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For the past couple of months, we have been fundraising to support a group of young women and adolescent girls in Bugiri District and over the weekend; Saturday 12 October 2019, we were able to visit and give what we raised from different people. We thank everyone who has supported our charity campaign to support teenage mothers in Bugiri District. This has been part of our pilot program Hangout for Charity, where we are encouraging travelers and young people to actively support communities as they explore their Country.

We have a big dream to grow a strong community of social impact travelers, who not only travel to have fun, but to support each other, give back to the community, network with fellows and share knowledge.

On our first charity trip to Bugiri/Sipi Falls, we raised UGX 910,000 and we purchased one (1) sewing/tailoring machine and one (1) salon hair dryer for a group of over 50 teenage mothers in Bugiri. These young mothers come together to learn practical skills that can help them increase their revenue so that they can support their families.

They are working to build a strong learning center where women can come and learn skills in hairdressing and tailoring. Resources like tailoring machines and any salon equipment are one of their key resources and we encourage anyone who can support to reach out! You can talk to us or get in touch with them directly through their Facebook page.

 

Building your connections will provide you with an invaluable opportunity to best prepare for your career goals. It is important to remember that networking is a mutually beneficial process. You never know when your skills and resources can prove to be beneficial to others in your network.

From all my past Youth Day event engagements I boldly rate the event’s impact 10 on scale of 1-10. The event is and continues to grow as a networking opportunity for youth from all around the country, stresses Angelus Muhindo; a volunteer of Busoga Information Centre Network in Jinja.

He also adds that Iganga Youth Day serves as a time to show case how youths are working hard to create positive impact in their various communities.

After attending the Iganga Youth Day events since 2016, Sarah Mukoda enthusiastically informs us that she would continue showing up at the event for the years to come and also recommend her friends to join her simply because of the great networking platform and great opportunities the event creates.

Iganga Youth Day not only exposed me to a different youthful celebration experience with people from all over the country, it also opened a number of opportunities for me. From the various NGOs like 256 Youth Platform, Uganda Village Project among others that attended the event, I was lucky to have gotten two volunteer placements in those organizations and up to date; am grateful to the work experience I attained. Sara narrates.

She also adds that one of her friend she invited on Iganga Youth Day 2017 secured a job through a connection she made from the event.

In her last remarks she points out, “I continue to urge all the youth in and out of Iganga to come and make use of the opportunities and networks Iganga Youth Day unbridles.”

Iganga Youth Day is such a fulfilling event to the young people in Iganga Community; highlights Mutesi Josephine; Miss Earth Uganda.  She also adds that the events incorporate a sense of togetherness and socialization through the interaction and fun activities that are usually done as a celebration.

The different social causes like the charity walks, town cleaning and hospital donations that are part of the activities of the event continue to stand out for her in such a way that builds a culture doing good in one’s community and becomes part of you. The session where different youth leaders and local leaders come together to share ideas opened her mind on how she perceives different aspects of life and widened her knowledge on a number of things.

“Through Iganga Youth Day; I have made new friends, met new people, made meaningful interactions and have continued to get new ideas from the networks I got from the event. Remember; our Network is your Net worth,” remarks Miss Earth, Josephine Mutesi.

Kismat Ismail is one of the many young people whose face lightens up at the mention of Iganga Youth Day. To him, the event is a great platform for networking and taking out insights from different youth leaders who share lessons from their various journeys of starting/leading youth-led initiatives.

Ismail leads a community initiative; Nva Busoga Foundation, a charity working in Busoga region. The initiative mobilizes different young people to make donations of pads and clothes and other livelihood necessities to unprivileged rural communities in the region.

When asked how Hangout Foundation’s Iganga Youth Day event has impacted him, Kismat replied;

I value Iganga Youth Day because I have met so many differently skilled young people that have advised, supported and walked with me the journey of growing my community initiative at the event. I am encouraging all my friends not to miss the event this year so that just like me, they can also connect to the meaningful network of young people Iganga Youth Day creates annually.

