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MOROTO, Uganda – UNFPA Uganda joined discussion between First Lady, Mrs. Janet Kataaha Museveni and European Union (EU) Ambassadors on ‘Support to skilling Uganda Programme in Karamoja’ to improve youths livelihoods, social protection and addressing unemployment.

The First Lady, also the Minister of Education and Sports and Champion for the Adolescent Girls in the country said the five-year, six million Euro initiative implemented by ENABEL and Ministry of Education with funding from the Embassy of Ireland provides transformational skills development for the region and country.

The joint intervention that supports Business Technical Vocational Education and Training (BTVET), aims to increase employability of youth in Karamoja region through better quality instruction and alignment of training needs of the local labour market.

“I want to begin by thanking the EU Delegation for holding hands with us not only here in Karamoja but in all the work we do together. I had the opportunity to commission the Skilling Uganda Programme in Karamoja on 4th May 2017,” said Mrs. Museveni at the graduation and handover of certificates ceremony to digital ‘ninjas’ in the just concluded Skills4Jobs Hackathon at St. Daniel Comboni Technical Institute in Moroto town on Thursday.

“I am glad that this five year initiative implemented by ENABEL with funding from the Embassy of Ireland has continued to skill our young people as we see today,” she said.

“And so, to our friends from the European Union, please know that my ministry values our relationship. We thank God for what we have done in the BTVET sub-sector.”

Nicole McHugh, Irish Deputy Head of Mission in Uganda said her government has invested the six million Euros to support Comboni technical institute in skills development to empower the vulnerable youths and to support job creation efforts in Karamoja.

“We are focusing on skills that are relevant in Karamoja. These include building construction, welding and metal fabrication, plumbing, hair dressing for school dropouts, tailoring and motor mechanics,” said McHugh.

UNFPA and its partners in Karamoja have trained adolescent girls and teenage mothers on life skills, knowledge on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services and prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV), as well as starting various livelihood projects through the Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) clubs aimed to combat teenage pregnancy and child marriage.

Compiled by Samuel Okiror/UNFPA Uganda.