Working to accessibly provide young vulnerable women and youth with a robust innovation
skillset and essential resources to create sustainable social ventures and social impact in Uganda.
Our story starts back in 2013 when our founder Nathan Okiror, during his undergraduate research study witnessed firsthand the depressing conditions and stigma girls within the rural communities in Serere district in Uganda went through during their menstrual circles. These girls lacked sanitary supplies to help themselves, they missed school during that specific time of the month beyond this, and these girls also experienced high levels of stigma. To change this Nathan, teamed up with our other two co-founders, Fiona and James, and launched a human-centric and community-based menstrual management project that involved boys and men as catalysts of change, this saw an enormous impact on the state of girl child school attendance, the community response to the girls’ menstrual health and the involvement of men and boys in accelerating girls and women’s reproductive health.
Inspite of the change that had been created one outstanding phenomenon stood out in the communities the project had been deployed, there were rampant women and girls' economic dependence on men for their survival as attributed to factors such as; poverty, the education-employment gap, limited access business financing and access to other essential resources and yet women and girls wanted to be architects of their own empowerment and change, this is the background that led the organization to pivot in 2016 towards economic empowerment. Our work today is centered on promoting women’s socio-economic independence in Uganda, preventing vulnerability and exploitation via a human-centric model that delivers practical tools in social entrepreneurship training to tackle firsthand community problems within the themes of food security, climate change, and health while providing mentorship and lean startup financing. This not only provides vulnerable women and girls with skills in business development and ownership, and social leadership, but sustainable income and an opportunity to tackle the problems of today and those of tomorrow.
We exist because Uganda has the 7th highest economic dependency rate in the world (the total number of dependents to the working population) at 92.3%, high youth unemployment (83%), and lack of rights and access to resources for women. Youth and women in Uganda need extensive educational and economic support to unlock their potential, which in turn strengthens their families and communities. Without the skills and resources they need to overcome these barriers, women, and youth are trapped in a cycle, unable to access economic opportunities, quality education, and health care services.
We work through community partnerships to target women and youth who are significantly marginalized and vulnerable due to poverty, the growing education-to-employment gap, geography, and social constructs of gender. We implement a human-centered impact model that equips these community members with the skills they need to respond to the most critical challenges they face. The guiding principle of our model is that those we work with decide what they want to do, and choose the support and resources that they need to do it.