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Africa Development Indicators (2008/2009), show 83% of Ugandans between the ages of 15-24 are unemployed yet Ugandan youth account for almost 80% of the total work force. Tanzania - 2006 Integrated Labour Force Survey (ILFS) urban unemployment was 25 percent for men and 33.7 percent for women in Dar es Salaam.

Uganda’s Gender and Labor ministries, figures show that only 8,000 jobs were available for the approximately 390,000 students who complete tertiary education yearly. For Tanzania – 40,000 jobs available for 700,000 graduates annually. Paradoxically some of the jobs that are available remain unfilled due to skills mismatches.

Faced with this reality of the possibility of disillusioned youth being recruited into all manner of destructive activities driven by desperation and the desire to secure living, DG Bob and fellow Rotarians have designed a Rotary Vijana Poa program whose vision is to have “Every youth running a sustainable enterprise or being gainfully employed.” The program purpose is to create opportunities where youth start, grow, and sustain their enterprises, while enabling those seeking employment to become professional and productive.”

Program 3 Key Objectives

1. For graduates that are hard to employ; the objective is to provide school –to- work transition through work-based based programs – internship and apprenticeship placements

2. For non-educated youth and school drop outs; the objective is to generate “commonsense” enterprises in communities and in the real world where their skills will be honed by situations that cannot be replicated in an educationally sterile environment

3. To establish a youth training centers so as to equip youth with employable and entrepreneurship skills.

Rotary clubs in Uganda and Tanzania have started getting youth into work through common senses enterprises in their communities. However, they are just scratching the surface! We are consolidating this work and scaling it up.