16797 youths have today graduated under the Presidential Initiative on skilling the Girl and Boy Child (PISGBC) with the celebrations held at Kololo Independence grounds jn Kampala.
In 2017, President Museveni started the Presidential Initiative on Skilling the Girl and Boy Child (PISGBC) project with the aim of empowering underprivileged youth through skilling. Over 35,728 enrolled for the program with almost half the number making it to the final day.
At the ceremony at Kololo, the President who was accompanied by the 1st Lady thanked these youths for being persistent and managing to finish encouraging even those who missed out to work extra harder so that they could graduate.
In his speech, the President also pledged to support these fresh graduates with start up capital so that they can put into practice what they have started at the same time making a living out of it.
“I want to assure you that we are going to give you start-up capital,” President Museveni assured.
The President however told the graduates that through the government, he will only be able to support them when they agree to work in groups, not individually.
“It will be challenging to support you individually; therefore, you should form groups as we help you together. You have to work together,” President Museveni emphasized.
H.E Museveni further disclosed that the government is going to expand the program so that other skilling disciplines like ceramic making are added to the initiative.
He also used the opportunity to thank the State House comptroller Jane Barekye for the efforts she has put in to make sure the project is a success.
On her part, the State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye commended President Museveni for initiating the project that has helped to alleviate poverty among the youth.
She also informed the President that the PISGBC recruitment process is a transparent one, which runs on a basis of “First Come, First Serve” as long as the person is between 18 and 35 years of age irrespective of their gender or educational background.
“The project targets the vulnerable ghetto youths both girls and boys from the five divisions of Kampala,” Ms. Barekye said.
Ms. Barekye was also happy to note that the project has already achieved the objective of curbing unemployment among Ugandans since it employs over 800 direct employees and more than 1,000 people indirectly.
“The project has created job makers instead of job hunters. After training these people by equipping them with skills, they go ahead to create their jobs instead of loitering around the streets of Kampala,” she added.
“The project also promotes value addition. The beneficiaries can change raw materials into finished products.”
Ms. Barekye also informed the President that the project has aided in curbing criminality in Kampala.
“We understand that most of these young people were involved in criminal activities but we don’t stop at skilling them, we also do mindset change so by the time they leave the centers, they are reformed and good citizens.”
The youths have graduated and gotten certificates in a number of courses like Tayloring, haird dressing, motor vehicle mechanics, plumbing, among others.
The successful event was attended by a number of senior government officials like Hon Ruth Katushabe the Senior Presidential Advisor on Political Affairs and Translations, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, Presidency Minister Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda, Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (Industry), Hon. David Bahati, Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (Trade), Hon. Harriet Ntabazi, Members of Parliament, the Director of DIT, Dr. Patrick Byakatonda, among others.