Many children born in the slums cannot access basic necessities right from birth.
The low standards of living of their parents and other community members paint the picture of a failed society. Many are regarded as hopeless and without a future.
However, growing up in the ghetto or slum doesn't mean one cannot succeed. Anyone who disagrees need only look at Fiona Muteesi, a World Chess Champion, and other youth who have beaten the odds to make it in life despite growing up in slum areas.
Today we bring you the story of Kisirisa Muhammad, Mugagga Baya Brian, Nyombi Jaffar Tarzan and Kafuma Richard, 4 youths from Bwaise, one of Kampala's poorest slums, who in 2009 came together and formed an organisation. In Uganda, when you talk about Bwaise, the first thing that comes to mind is floods and poor drainage. The slum is always hit by floods during rainy seasons, and in fact, there's an old joke about Bwaise "Water is life as long as you don't live in Bwaise".
Growing up in Bwaise, they had a front-row seat witnessing the injustice that prevails when leaders neglect the citizens i.e. insecurity, poor quality education, food insecurity, poverty, youth unemployment, and a broken health system among others. It is therefore important to applaud the youths who beat these odds to start the Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD). The initial inspiration behind this initiative was to support vulnerable communities infected and affected by the scourge of HIV/AIDS. They purposed to cause a fundamental and sustainable change in the lives of youth in slum areas through imparting technical, vocational and life skills.
The organisation started as a Community-Based Organization (CBO) working with volunteers and local leaders to mobilise communities. It has since grown into a reputable NGO with over 57 full-time staff running the different projects under its four thematic areas i.e Education, Health, Economic Empowerment and Advocacy.
AFFCAD also runs a Nursery and Primary School known as AFFCAD School established in 2011. The school is located Off Mukalazi Road in Nakamiro Zone, Bwaise II Parish.
To create life-changing opportunities for youth, AFFCAD established a Vocational Institute known as AFFCAD Business and Vocational Institute (ABVI). Here, youth can choose from 11 courses namely; Tailoring and Fashion Designing, Graphic Designing, Electrical Installation, Catering and Hotel Management, Videography and Photography, Cosmetology, Decoration and Events Management, Welding and Metal Fabrication, Auto-Motive Mechanics and Leather Design. The institute is registered and accredited by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT).
For more details, please visit their website www.affcad.org or call +256 (0)750859254