Your Hands Africa awarded Grant

The mission of Into Your Hands Africa is to empower youth and families in rural Uganda through education and enterprise development. For 19 years, Into Your Hands-Africa has been working with students, families and communities in rural Midwestern Uganda, supporting community empowerment and economic sustainability through education and enterprise development. Activities to meet the mission of the organization include, providing “hand-up” assistance to families to develop their own revenue system, assisting youth in attaining a secondary education, empowering women with tools to attain economic self-sufficiency and creating opportunities for communities to develop stronger ties amongst themselves.

With 19 years of experience, IYHA has learned that education alone will not create a sustainable economic change in rural Uganda. As a response to this need, IYHA is implementing an entrepreneurial and professional development training program that combines education with entrepreneurship. This new program, Life Skills, includes in-class lessons, exposure visits and a livestock project to support students in self-funding their own education. This meets their immediate needs by funding the student’s secondary education while bringing long-term benefits of residual income, food security, and best practices in animal husbandry and economic opportunity for the local economy. Funding provided by the Kathryn B. McQuade Foundation will bridge the enrollment gap by meeting the immediate needs of 60 senior one students and St. James Secondary School. Funding support will provide each student with an education stipend and program admittance in the Life Skills program. In addition, they will receive ten workshop lessons focusing on emotional intelligence, professional development, exposure visit to demonstration farms, technical application and motivation. Year two funding includes three career development and employability lessons including career planning, resume writing, and personal budgeting in addition to three practical workshops. Life Skills senior two students are also gift with a livestock project to begin their business. Year three content includes two workshops on professional development and four practical lessons on running and managing livestock business and understanding the importance of ethical business practices. IYHA staff members visit each student’s home on a monthly basis to review project progression. Year four content includes an ongoing mentorship and group support that is facilitated by IYHA’s partner school. IYHA measures Life Skills program success by meeting these 5 objectives: 1. 60% of participating students continue their personal savings plan from year two through year 4. 2. 90% of participates will demonstrate a 50% increase in business knowledge as indicated by pre and post assessment tests. 3. A minimum of 75% of all pass-on enterprise projects will be completed within 18 months of original enterprise handouts as indicated by the total number of livestock pass-on projects collected by the IYHA’s field officers and Youth and Enterprise Program officers. 4. 50% of students will be able to self-fund at least 50% of their tuition fees with one and half years of project implementation. This is measured through an annual baseline assessments and monthly home visits. 5. Life Skills program will positively fight against gender inequality. Partner schools will demonstrate a 20% enrollment increase among female students at the end of year one. The Life Skills program puts students in the classroom. IYHA’s distinctive approach of incorporating classroom education, vocational training and business classes, along with ongoing support from on-the ground staff; all work in tandem to support student success while improving the local economy. The outcome produced from the Life Skills program includes more girls in schools, increased confidence among Life Skills students, parent support and buy-in, increased English comprehension among students, lower pregnancy rates, and a knowledge transfer in professional development and emotional intelligence.