It is a sunlit mid-morning in Kisaka II Village, Bwera Sub-County, Kasese district in Western Uganda. Kasese is few kilometers away from the Uganda - Democratic Republic of Congo border. Cross border business is common in this part of the country so the area is busy.
Alfred Kizza and his 3 counterparts are busy conversing as they fix a motorcycle. Their duty station is called KK Garage and Spare parts. They mainly repair motorcycles and sale their spare parts.
“I was born and raised in this village,” says the 24-year-old.
“I stopped in primary seven, my parents couldn’t afford educating me beyond this level.”
After dropping out, Kizza had to find a means of survival. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a skill so the best Kizza could offer was casual labour.
“I was paid very meager wages yet I did a lot of work,” the P7 leaver narrates. “This made me to lose hope for a better future.”
One day a neighbour told Kizza an announcement he heard on one of the local radio stations. Kizza’s home did not have a radio set. The announcement said Alliance for Children and Youth (A4CY), a Nongovernmental organisation in partnership with Enabel was looking for 50 needy young people to train in vocational skills. All training costs were catered for by Enabel and A4CY.
“I was very interested so immediately applied to train in motorcycle mechanics. They considered me for the training,” Kizza says.
“I enrolled for the course because I wanted a good life like others.”
He successfully completed the training few months later. The training included a model on entrepreneurship and basic financial literacy.
“We were requested to form groups after graduation,” he explains. “The group was later given a toolbox as a startup kit to help members to establish a business.”
This was how KK Garage and Spare parts was born. They have since gone ahead to acquire more toolboxes using revenue from the businesses. They also expanded their clientele using a simple formula.
“We market our businesses by doing excellent work to ensure customers return and refer new clients,” he says. They plan to continue working together and buy each member a piece of land, start training other youths and further expand the business.
Kizza was trained through the Support to Skilling Uganda project implemented by Enabel and Ministry of Education and Sports with funding from the Kingdom of Belgium. The project aims increase the employability of youth through better quality of instruction and by making training more responsive to the needs of the labour market.