RCE Greater Eastern Uganda - 2019

Empowered Youths; the transformers of Africa. Youth involvement in ESD case of GEURCE
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Empowered Youths; the transformers of Africa. Youth involvement in ESD case of GEURCE
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Eastern Uganda
Contributing organization(s) : 
Busitema University
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Busitema University
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Saturday, June 15, 2019
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Africa and Middle East
Tororor, Mbale and Busia
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The area has many socioeconomic activities; some few people are employed in both public and private sector and this makes about (30%) and most of them are small scale peasants who only cultivate during the seasons. The kind of land is majorly sandy which has less water retention capacity making it difficult to do agriculture any time of the year. The area receives rainfall between march and may, then September and November. In other days when they are unable to do agriculture, some men get to burn charcoal as an alternative way of earning a living.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
There is a lot of tree cutting for charcoal burning for the whole year. the parents of the area do not want to take children to school, if they do so, the children attend public school where they do not pay at all and the children stay hungry at school, some times during rainy season, they stay home for agriculture. Girls have a high dropout rate due to pregnancies, challenges in menstruation period, lack of proper facilitation, early pregnancies and negative comments from their communities that girls are not supposed to go to school. Actually very few girls can only complete primary level and again those who go to secondary, less than 20% finish senior four. Many boys especially in secondary do not complete school and they are the ones that make the majority of prisoners in all police cells in the district.
February, 2013
Youths are the cheapest, sometimes unutilized or underutilized human resource that Africa has. They are very many making the biggest population of each country in Africa. Close to half of them are productive while the other half is unproductive because of lack of employment and have been used by many politicians to serve their interests. They are always at the center of political riots and many law breaking activities stemming from a very small facilitation. Some of the energy that the youths have has been used in the wrong direction and therefore there is need for urgent harnessing and utilization of these energies. I am only worried of the next generation how it will be when the current youths will be the parents then. Which kind of communities shall we have, which kind of children shall we raise and how will Africa look like then. As a saying “set a thief to catch a thief,” we ought to use the productive youths today to help the unproductive youths in their communities become of help. The productive youths might be learnt but might not have the knowledge of sustainable development and therefore they need to be equipped through education to be silver bullets when commissioned. There is need to empower the youths so that they can empower others to transform Africa.
Goals of the project
Teaching the youths about sustainable development
Taking them to the field to identify and solve real life problems
Incubation to generate new ideas that are helpful in our communities

Goals of activities
To encourage girl child education
To improve sanitations and hygiene of students all around
To guide and counsel the students on the various challenges they have
To give them career guidance so that they have a target focused education
To help solve challenges of communities through education
To increase in the completion rate of students at both levels of education and reduce dropout rates
To help improve performance in these schools
To discourage early child marriages, early pregnancies, early fatherhood.
To reduce on HIV/AIDs attraction by youths
To conserve the environment through education.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Youths in GEURCE have first and foremost been exposed to education for sustainable development as a cross cutting course for all university students besides their career course units. This is to empower them so that they are equipped to empower others for African transformation. Two students championed and led ESD associations are in place to provide a platform for them to put the learnt knowledge into practice by implementation. Through these associations the youths have been engaged in the following activities:
• School (primary and secondary) outreach activities: career guidance, guidance and counselling, teaching in schools with lack of enough teachers to teach the students since the university has many teacher trainees who can be of help, planting trees and starting environmental clubs in schools, teaching girl child how to make pads, how to cope up with menstruation and menstrual hygiene, skits and drama to drive the ESD point home, follow-ups of every school every semester to ensure the children are on track.
• Campus and community activities: cleaning up of the campus, hospitals and urban centers to make sure that the communities keep hygiene, Recycling of paper project while working with the department of chemistry which houses paper making project from waste paper and plant materials.
• Currently the students are being trained on; agriculture project where they plant vegetables in sacks, water purification using sand filters, so that they can teach this information in our outreaches to communities.
• Bird counting to promote avitourism
Size of academic audience: 
For now seven years, we have reached over 10,000 people.
Environmental conservation clubs are thriving with school teachers as patrons overseen by the head teachers and supervised by the RCE, tree cutting is going down because the trees in the communities have reduced and the people have seen the effects of deforestation on their climate and now planting more trees and are finding alternative ways of earning money. The school students have been encouraged to stay in schools and dropout rates are slowly reducing. Because of this, we receive calls form schools we haven’t visited yet calling us to go and provide the same services. One student currently in the Busitema university came from a school we visited back then in 2013 and we are so happy. He is a very active member in the association. The girl children have been refocused on completion and now we are trying to engage parents such that they know the importance of schooling so that they support in any way possible. The girls have been taught on menstrual hygiene and other girl related issues.
Lessons learned: 
We have to be inclusive of all people and not discriminating amongst people. Our earlier focus on secondary schools was not good so we had to also get down to pick up from primary schools. Many students are lost between primary and secondary schools as many don’t join so when they dropout, they lack the information yet they need to be responsible citizens. We are using an approach of teaching the communities what we want them to do but not do for them. Our focus has been majorly on students already enrolled in school and we have forgotten those who have dropped out. We have to look for ways of empowering them as well even. There are girls who have dropped out of school due to early pregnancies and we had neglected them. We are now coming with ways of helping them go back to school, a way that is sustainable such all of those in this category get the opportunity.
Key messages: 
Youths are sometimes the causes of some of the problems in our communities and sometimes the solution to them and many more. If the youths are empowered with the necessary skills, facilitation and equipments, they can be a solution to more than 70 of the problems of Africa, they can be the transformers.
Appreciation of funding from the Busitema University for these outreach activities through Dr. Edward Andama.
Appreciation of funding from NatureUganda.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Bus agric.jpg (1.15 MB) Sack vegetable gardens Ivan Oyege
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Curriculum Development 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level