All posts from 2014

10 Years Anniversary of Our First Project

by Michael Pletscher on 30/09/2014 No comments

Fontes Foundation is proud to announce that its first safe water system, installed in 2004 in Katunguru-Rubirizi, is still running, which is not self-evident in Africa. It has now supplied safe water for the community for over 10 years. This deserves a proper celebration!

We cordially invite you to join us on an unforgettable trip through Uganda, which will carry us from the pulsating capital city of Kampala to the breathtaking landscape of the Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda, combining visiting of Fontes projects and tourism activities.

We are inviting friends, colleagues, Lions and Rotary club members, donors and whoever might be interested. This trip will be a unique opportunity to learn about Africa, to learn to know Africa, to understand Africa and at the same time spot some of Africa’s precious wildlife.

Please follow this link to find the invitation and the program for our 10 years celebration trip.


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Michael Pletscher10 Years Anniversary of Our First Project

A Personal Branding Session at the Potentiam Youth Centre

by Michael Pletscher on 26/09/2014 No comments

Larry.Holm.2.26.09 Last Friday the Potentiam Youth Development Centre was proud to have Mr. Larry Holm from the People Performance  Group, a human resource consultancy, to speak at our “Personal Branding” session during the Personality Development class at the Potentiam Youth Development Centre.

Centre Manager Surea Namanda thanks Larry Holm for his inspiring lecture.

Centre Manager Surea Namanda thanks Larry Holm for his inspiring lecture.


Talking about personal branding, Mr. Holm`s inspirational message to our students was that each of them should dare to set goals, and pursue them!

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Michael PletscherA Personal Branding Session at the Potentiam Youth Centre

Single Mothers Programme is Increasingly Successful

by Michael Pletscher on 22/09/2014 No comments

Single Mother 2 The Single Mothers Programme is Fontes Foundation Uganda’s newest addition to the Potentiam Youth Development Centre. The Programme was started in June to address the challenges that single mothers in the Muyenga – Bukasa area face because of their parenting circumstances.

The Programme allows the women to learn at least one skill per month without leaving their child home.Thanks to the recently set-up children’s corner at the Youth Center premises, the women are able to bring their children with them as they take part in the learning activities.

Single Mother 3

The workshops are aimed at giving the young women a marketable skill from which they can learn to support their families. In addition, the program has the purpose of informing the young mothers of the various services and opportunities at Potentiam Youth Development Center to develop and be empowered.

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Michael PletscherSingle Mothers Programme is Increasingly Successful

The Fontes Team Heads to the Field to Follow Up on Some Projects

by Michael Pletscher on 16/09/2014 No comments

The Fontes Foundation field trip team has just come back from a trip following up the organisation’s water and education projects in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The main purpose of the trip was to conduct technical training for the water committees in our project villages with the help of our Field Assistant Pascal and our Technical Consultant Ibrahim. In addition, both our scholarship students as well as their parents got career guidance sessions from our Youth Programme Coordinator Apiyo about what the students can do with their secondary school education after graduation.

The Fontes Foundation team also visited Kashaka, south-west Uganda. The local water committee of the Fontes safe water scheme in Kashaka was proud to inform the team that the intake rack and the solar panels that were installed in May in collaboration with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) are working flawlessly and have led to a considerable reduction of the running costs of the scheme. The committee also managed to install an additional fence above the intake to protect it against unauthorized access as well as to reduce the danger for children playing next to the steep shore.

During the community meeting, it turned out that the community is very happy with the performance of the water committee and that communication between the two is good and based on mutual trust.

Fontes Foundation would like to use this opportunity to thank EWB again for the good collaboration regarding this project implementation and is looking forward towards future common undertakings

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Michael PletscherThe Fontes Team Heads to the Field to Follow Up on Some Projects

Fontes Foundation featured in the Norwegian Magazine Bistandsaktuelt

by fontes on 01/09/2014 No comments

Back in March Fontes Uganda hosted Tor Aksel (journalist) and Espen (photographer) from the well-known Norwegian magazine Bistandsaktuelt, which writes about development assistance and aid. Tor Aksel and Espen were working on a story about youth and unemployment in Uganda. After an introduction to our team at the head office on Nakasero Hill, Kampala, they joined us to visit our Potentiam Youth Centre in Bukasa.


