Tree Adoption Uganda (TAU) is a youth led Non-Government Organization that seeks to jointly address youth unemployment, climate change and reduce rural-urban migration by creating local economies in rural communities. We leverage on creatively using environmental conservation activities like tree planting that help corporate companies to offset carbon as a platform to provide the much needed startup capital for young people with business ideas.
TAU enables Ugandan youth with agri-business ideas in rural communities to access start-up capital. Each youth who undergoes the program actually sets up a business of his/her own choosing in her community to financially empower him/herself and create more opportunity in the community.
- Unemployment; 78% of Ugandans are unemployed (USAID2011), 80% of these are young people (World Bank2011); 44% of them are in rural areas and migrate to the city (USAID 2006) seeking better opportunities (Herrin et al), which are unavailable and thus end up in drugs, crime and slums.
- Climate change; in 15 years Uganda’s forest cover has declined by 26% (NEMA/UNEP) without extensive reforestation climate change will worsen and forests will be extinct in next 40 years (NEMA 2012). The climatic changes have made agriculture less productive and decreased the income generated by a particular family.
The program will target the most vulnerable young people in the communities who will be selected according to the following criteria:
- Orphans; young people who have lost one or both parents
- School drop outs
- Young people with unplanned pregnancies
- Young people living with HIV/AIDS
- Young people whose parent(s) are living with HIV/AIDS
- Child laborers; young people who are working
- Young people with children (dependents)
- Young people forced into early marriages
- Young people who have been left to fend for themselves
We offer basic start up business training, 3-year mentorship and free consultation to Ugandan youths in underdeveloped, low opportunity villages, enabling them to create, develop and establish business ideas. We help them raise capital via a sustainable environment friendly model in which they set up tree nurseries; we sell the trees to companies that wish to reduce their carbon footprint. The youth use this income to start a business to enable them improve their welfare and quality of life. TAU then carries out a reforestation campaign, planting these trees in a bid to curb climate change.
Blogpost, video and photo submitted by Charles Batte (TAU, Uganda) – batchaux(at)gmail.com
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