Ever since the start of Potentiam Youth Development Centre (PYC), we focused not only on providing the students with marketable skills and personal development, but also relied on thorough follow-ups combined with mentorship, to make sure our graduates find their way after graduation. The encompassing support at times even included connecting our students with employers to ensure a smooth transition to their professional lives.
One student we were able to help get employment was Gloria Twebaze, a very charismatic young woman, who grew up in a small town in Western Uganda. She has been a member of Fontes’ scholarship programme since 2011. Being the 6th child of a family working in fishing and farming, Gloria was enabled to complete her high school supported by one of our donors. Her outstanding grades and discipline allowed Gloria to be admitted to YMCA in Kampala to get a certificate in Computer Science at in 2014 to end of 2015. Thereafter, Gloria completed the core course at Potentiam Youth Development Centre, whereupon she was employed as a receptionist at Savannah Resort Hotel in Kanungu district. Gloria is doing an excellent job. Not only has she been nominated employee of the month, she has also recently won a CV competition, outperforming several coworkers with a university degree. We are proud of how far Gloria has come, especially since she showcases the successful combination of our Scholarship Programme in Western Uganda with our Youth Development Programme in Kampala.
Stories like Gloria’s made us realize the high potential in connecting students to employers, bridging an apparent gap on the job market and strengthening our efforts to tackle the extraordinarily high youth unemployment rate of Uganda. We therefore came up with a more formalized approach and rolled out the Job Placement Programme in the beginning of this year.
Following a pilot round of the Job Placement Programme in this spring, we are delighted to start the first official round this June at the end of the current core course. Our preliminary target had been to place 50% of our current students at partnering companies. However, due to the rapid formation of new partnerships together with the success of old placements, it looks like we will be overshooting this target.
PYC alumni Jimmy Galabuzi was very eager to participate when he heard about the roll-out of our Job Placement Programme. We were able to connect him with at Coffee at Last this spring for an internship of three months. The position suits him well. He can not only make use of his previously attained catering certificate, but also of his computer and business skills, helping out at stock management.
Our Job Placement Coordinator, Gary Agaba, is constantly checking on both the employer and the employee to make sure everyone is satisfied. And indeed, Jimmy’s supervisor was so pleased with his work that his chances of getting employed by the end of the internship are really high. Furthermore, Coffe at Last is willing to continuously partner with Fontes Foundation and even take on another student from the core course ending this June. We are delighted to start building partnerships like these in order to help our students launch their professional careers.