Since the launch of Fontes Foundation’s Potentiam Youth Development Centre (PYC) in 2012, we have been organising recreational activities open to the entire local community. The foundation of our Music Dance and Drama Team (MDD) was followed by Fontes Football Club. The initial idea was twofold. By engaging with the local community, we aimed to learn more about the challenges people face. Additionally, we sought to extend our reach and spread the word about the education opportunities we offer.
We are delighted that our projects overshot the goals we had initially set. The Fontes Cultural Troupe performs modern and traditional dances from all cultures in Uganda. Their shows at the centre are very entertaining and always well received. To unfold their creativity, dancers are invited to choreograph their own performances and they have been writing plays on relevant issues such as HIV/AIDS.As teams have developed over time, our MDD group is ready to step to the next level and perform at weddings and tourist events. A concrete business plan is currently being compiled for the MDD team soon to be self-sustainable. With the growing tourism industry in Uganda, it bears the potential of offering additional sources of income to the members.
The Football Team is not only officially registered in Uganda Football Association (FUFA); it also turned out to be a spring board for some of the players. Coach Vialli’s connections allowed a couple players to play for teams in higher leagues, where they earn money. Furthermore, two players received football scholarships from high schools and were able to go back to school and finish their education.
Following our holistic approach to youth development, Fontes Foundation aims to support graduates of our Potentiam Youth Development Centre in starting their professional careers. We therefore partner with companies across different sectors that are willing to work with Kampala’s youth.
Fontes gives the students a sound foundation to grow, teaching Business, ICT, English and Personal Development for six months. Thereafter, the graduates conduct internships at one of our partner companies for three months, where they apply their newly developed skills in a practical setting. After the internships, students will either be taken on full time by their current employers, find a new position or use their expertise to start their own micro-startups.
We support a positive outcome for all involved persons by first clearing prospects and expectations with both the students and the partnering company. We then collectively compose an agreement that includes expectations, as well as tasks and responsibilities for the trainees. The second part of the agreement guides the employer by mapping out theoretical and practical skills and knowledge the students are meant to acquire during the internship. We stay in touch with the participants on employer and employee side during and after the internship to assist in the successful implementation of the agreement. Additionally, we track general trends and developments through a digitized database, which will help us improve the set up in the long run.
In line with the Job Placement Programme we recently started the hosting of annual career events. The first episode was held on Friday, June 2nd at our head office in Kampala. We were happy to host 16 companies and more than a hundred guests. Looking forward, we strive to enhance our network of partners and understanding of the job market in Uganda and thereby grow as an organization to most effectively assist our students.