Career Day

The Fontes Catering Course from a Facilitator’s and Student’s Perspective

by Belinda Von Aesch on 06/08/2018 No comments

The art of eating is continuously being changed by a number of professional and creative chefs, which has in turn increased the demand for excellent services in food production. This trend was concretised by the management of Fontes Foundation through the launch of the catering course on the 5th of February 2018. This course aims to benefit the single mothers and youth of the local community.

As an Fredskorpset (FK) exchange participant, I am privileged to be in charge of the catering course at the Youth Centre. On the FK exchange I have not only gained skills and new experiences but I have also been able to share these experiences and skills with the youth of FYC. I am on exchange from AMIZERO institute in Rwanda. The exchange aims to share experiences and best practices between the two institutions. This exchange is between the Amizero Institute of Technology and Hospitality in Rwanda and Fontes Foundation Uganda.

Since the introduction of the catering course, a number of single mothers and youth have enrolled. Through the course, they have gained cooking skills which now can be applied in any hospitality business, thus enabling them to earn a living. The first intake started on the 5th of February 2018 and ended on the 5th of July 2018. A industry attachment will follow, giving the students the opportunity to add expert practical experience to their skills acquired at the Youth Centre.

Eve Nakito

“Catering is a course that teaches someone how to cook or prepare different types of dishes. Thanks to Fontes, we have been able to take part in this course giving us the opportunity to become chefs in hotels and restaurants or even be self employed. The benefit of such a course is that it is easy to start and begin to earn a living, as all you need are the necessary skills. Through this course, many from outside and within the Bunga area have been able to improve on our standards of living. We are now capable of setting up small pastry and snack businesses as we now have the required skills to do so. Catering businesses have low start-up costs, meaning that capital is not the main challenge as in other businesses. Previously I had the capital but not the skills to start my own business, now thanks to Fontes I can begin my own catering business. Additionally, through the certificates which we will receive on successfully completing the course, we will be able to find jobs in already established restaurants and hotels. Many of us also hope to begin our own restaurants.”

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Belinda Von AeschThe Fontes Catering Course from a Facilitator’s and Student’s Perspective

The Fontes Career Day 2018

by Belinda Von Aesch on 20/06/2018 No comments

As part of our holistic education approach, Fontes organizes an annual Career Day event for the students of our youth centre and other community youth. The Career Day acts as a platform to connect Kampala businesses with talented out of school youth. For the students, the day presents a first chance to network and discover the opportunities available to them. For businesses it is a chance to discover young talent, provide mentorship, and promote their job openings.

The preparation for the event was incorporated into the students curriculum; the English course students learnt to prepare cover letters and CVs, the ICT course shared information about the event through social media, while the catering students prepared the food for the event. A capacity building session was held for Fontes students on how to optimize their CV when job searching. Additionally, the Career Day adds to the personal development of the students as they are forced to overcome shyness through approaching the companies directly and practicing their networking skills.

The Career Day took place at the Fontes Youth Centre. This allowed us to showcase the centre to the organisations in attendance while also being accessible to our students and the wider community. The day began with a breakfast prepared and served by the Fontes Catering Course students. For many of the catering students, this was their first experience of catering in a professional capacity for a large amount of people, allowing them to gain valuable practical food production experience as well as learning about the theoretical aspects such as calculating the cost of catering such an event. Needless to say the students impressed the attendees with their cookery and customer service skills.












The programme was kicked off with a speech from former Fontes student Cleophas Tumuhimbise. Cleophas talked about how he has successfully applied the knowledge and skills he gained at FYC to run his business. He was followed by Jonathan Ebuk, from KCCA, and Nicter Kaweesi, from the HR company People’s Performance Group, who gave advice on the job search, how to present and prepare oneself in interviews. With the conclusion of the speeches, the career fair began as students networked with the company representatives. The students walked around the company stalls, inquiring about the organisations and their job opportunities. To cap off the day, the Fontes Cultural Troupe held a splendid performance with dances from Western Uganda.

Overall, the 2018 Fontes Career Day was a success. A special thank you to all of the organisations who took part in this years event:

KCCA, Trade Lance, Prime Linkages, Refuge and Hope International, Mercy Corps Uganda, Pacino’s Restaurant, Staffable, Paramour Cosmetics, Roke Telkom, Goldway Ltd, and People’s Performance Group.

