International Youth Day (IYD) was established by the United Nations in 1999 and highlights the importance and value of youth around the globe, focusing on the roles they place in modern society. Currently, the population of youth between the ages of 10 and 24 is 1.8 billion, the highest on record. These young people are the future of the world, but are challenged by lack of safety, education, and skills necessary to begin their careers and enact change in their communities. This year, International Youth Day’s theme is “Transforming Education.” This theme focuses on equitability and inclusivity for all youth, especially as fueled by the youth themselves.
In Uganda, like many parts of East Africa, youth have the motivation to start their own businesses, but do not have the resources or transformative education to prepare for their goals. Dennis Mulondo, the eldest of four children, attended LEI in 2018 as one of the first students from Uganda and was taught the skills he needed to excel.
At LEI, he benefited most from the focus on entrepreneurship, especially the subcategory of ideation. His primary education, combined with the education he received at LEI, prepared him for the transition between school and the workforce. Mulondo credits this transformative experience with allowing him to reduce dependence on his parents as he begins his own small business, which has begun through his LEI project.
For his project, Mulondo decided to focus on accessibility to nutritious food. He noticed that some families could not afford to easily go to the city centre to buy vegetables, so he decided to work on easing the burden of these families. Mulondo and his mother supply vegetables to clients in different areas for a reduced price in order to ensure that they have access to healthy food items. While he has faced some difficulties with fluctuation in food prices, Mulondo hopes to sustain and improve his project by establishing a store with freezers to keep vegetables fresh for longer periods of time.
Mulondo is currently attending Makerere University Business School where he is the vice president of the Rotary Club and the deputy speaker of the Accounting Students Association of Makerere University. He hopes to become an auditor and establish a business where he can employ some of the youth in his community.
The lives of students like Mulondo are completely transformed by their experiences with Asante Africa Foundation’s programs. The proceeds of our 99 Day Challenge go to sustaining and improving programs like the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator (LEI). All donations are matched by five generous donors, meaning that your donation makes twice the impact. For International Youth Day 2019, help Transform Education by donating to Asante Africa Foundation to support the empowerment and education of the young people of East Africa.
Written By – Marissa Chesney