGEH Civil Peace Service. In-line with Advance Afrika’s work on the social economic rehabilitation and reintegration of vulnerable prison inmates in northern Uganda (SREE) project, the VORP project focuses on fostering peaceful co-existence. Hence the project seeks to encourage positive ways of dealing with conflict among ex-inmates, victims and communities in northern Uganda at large. Within this framework, Advance Afrika partners with Radio Wa as well as the Justice and Peace Department of Lira Diocese in a Radio Programme on community receptiveness of ex-prison inmates and victim-offender relationships. The overall objective of the radio programme is to raise awareness among community members on the situation of vulnerable youth in prison and increase their readiness to welcome and reintegrate ex-prison inmates. This shall be achieved by sharing stories of ex-prison inmates, providing insights into the justice system, encouraging community discussions on challenges and opportunities of reintegration as well as increasing the capacity of community members to address conflicts around the reintegration of ex-prison inmates.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF FEMALE INMATES IN WESTNILE (SEFI)
Female prison inmates continue to face double vulnerability; first as women and mothers given how society perceives and treats them and secondly as youths who are excluded and so cannot have equitable access to economic and social opportunities. It is for this among others that women have fallen victims to acts of crime especially “crimes of passion” like murder, manslaughter and assault either in self-defense or as an act to fight back unfairness. The Socio-economic Empowerment of Female Inmates in West Nile (SEFI) project was a pilot intervention by Advance Afrika in partnership with Uganda Prisons Service with support from Caritas Switzerland and TechnoServe. The overall goal of the project was to contribute to economic development and prevention of re-offending through economic opportunities for sustainable livelihoods of vulnerable female prison inmates. This pilot intervention led to a new two year and six months action known as the Empowering Local Communities to Prevent Violence against Women and Children in West Nile (ELVWC) project which is supported by European Union and implemented in partnership with Partners in Community Transformation (PICOT) and Uganda Prisons Service.
YOUTH TO YOUTH FUND
Advance Afrika was contracted by International Labour Organisation to support the grantee organisations to effectively implement their projects and ensure sustainability of the Y2YF model. We supported, supervised and monitored 44 youth led grantees organisations in 11 districts of Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Gulu, Kitgum, Oyam, Lira, Nebbi, Zombo and Arua to ensure successful implementation of supported youth led projects.
The Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Fund which was a major component of the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility was a competitive grant scheme to identify and support youth-led entrepreneurship development project as a means to create decent employment for youth was funded by the European Union in partnership with the International Labour Organization to address the high youth unemployment in Uganda by identifying, supporting and promoting innovative, small scale projects on youth entrepreneurship, conceptualized, submitted and implemented by youth-led organizations. It gave youths an opportunity to contribute to youth employment as active development partners rather than just beneficiaries.
ADVANCING YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP (AYE)
This project was a three-year intervention which targeted marginalised and disadvantaged youth in northern Uganda. The intervention aimed to reduce career criminality and improve sustainable livelihoods of this cohort of youth in the Lango and Acholi sub-regions through entrepreneurship and life skills development. The intervention empowered the youth prison inmates and ex-prisoners to become independent, thus enabling them to start and manage their own enterprises, which did not only create income and employment for themselves, but also for other youth in the community, and addressed social issues.
With support from Caritas Switzerland and in partnership with the Uganda Prisons Service, the AYE project provided an opportunity for the vulnerable youth who suffered tremendously from a decade of insurgency in northern Uganda, which forced most of the inhabitants into internally displaced people’s (IDP) camps. As a result of a tenacious dependence syndrome, the youth had limited alternative sources of livelihood, forcing them to commit crime. In addition, the socio-economic reintegration of the prison inmates into the community targeted dynamic risk factors associated with recidivism and specific initiatives focus on the specific challenges facing offenders, including substance abuse, unemployment and job creation. The project, therefore, aimed at imparting entrepreneurial skills to the youth prison inmates and ex-prisoners, helping them establish small businesses and improving on the chances of community acceptance of ex-prisoners as they try to reintegrate.
The AYE project was originally piloted through the Youth Entrepreneurship Enhancement Project (YEEP) in 2014, which informed key intervention strategies. The project was then rolled out in four districts of northern Uganda, namely Gulu, Lira, Kitgum and Pader. The target groups of the three-year intervention were male and female youth prisoners and ex-prisoners.
YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP ENHANCEMENT PROJECT (YEEP)
With support from Caritas Switzerland, Advance Afrika piloted the YouthEntrepreneurship Enhancement Project (YEEP) in 2014 aimed at improving the livelihoods of vulnerable youth in northern Uganda through entrepreneurship skills development. The project responded to the increasing lack of alternatives to sustainable livelihoods faced by many young people who grew up in internally displaced people’s (IDP) camps and did not have a chance to attain formal education, consequently lacking employable skills and the skills required to start their own income-generating activities – hence their vulnerability. Owing to a lack of alternative sources of livelihood, the youth get involved in crime and violence and end up in prison. Even after serving their jail sentence, the youth return to even worse conditions, and the cycle is repetitive. The YEEP project was piloted in Lango and Acholi sub-regions, and targeted prison inmates and vulnerable youth (ex-convicts) aged 18-35. It included the training of the prison social workers in the sub-regions as trainers who thereafter trained those inmates who were about to complete their jail terms. When these youth return to their communities, Advance Afrika continued to support them in starting up enterprises to generate income.