During the 9th Parliament one of the key issues on which UPFYA has been working and advocating is youth unemployment. This was one of the major concerns for youth in the run-up to the 2011 election and therefore one of the priorities in the 2011 Youth Manifesto.
As one means of addressing the problem, UPFYA promoted national youth volunteering: establishing programmes that offered structured work-like placements to youth through which they could enhance their employability, gain work experience but at the same time make a contribution to their communities and country as well.
UPFYA gathered information on youth volunteering in Uganda and explored examples of similar programmes in other Sub-Saharan countries and in May 2013, published a Policy Paper setting out the opportunities and challenges for the country in setting up such a programme here. A summary leaflet of the programme has also been developed as a tool for advocacy . During the time it has been advocating for such programmes UPFYA has refined its thinking and recently been promoting Youth Service and Internship Programmes by engaging government, civil society and the private sector to adopt such programmes.
UPFYA has been supporting the piloting of programmes, promoting their inclusion in government plans and programmes and pursuing the necessary policies for such programmes to be implemented on a widespread basis. We have supported the International Youth Foundation and youth serving NGO Restless Development with the piloting of the YouthMap Internship Programme; our advocacy is one of the factors that has led to the inclusion of a national service scheme in the National Action Plan on Youth Employment; and the Youth MPs are presenting a motion to Parliament calling on government to develop a policy that will lead to national youth service and internship programmes. In order to support the motion, a justification as well as flyers have been developed to lobby for MPs’ support.