Skilling the youth is one of the key outputs of the Ugandan government. Over 80% of the Ugandan population is youths under the age of 30. As a result, there is a high rate of unemployment rate among the youth in Uganda. In Uganda, the average primary school dropout rate is 45% but this rate is much higher amongst girls. This can be due to a lack of basic needs like good nutrition, clothing, and child labor, or cultural reasons such as domestic chores, child marriages, and teenage pregnancies.

Amidst all these challenges, Kagadi Institute of Science and Technology (KISTEC) has continued to spark the lives of many youth in Uganda by providing practical skills to the youth, especially school dropouts, teen mothers, and other rural and semi-urban youth in western Uganda.

Students who go through KISTEC are exposed to hands-on skills training which enables them to remain competitive in the labor market. Students are trained to be more creative, innovative, resilient, and business-oriented so that they can easily meet the market demands.

Some of the welding students at KISTEC putting their brains together to come up with a unique design for a window

In addition, the students are exposed to information and communication technology (ICT) which puts them in a better position to find a market for their products and continue learning on their own using online video tutorials.

Some of the Students in the KISTEC Computer Laboratory

KISTEC students have a direct link to the community within which KISTEC is operating. The students respond to community needs by producing products that are directly consumed by the community members. Community members also support KISTEC with training materials from which the students make products providing free labor.

According to the KISTEC Director Mr. Mwinganiza Godfrey, most of the youth trained come from families with limited income and the parents can’t afford to pay tuition and also provide adequate training materials. This puts a serious burden on KISTEC to ensure that the trainees get access to quality, affordable, and right education.

Godfrey added that KISTEC now more than ever needs like-minded partners to give a hand in skilling the youth. He called upon government and corporate organizations to come in and partner with KISTEC so that many youths can access skills training at KISTEC.