Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment (YICE) is a registered Youth-led Community Empowerment Initiative founded in May 2011 by Youth volunteers in Mubende district-Central Uganda, with a mission of Empowering children, youths and women with practical knowledge and skills for scale and sustainable livelihoods. We implement a wide range of activities aimed at improving the living standards of children, youths and women. These include; Women Small Enterprise development trainings, Orphans and other vulnerable children program, school hygiene and sanitation activities, sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDs, vocational training and youth skills development.
YICE was conceived in response to limited access to valuable information and community development services gap that existed in Mubende district; as a result of very few service providers implementing youth and women empowerment development programs. For example, only one international organization (Action Aid) was implementing women empowerment and human rights program in the entire district, without grassroots organizations supporting this development work.
It can therefore be noted that, a lot was desired to be done so as to promote integrated sustainable development at grassroots level and enable the poor especially youths and women live a descent and dignified life; which gave birth to YICE.
Since its inception, YICE has grown into an influential grassroot organization in the field of youth and women empowerment and support. The organization’s services have grown to cover a wide range of programs that include, women trainings in farming as a business, food security and nutrition promotion, youths’ capacity building and training, orphans and elderly livelihoods improvements, sexual and reproductive health awareness; and hygiene and health awareness clubs in schools and care for people living with HIV/AIDs and disabilities. All this work is done though YICE’s community groups.
- Promoting economic empowerment of vulnerable women through tailored small business and enterprise trainings
- Improving community access to information on HIV/AIDs, Sanitation, Hygiene and environmental conservation
- Promoting integrated care and support for orphans and other vulnerable children
- Improving vulnerable youth income and access to information through youth skills development
YICE is governed by a five-member board of directors including representatives from different target groups (women, youths) and local community leadership. The program implementation team is led by the program director, who is assisted by the program coordinator, Program assistant and specialized project volunteers. The project activities are planned and implemented by community-based volunteers and community members, who also form the organization’s general assembly. In addition to the local program team and community-based volunteers, YICE also leverages the efforts international volunteers help to build the capacity of local volunteers and support the organization in resource mobilization.
YICE implements projects in Nalutuntu and Myanzi sub counties, with a strategy to scale to other sub counties and neighboring districts. Mubende is a multi-ethnic district, and a member of the four districts that make up Luweero triangle – an area that was severely torn by the 1985-86 Uganda liberation wars. Like has much of Uganda, Mubende district has been strongly hit by absolute poverty, women and girl child marginalization, and illiteracy, with a large number of orphans and the helpless elderly due to effects of the HIV/AIDs scourge and the 1985-86 Liberation wars coupled with lack of Community Based service providers in the area. Therefore, YICE serves an evidently needy population.
Facts about Mubende district (Population and Housing Census Analytical Report- 2005)
- Total population was projected at 503,800 in 2007 and 603,900 in 2012.
- There were 94,755 households.
- Only 3.8% of the population was living in urban areas in 2002.
- 38% had no access to toilet facilities
- Only 0.2% of the households had access to electricity.
- 78.2% of the households depend mainly on subsistence farming.
- Only 11% of the dwelling units were constructed with permanent roof, wall and floor materials.
- 45.9% of the households used “word of mouth” as their main source of information.
- 42% of the rural population was more than 5km from a health centre and only 4% of the urban population.
- 89.7% used firewood as source of cooking materials. 8.6% used Charcoal.
- 87.9% use tadooba (paraffin- wick) for lighting. 5.4 Use Paraffin for lighting and 3.4% electricity.
- In 2002, 31,790 out of 244,155 children had lost at least one parent (orphans). Orphan hood level had increased to 13% as opposed to 6% in the 1991 census. 4.5% had lost father, 3.1% had lost mum and 2.4% both.
- 13% of all children were disabled. 45% had been reached by service providers.