My name is Lindah Nabakooza and I come from Kajjansi-Entebbe in Uganda. My project involves transmitting financial literacy skills to the youth in my community by developing their agribusiness enterprises. To do this, I plan and organize peer-to-peer mentorship, career guidance, counselling and awareness on health risks.
My project came to life after running into my friend’s two sisters on the streets of Kampala. In the late hours of the night, they made a living by working in the sex trade. This was a consequence of their elder brother Sam, who is my friend. He mismanaged their late father’s businesses and sold off all the family properties, including their home.
If only Sam had knowledge on how to run and manage his late father’s businesses, his sisters wouldn’t have dropped out of school to walk the streets. It was from this that I drew motivation and raised my voice and abilities to train youths in my community on how to start up small sustainable businesses, how to run and maintain them and how to manage their finances.
I heard about Akili Dada Fellowship Program from an internet advertisement that popped up on the scholarship site I was using. At first I took it lightly, but when I visited the website, I was speechless. I stood in awe of the changing stories I read there and how Akili Dada has transformed the lives of many girls and young women in Kenya and all over East Africa. I knew I had to be part of these brilliant sisters. So far, the transformation is not just about my project, but for me as an individual.
My project seeks to address different Sustainable Development Goals with a major output in managing finances sustainably. They include: SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, 10 Reduced Inequalities and 10 Responsible Production and Consumption. This is being addressed through encouraging the youth to save a percentage of their income in the financial institution, to spend on assets rather than liabilities and train them frequently on financial management issues.
Also, I have established a micro-credit and savings scheme to help them save and borrow at a small interest rate. Another outcome is social entrepreneurship and this is being addressed by supporting youth start-ups such as poultry and pig farming by getting soft loans with low interest rates.
The ultimate goal for my project is to set up a community micro-finance where not only the youth can save and borrow money to invest in their start-ups, but also to involve the entire community. The greatest hindrance to youth enterprise development is capital and lack of collateral for credit. If this microfinance is set up, youth will be able to acquire collateral free soft loans on low interest rates to build themselves. Therefore, if this goal is reached, then a very meaningful change in my community will be felt.
If I could travel to on place in the world and money or time would not be a factor, I would like to visit San Francisco, California. I would like to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. If I could change the world , the one thing I would like to set up is free running water for every household. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies and going to art shows and galleries. My favorite food is matooke and tilapia.