The students were having their monthly Capacity Building Session with Annette Achieng from Ann Textiles (Kampala) about production and profiting from ecological, hand made arts & crafts made from Ugandan textile. Ann’s products are really impressive with beautiful patterns and they feel great as they are made from pure Ugandan cotton. It was fascinating and truly inspiring to hear about how she started her successful business.

The article was published in only few days ago. In the paper version, there is even a picture of Lucrezia Biteete (Fontes Foundation Advisor), as well as Jesca, a former student from the Potentiam Youth Centre. You can access the online version at this link (only in Norwegian).

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fontesFontes Foundation featured in the Norwegian Magazine Bistandsaktuelt

Mr. Leone Andrews From Washington D.C. Visits the Youth Centre

by fontes on 22/08/2014 No comments

Today the Potentiam Youth Development Centre hosted Mr. Leone Andrews, a senior fellow at the National League of Cities (NCL) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Mr. Andrews is based in Washington D.C. and was visiting Uganda for one week through a collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Uganda. An expert and experienced practitioner in matters of youth policy and youth encouragement, we were proud to host Mr. Andrews for a Capacity Building session. Talking about leadership, Mr. Andrew’s inspirational message to our students was that each of them had the capabilities to be a great leader if they have the courage to take on responsibility, the skills to be self-reflective and the power to build other leaders around them. Dispersing the notion that only grand politicians or powerful businessmen are leaders, Mr. Andrew’s encouraged the students to recognize their potential to change things and be a leader right now. “If you believe beyond yourself you will be great”.

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fontesMr. Leone Andrews From Washington D.C. Visits the Youth Centre

Practice Trumps Theory

by Agnes Kampire on 10/08/2014 No comments

The current job market in Uganda demands specific skills and expertise in applied fields. To ensure the employability and long-term success of our scholarship students, five of them are now being trained at an excellent vocational institute.

Youth unemployment is a prevalent problem in the 21st century in Uganda. A 2010 International Labor Organization (ILO) report reveals that the share of unemployed youth among the total of unemployed persons is as high as 83% and therefore poses serious political, economic, social challenges to the country and its leadership. The President of Uganda called upon all youth to opt for skill-oriented courses to enable them to compete favorably in the current job market. Such practical courses include plumbing, hotel management or medical laboratory assistant.

Aware of the many challenges young people are facing regarding both educational and employment opportunities, Fontes Foundation is sponsoring 17 students from under-privileged families through student-donor relationships. The majority of the students have yet to complete lower high school, but this spring several of them were confronted with the difficult choice of what path to continue their higher education on. In line with a general trend highlighting the importance of practical skills in Uganda, Fontes Foundation advocated applications for institutions of practical skills. In a capacity building the advantages of joining such an institutions were discussed with the students in an attempt to overcome the perception that only a university degree will ensure a successful career and gainful employment. Letting the students make up their own minds, five decided to join an institution for practical skills, the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) Comprehensive Institute in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. It was started in 1986 to enable disadvantaged youth to gain skills through vocational training. The courses offered include computer science, hair dressing and salon management, hotel management, business and project management, electrical installation, industrial art and design.

Unlike other institutions and universities in the formal education sector that are theoretical and whose degrees are based on outdated curricula, YMCA Comprehensive Institute trains students to be self-employed by equipping them with life and entrepreneurship skills. The students are encouraged to be creative and innovative and are supported in developing a high self-esteem. YMCA Comprehensive Institute focuses on the promotion of the students’ moral, physical, spiritual and mental development through co-curricular activities such as sports and debating among students. Such activities improve the students’ confidence in speech and appearance.

