Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A new youth empowerment programme called Project 500K has started its mission of empowering young Ugandans, aged 18 – 35, as they begin their careers.
Project 500K plans to empower youth to change their mindset and build the skills needed to be employable or run a successful business. The programme started this month in Ibanda District on and is set to expand across Uganda in the months to come.
“Project 500K is working to set up the next generation of business leaders to succeed and grow Uganda’s economy,” explained Project 500K Director, Nataliey Bitature.
“A lot of young Ugandans are looking for a way to get rich quickly, but what they need is management skills, financial literacy, and a more productive mindset. That is what we are offering through Project 500K – the insight needed to help people help themselves.”
Project 500K was created by the Patrick and Carol Bitature Foundation with the mission to empower 500,000 Ugandan youth to be employable or run a successful business.
The foundation is running its pilot project in Ibanda District through the months of September and October, 2017, with over 2000 members already signed up.
Project 500K then plans to expand to Western Uganda by the year’s end, reach Kampala in early 2018, and expand to the rest of Uganda in the months and years to come.
Youth camps, radio and sms
Project 500K delivers this programme through three channels, weekly youth camps, daily SMS messages and a programme on Rwenzori FM Eiraka Radio at 9pm Monday to Friday.
Each week covers a different theme, from self-assessment and goal setting, to budgeting, investment, long term planning, problem solving and generating creative ideas.
Project 500K is actively building partnerships with other organizations that work on youth empowerment in Uganda. Following the eight-week programme, Project 500K encourages participants to access a catalogue of partners and resources.
It creates an alumni network to encourage further learning, collaboration, mentorship, hiring and investment. Ultimately, Project 500K emboldens members to become change agents in their communities.
Patrick Turyamureeba, a young businessman in Ibanda said of the program: “What I’ve seen here in Ibanda is that youth are too much obsessed with money. They want handouts, but they don’t think – if we have money, what do we do with it?”
“Youth need to know the value of money, and that every shilling can multiply and become something big. Personally, I’ve learned a lot about business from my role model, Patrick Bitature, and I have achieved more in terms of financial management and business management. I think the youth can learn about this from Project 500K and achieve much more.”