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Belinda Von AeschThe Fontes Career Day 2018

Project Management Internship at Fontes Foundation

by fontes on 13/07/2017 No comments

My experience at Fontes Foundation in Uganda has been very enriching. Finding your way in a country and working environment that is so different to anything you know is challenging, yet highly rewarding. Fontes Foundation is currently in the process of formalizing efforts and strengthening the entrepreneurial focus in its Youth Development projects. I was fortunate enough to join the organization in such dynamic and exciting times, having the chance to actively engage myself in various ventures.

My first personal highlight was the co-organisation of the first ever Fontes Foundation Career Day. It was deeply satisfying to see – after initial difficulties – how sharply dressed students presented their startup ideas, around sixteen companies decorated their booths with banners, flyers and brochures to attract possible employees and our partners Jumia Jobs, DFCU Bank and People Performance Group  gave inspiring keynote speeches.

Today, I am delighted to be preparing myself to go on my first field trip to Western Uganda. After having done much research on safe water treatment and its impact and written various funding proposals, I am looking forward to visiting the villages we have set up safe water treatment plants in and experiencing our influence first hand. I am especially thrilled to visit the village of Katunguru, which is located within Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After this last adventure, my days at Fontes will soon come to an end. I happily look back on an insightful time. Not only did I get the chance to gather work experience in various processes of an NGO. I met many development professionals, be it government officials, development consultants, or EU and UN delegates, and learned about their career paths. This gave me a holistic understanding of the development sector and I discovered many opportunities for my professional future and how to grasp them.

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fontesProject Management Internship at Fontes Foundation

Fontes Career Day

by fontes on 23/06/2017 No comments

In the framework of our current process to strengthen the support for our students at Potentiam Youth Development Centre after graduation, we organized the first ever Career Day at Fontes Foundation.  The main objective was to bridge the existing gap between Kampala’s youth and thriving employers. We sought to increase our students’ professional opportunities by giving them insights into different career paths, allowing some to present their business plans in front of an audience of entrepreneurs, and most importantly provide a platform for them to network with different employers, mentors and former PYC students.

One day prior to the event, we held a capacity building on networking at our Youth Centre for students who had signed up for the Career Day. The session focused on three main aspects of networking, namely preparation, connecting and follow-ups. Regarding the first point, we emphasized the importance of sound preparation for such an event. We introduced the different company profiles and talked about possible career chances in the given sectors. Furthermore, we had the students compile a diagram of their strengths and weaknesses, and interests. The aim of this exercise was to nudge the students’ reflection upon their merits and interests, and how they could best combine them to bring value to a company and build their careers. To learn how to best connect with a possible employer during the Career Day, we primarily discussed verbal and non-verbal communication. The students then came up with elevator pitches and presented them in small role plays in front of the crowd to practice networking with the Human Resource Managers. At last, we only briefly outlined how to follow up with leads.

Job Placement Coordinator Gary Agaba elaborating on networking

The Career Day was on Friday, 2nd of June. We were happy to count more than a hundred participants.  Next to the representatives of sixteen employers from various sectors, many of our current and former students, our Football- and Drama team, as well as students from other youth groups of Kampala joined. Being well prepared for the event, the youth eagerly engaged in conversations with the employers.

Next to the employer fair, a core element of the career day consisted in a workshop session. Robert Asiimwe from People Performance Group started with an introductory speech on CV writing and how to present oneself in a job interview. Peter Kisadha from Jumia Jobs then took over and elaborated on online job portals and how to advert and look for job opportunities online. The last part of the workshops was by the team of DFCU bank. In relation to our entrepreneurial programme, they focused their speech on micro savings and financial management.

After a second round of networking, the event ended with the presentations of our business plan competition winners. Joanita and Barbara explained how they had successfully launched a small groundnut selling business. Starting with very restricted funds of 9’700 UGX (2.7 USD), they managed to earn 54’000 UGX (15 USD) in their first month. Thereafter, Moses introduced his business plan for a mobile quality fruit business, as he calls it. We are happy to look back on a successful event with plenty of new friends of Fontes Foundation.

Business Plan Competition Winner Moses Sebbi introducing his project

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fontesFontes Career Day