The other students who joined YMCA Comprehensive Institute in 2014 include Justus, Cleophas, Gloria and Justine. Their training brought the students to Kampala for the very first time – a very exciting moment for all of them. Their first experiences at YMCA Comprehensive Institute have led to important realizations for these students. A university degree is not a guarantee for a secure future. It is far more important to have a skill set, which is in demand and through which one can provide a useful service and make a sustainable living. With the girls becoming computer wizards and the boys future electricians, they have all chosen courses which match their interests and also provide them with valuable expert knowledge and training.

After their first semester, the students were very excited to go back home and share their first experiences. With high hopes for the future, all of the students are certain that they will become job creators rather than job seekers and offer important opportunities to the future generations.

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Agnes KampirePractice Trumps Theory

Graduation Day

by Apiyo Oweka-Laboke on 20/07/2014 No comments

In August the Potentiam Youth Development Centre proudly graduated another cohort of 11 students from the 3rd round of the Core Course. Over 60 students also received certificates in the Short Courses of Basic ICT and Basic English and Literacy. In the two years since conception, the Centre has trained over 200 high-school dropouts in Soft Skills and Business Skills to improve their chances in accessing gainful employment.

The graduation celebration was presided over by Mr. Kiggundu Gonzaga, a Programme Officer at Hunger Free World, who in his inspirational speech emphasized the importance of making the most of professional opportunities. He reminded the graduates that the long-term perspective is very important when starting a career and that working your way to the top will take time and energy but that sincere efforts will be rewarded. This was pertinent advice for our graduates, who are now planning their professional future. The Potentiam Youth Development Centre will continuously follow the students through the mentorship program and different evaluation tools to ensure that they are ideally supported to achieve the final goal: employment and a sustainable career.

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Apiyo Oweka-LabokeGraduation Day

Empowering Single Mothers

by Apiyo Oweka-Laboke on 26/06/2014 No comments

The new Single Mothers Programme established with support from AiM Norway is an important addition to the curriculum of the Youth Centre.

According to an assessment carried out in 2004 by the Single Parents Association of Uganda (SPAU), over 50% of families in Uganda are single parent households. The majority of these households consist of single mothers and their children. The increasing rate of teenage pregnancies in Uganda is one of the key drivers of such single-mother households. Beyond early pregnancy, physical violence and emotional abuse lead to brave women and girls leaving their husbands or partners in search of a better life for themselves and their children. Some single mothers have also lost their spouses to HIV/AIDS, a prevailing challenge in Uganda. Single mothers, especially in the area of Muyenga and Kabalagala where the Potentiam Youth Development Centre operates, are particularly vulnerable to become victims of sex trade.


  • Facilitate flexible training for single mothers.
  • Provide social and psychological support to increase their self-esteem.
  • Provide a day-care program in the new Child Corner.
  • Provide support and short workshops to help the young mothers start small-scale businesses.

The Potentiam Youth Development Centre with the help of AiM (Aid in Meeting), a collaboration of Lions Club Students from the Universities of Bergen and Trondheim in Norway, has established the “Single Mothers Programme”. The aim of this programme is to provide support specific to the needs of young mothers studying at the Centre to acquire business skills. In past years, the dropout rate among young mothers in the different courses offered was particularly high because of lack of childcare at home.

Members of the AiM Delegation from Norway in the new Child Corner for the Centre.

Members of the AiM Delegation from Norway in the new Child Corner for the Centre.

The Students from AiM visited the Centre and participated in the designing and setting up of the child corner, the space where the day-care programme will take place. The room has been stocked with toys as well as storybooks, blankets and pillows for entertainment and rest.

During the pilot phase the Centre will conduct several trainings in simple “from-home” businesses such as baking, which will provide them with relevant skills to become more independent and self-sufficient. This exciting new programme is an important expansion of the services offered by the Potentiam Youth Development Centre and will crucially support one of our most vulnerable student groups and will empower young mothers.

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Apiyo Oweka-LabokeEmpowering Single Mothers