Rachel performing electrical repairs

Nalule Rachel is an eighteen-year-old young entrepreneur. She runs a restaurant business while also doing electrical installations and repairs in Nabukalu zone, Bwaise II parish, Kawempe Division, Kampala, Uganda.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Rachel dropped out of school in her Senior Four year—she couldn’t afford the school fees. This is when she started a restaurant with the support of her grandmother, with whom she lives alongside her four-year-old brother.

Rachel started this business to secure the funds that would enable her to go back to school and pursue a career in electrical installation and repairs. But, she had no formal entrepreneurship training. Thus, she became one of the 400 youths from the Bwaise community that have been trained under the Entrepreneurship and Employability Skills Plus project, supported by the Aga Khan Foundation.

‘I started my restaurant business with no prior knowledge on how to run a business. It was through a youth leader that I heard about the opportunity on entrepreneurship training, and I decided to apply and attended the training.’

Rachel declares that it was through the training that she has been able to grow her business. Previously only providing food indoors, the restaurant now runs an outdoor vegetable stall, and has also sells soft drinks that have diversified the business.

‘The knowledge that I have received from the training has enabled my business to grow. I am now able to gain at least thirty thousand shillings a day, rather than twenty thousand. Now, I can contribute some money towards my education.’

Furthermore, according to Rachel, youth power is the ability of young people to participate in different social and economic aspects within and outside their communities. For example: participating in gainful employment; attaining an education; ensuring that peace prevails; taking part in financial growth through youth saving groups; actively participating in decision making at all levels; and actively participating in the growth and development of the community.

‘When young people are given the opportunity to participate in decisions that shape this country—the opportunity to get jobs, the opportunity to utilise the resources around them—that is youth power.’

Rachel believes that her personal superpower is the ability to network effectively with different people, because she makes friends often.

‘I have been able to build a strong network of friends within and outside my community because I am honest, hardworking and I never give up no matter what situation I am going through.’

It is through hard work, commitment and networking that she has managed to access different opportunities within her community and believes that, with time, this will go beyond.

She believes that it is important for youth to have power, because they are young, energetic and have fresh ideas that can be integrated into the development process.

‘I believe that the youth should have the power to participate in the different aspects of social and economic development, because they are the foundation of the country. They are still energetic and always have fresh ideas that can be implemented to contribute to the growth of their communities.’

Rachel dreams of becoming one of Uganda’ s biggest and brightest electrical engineers, and she believes that through hard work and commitment she will be able to achieve this, while also inspiring other youths to chase their own dreams too.

Click here to read more about the worthwhile results of AFFCAD’s efforts towards improving social and economic outcomes for the people of Bwaise.

And if you would like to help us provide valuable training to many others like Rachel, then please donate to AFFCAD UK