The youth are a critical force in the development of any society. Young people account for more than a quarter of the world’s population today. Timely interventions directed at young people are more likely to yield a greater return for sustainable development than attempts to build these capacities later in the life cycle.

In our effort to continue empowering the youth to take charge of their destiny and become the forces of social change, we do acknowledge that we first need to address the multidimensional barriers they face for them to be active citizens of their communities. Of these obstacles, decent employment, education, health and civic participation are the most essential to their well-being. Some of the constraints they confront are related to lack of opportunities, living with HIV while others are limited access to information and resources.

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Through our community outreaches, we have continued to create a space where youth lead sessions using peer to peer approach in schools and other platforms where we are invited. Hangout Foundation took pride in joining the Iganga University Students and Youth Association in a recently concluded community outreach where we addressed the issue of health living among young people if we are to work towards the attainment of sustainable development in our communities and country at large. Through such platforms, we motivate the youth we work with to become aware of the needs of the people in communities around them. It is also an opportunity for them to learn and share talents and gifts with those community members we reach out to.

Besides providing young people in our network with material and technical support, we continue to encourage them to engage in socially aware projects and activities that will promote the good of the community. For the past three years, we have continued to be impressed by how much the young people all over Uganda join in our annual community event; Iganga Youth Day where we celebrate youths and jointly give back to community through an identified social cause. The resulting end of our annual event is that young people take an active role in community development through a heightened sense of duty and responsibility.

We call out more young people out there to join us this year as we prepare for our annual International Youth Day celebrations as we stand in the gap for 50 teenage mothers who lack sufficient machines for them to learn the tailoring skill to eventually support their young ones and beat the cycle of poverty that is engulfing deeper communities of Busoga region.

Your donation can change a teenage mother’s life; send your donation through https://www.hangoutfoundation.org/iganga-youth-day-2019/

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On 20th November 2018, we were so much privileged to have the support of African Youth Action Network, friends and friends of friends who stood with us to make the cloth donation to refugees in Kiryandongo Settlement a success. There were refugee leaders who greatly appreciated the kind gesture from whoever contributed.

Photo Credit: Dipak Moses

At certain times, cruelty takes the core, places have gone through harsh situations, Rwanda, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and elsewhere in the world. We’ve seen it first hand in the broken limbs, families, people and traumatic experiences people have had to go through. We have all seen what humankind is capable of at its worst. But we have also seen something stronger than hate, we’ve seen bravery, kindness and incredible acts of love and this is exactly why we reached out to the refugees to celebrate through people’s giving.

Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement

Photo Credit: Dipak Moses

There is something more that we can do than just simply helping refugees survive when we can make them thrive. Let us think of refugee camps and communities as more than just temporary populations where they languish waiting for wars to end rather as centres of excellence where they triumph over their trauma and train them for the day they can go back to their homes as agents of positive change and social transformation. These victims of war hold the keys to lasting peace and are the right people to end the cycle of violence.

Let us unite and work towards the desired change we all want to live in.

Photo Credit: Dipak Moses

Over the past two years we have been organizing Iganga Youth Day under the International Youth Day celebrations allover the world, discussing the given themes from the United Nations. This year 2018, with support from Balloon Ventures and Africell, we are organized this event again. Putting young people together and giving back to the community.

If you missed out this year 2018, here is what happened 🙂

On Friday 10, 2018 we kicked off with an interview with Kyamagero Andrew from NTV, discussing the role of young people and leaders towards community development. Later in the evening, we had a great camp fire with BBQ with a group of young people sharing and networking together.

On Saturday 11th, The main event started with a match from Iganga District to Iganga main hospital with a band to present our  donation to the pediatrics ward. After, we moved back to the main venue for speeches, discussions and more engagements with youths.

The theme for International Youth Day 2018 Was: “Safe Spaces for Youth”

Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth.

Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.

Watch our interview at NTV