Introduced under the Markets for Youth Program, the Community Conversation approach used by KRC Uganda and GOAL is gradually reviving the weakening community spirit of collective resolve to local development challenges. The Market for Youth Program and Community Conversations target young people below the age of 35 years.

 

Due to weak institutional capacity of local governments in Uganda, and Local Council ones (LCIs) in particular, the country has gradually witnessed a dying spirit of community belonging and concern, mostly affecting the young generation. Current population projections for youth below the age of 30 years is estimated at 78% of the Uganda’s total population, a huge number, but without meaningful participation in the nation’s market economy. The Markets for Youth Program is now changing this narrative, working with young people to collectively and collaboratively increase the influencing power of the youth in the agricultural market system.

 

Across the 7 districts of Kabarole, Fort Portal City, Kasese, Kyegegwa, Kikuube, Kamwenge and Hoima, young people, mobilised by their Youth Champions and KRC Facilitators, young people are undergoing a re-awakening to begin taking concern of development on their communities. The lost vitality of community meetings, is being revived, where youth engage fellow youth and local leaders in a guided process to organise, identify community issues, do research and find suitable solutions to these challenges.

Since April 2021, when the project started, KRC Uganda trained 71 youth champions from across the 7 districts of the Rwenzori and Bunyoro sub regions in Western Uganda.

 

The youth champions have found the community conservations approach relevant and have adopted it to engage their peers, the local leaders and the community at large to reflect on their concerns.  While some of the local leaders thought the youth champions were usurping their leadership roles, some have found the initiative vital and joined the youth in mobilising the communities.

 

The community conservations methodology has six stages; (1) building relationship and trust, (2) Concerns identification, (3) Exploration of the concerns, (4) Decision making, (5) Action and (6) Reflection & review. It is during the relation building meeting that everyone in the community is seen as a foundation of the transformation process.  From the first meetings, it was observed that some community leaders started to appreciate the relevancy of the youth champions. According to some youth champions, the meetings have improved the way they relate with community leaders to the extent that some leaders have asked the youth champions to replicate such meetings in the neighbouring communities. Other local leaders do organise for these meetings and extend invitation to the youth champions to facilitate.  During second stage meeting, people have shared many issues that they care about as triggered by their own perception of the problem. The meetings provide space for the communities to identify their own concerns and solutions using participatory approaches. It is observed that during monthly review meetings conducted by KRC with the youth champions and their peers, a number of youths begin to reflect on the existing opportunities and tapping into them for business opportunities. This is clear evidence of mindset change towards work. Some youths begin to venture into business within their localities, while others begin to save money within their groups. As a result, youth are seen to gain confidence to engage other stakeholders in regard to their concerns. It’s fundamentally a new renaissance of community.

 

Title: Community conversations rekindle the spirit of community meetings

Author: By Hyeroba Geofrey Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, KRC-Uganda

Category: Education

Publish Date: 2022-03-30

Brief Story



Related News

Sign up for our eNewsletter to learn more about our work    
Search