March 15, 2007
A workshop for the idle youth

By Jackie Nalubwama

Never before have I seen a town with idle but busy-mouthed youth, like I did in Nakapiripirit. Swollen cheeks, filled with green vegetable-like leaves chewed down with such oomph that one would be hard-pressed not to believe they were nutritious.

Badru Kakaire (welding), trainer of Katanga Youth Welding and Basic Mechanics Project, with the prime beneficiaries of the Project.

This is what passes for a hobby to some youth in Nakapiripirit because mira, the leaf in question, is abundant on Mt. Kadam’s slopes.

However attempts by NUSAF through the Katanga Youth Welding and Basic Mechanics Project, is about not only to give the youth of Nakapiripirit another hobby, but an income as well.

Beatrice Nambooze, the mother figure and treasurer of this Project feels so strongly about these young boys. “I have liked it (the Project) because it has helped us. My sons who were roaming now have work,” said Nambooze.

She further said NUSAF gave the group of 22 boys Shs. 10 million to start the Project in October 2006. “We are now building a workshop so that we make more doors and windows.

And if they bring vehicles that need to be welded, we weld them,” said Nambooze. From the Shs. 10 million, the group was able to buy a generator, a welding machine, metal for raw material as well as hire a trainer to teach the youth how to weld, among others.

Katanga Youth Welding and Basic Mechanics makes metallic doors and windows and in Nakapiripirit, where security concerns are paramount, there is market for the metallic doors and windows.

People used to go as far as Mbale to buy these doors and windows, said Josephine Nukol, NUSAF secretary, Nakapiripirit District. Nukol bought 2 doors from Mbale at Shs. 200, 000, so she, like her fellow residents, can’t wait to start buying from Katanga Youth Welding and Basic Mechanics because the transport costs will then also be negligible.

Currently a new school is under construction in Nakapiripirit and there is no need to guess who has been contracted to supply the doors and windows-Nakapiripirit’s own Katanga Youth Welding and Basic Mechanics.