The Aall Foundation Funding empowers the Africa Youth Award programme in Uganda

Report from Africa Youth Award – AYA Uganda Trip 6th – 26th October 2019

Thanks to generous sponsorship from The Aall Foundation for the AYA parts of the trip, and from Water Works for the Lifewater part, Roger London, our director for Africa, accompanied by another UK director, Ali Patience, went to Uganda in October for an extended trip, covering:

  • a Lifewater distribution at Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, which was supported by a local AYA team and our International AYA co-ordinator, Caleb Kabaho
  • visiting and monitoring some of the AYA groups in western Uganda
  • conducting intensive training for AYA group leaders from three nations, as part of their on-going development

We have been successfully integrating several aspects of our work in Africa, and the Lifewater Distributions are an excellent example of this. The AYA students local to each of our Lifewater projects, as part of their Award programme, assist in the whole distribution process of registering the beneficiaries, sharing God’s Word, explaining to the beneficiaries about the Lifewater filter systems and, most importantly, showing each beneficiary how the systems are assembled, set up and maintained. These same AYA students later conduct home visits on all beneficiaries in their homes to ensure that the Lifewater filter systems have actually been set-up, and are being used correctly.

This helps the students with their development and, crucially, ensures that the donated Lifewater Systems are maintained well, and continue to be used to provide clean water for the donee families (and schools and clinics). We have been operating in this way for several years now, and find upto 90% of Lifewater Systems still in use, several years after donation – an almost unheard-of success rate in Africa!

Training the Trainers

AYA train the trainers Kasese Oct

As part of the on-going training for our Africa Youth Award leaders, twenty AYA leaders were brought together at Kasese from three nations – Uganda, Kenya and DR Congo – to be given training using the AYA ‘Training the Trainers’ course. This training had been sponsored by The Aall Foundation.

Our Director for Africa, Roger London, thanked all the AYA leaders for their commitment and work done with their respective groups as well as conveying thanks to be passed on to the AYA groups that assisted in the distribution and monitoring in Lifewater Village programmes as well as those at Kyaka II Refugee Settlement.

Each AYA area representative gave an update as to how many AYA groups were operating and whether they were Silver, Gold or both. The teams were encouraged by the work being done and the personal stories that were shared. A WhatsApp group has been set up so that all the leaders can share their work with each other, encourage one another, and share experiences, so that they all can benefit.

Roger and Caleb delivered the training over the two days, with Ali completing it by taking the participants through the all-important Watchmen International Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

During the visits to the AYA programmes, Roger and Ali heard numerous testimonies as to how AYA had changed individuals’ lives both spiritually and physically, and in gaining new skills that allowed them to support their families and themselves. Some samples drawn from the many testimonies are given below.

Some of the AYA Students and Graduates Robina, Brian, Josephat, Angelica and Grace:

Robina AYA Oct Brian AYA Oct  Josephat AYA Oct Angelica AYA Oct Grace AYA Oct

Robina NAMUKISA (22yrs), whom they had met in Caleb’s village, Katoma, the previous week, was present at the Kasese training. Robina explained that she is currently on the Gold AYA programme and assists the current AYA leaders in delivering the Silver AYA discipleship part of their group programme. Robina told them: “Before starting AYA I didn’t know who Jesus was but, since doing the Christian Discipleship, I have become a Christian and have made a commitment to God acknowledging that Jesus died for me. I was previously dependent upon my parents for all my needs but now with my new skill of catering I can make some small money for myself. I have now started on the Gold AYA programme and thank God for what He has done.”

Brian NGABIRANO (27yrs) who has qualified under the Silver + Gold stages at Katoma, told them: “I have completed both Silver and Gold AYA and have gained new skills. I started with brick making and building and then went on to learn how to repair bicycles. With the money from these skills I’m able to save money in order to buy a computer and develop my skills in this area. I am involved with my Church and AYA has transformed my life.”

Josephat MUMBERE (Kasese) stated that, as a result of undertaking AYA, he has been able to save money through his new skill of brick making. Previously he hadn’t worked but was challenged to find a new skill that would earn him some money. He chose brick making as he wanted to use his hands. Since learning this skill he has saved enough money to pay his school fees.

Angelica TWINEOMUGISHA (24yrs) from Katoma said; “The AYA programme has transformed my life. I’m now an usher in church and enjoy welcoming people in. For my skills development I have been learning tailoring and I’m being trained by Grace who has completed the Silver and Gold Awards.”

Grace KABAHO from Katoma, who has completed both stages and now trains others, told them: “I have completed both the Silver and Gold AYA programmes and have learned many things. In Church I now lead prayers and I lead the intercessory team, which I was encouraged to do through AYA. For my skills area I learned tailoring and I now have my own business and teach other AYA participants. I raise money through tailoring and I’m now planning to take the business further to make clothes for wholesale on the markets.”

As can be seen from these samples, the AYA course not only gives the young people a real ‘hand up’ in life, it is also self-sustaining and self-propagating, as the graduates go on to assist other leaders or run their own groups to help their peers. Thousands have now completed the Award and are making a difference – in their own lives, the lives of others and the communities in which they live, for which we praise God!