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They are working tirelessly under the hot sun. On right hand side, some of them are mixing sand. Others are placing sand on the house foundation. On the left-hand side, a few are picking bricks from different locations.
This is a group of young south Sudanese refugees and host communities’ members. Early, last year, many of them had no construction skills. They were staying in the settlements without any source of income. The same year, an opportunity to train was availed to them.
They applied for the training in construction. After training for six months, the youth opened a construction group called Yoyo young talent builders and carpentry association in November,2019.
They are among hundreds of young refugees and host communities who have been training under the skills development component under Enabel under the European Union emergency fund for northern Uganda. The project aims to equip the youth with skills so as to improve their livelihoods.
According the group’s deputy chairperson, Francis Wani, a south Sudanese National, their group consists of 16 members. The 9 members are from the host communities and the other 7 from the refugee communities.
After training, the group applied for a building grant with Peace wind Japan to construct houses for people with special needs. They received the contract. In January, they received shs 1m. Later in February, they received another payment of shs 1.5m. Then most recently, they received another payment of shs 2m.
Out of these payments, Wani says, each member is able to get shs 120,000. They use the money to buy household items including clothes. Wani who apparently stays with his elderly parents uses the money to support his young siblings with scholastic materials.
Wani says they are determined to build houses for fellow refugees in the settlement in Yoyo settlement in zone III. So far, they construct over three houses and handed it over to people with special needs. The group hopes to expand their construction group by buying more tools.
They have expanded their group by incorporating other youth. Wani says, they are employing other youth as casual labourers. According to the local authorities, the youth have been able to provide descent houses for people with special.
“So far, we have built five houses in the settlement. We work as a team. We are dedicated because this is our source of income.” Says wani
The group has been registered with the local authorities at the settlement. Their dream is to open bank account and train more in financial management so as to improve their business ventures. They also hope to become a bigger company.