Impact assessment of Ihushi Jitegemee Youth Training Center : Bujashi-Magu District

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Southern New Hampshire University
PANUA is a community Based Organization at grassroots level in Magu District, Mwanza Region. Its centre of operation is IHUSHI Village in Bujashi Ward, situated about 50 m and 18 km from Magu District Headquarters and Mwanza City respectively. It also enjoys good proximity with Kisesa Minor settlement (6 km away) on the Mwanza Musoma Road (5 km), the National Vocational Education Training centre (13 km) and it is hardly 15 km from the shores of Lake Victoria. The Mission, goal and objective of the CBO is well embodied in its name PANUA. PANUA is a Kiswahili acronym carrying the words "Panda Mbegu ya Maendeleo, Inua Hali ya Wananchi" The literal translation of these words is, "Plant Seeds of Development to raise the standard of living of the most Vulnerable". PANUA Memorandum of understanding defines the most vulnerable as those girls and boys who complete primary education and stay at home without opportunity to be engaged into any gainful and sustainable income generating activity. The rate of youths' vulnerability is exasperated by two factors: the age at which they finish primary education (13-16 years) and the equipment used in the major means of production, farming with hand hoes. These two factors prevent the youth from entering the production market. Once they complete their education, there is a necessary prolonged time-lag period, between primary school completion and acquiring the basic capability to work on farms using had hoes as major means for production.However, during this long period, the youths are faced with a number of temptations as they struggle to make a meaningful living. The result is early pregnancy leading to forced marriages for the girls, urban migration for both girls and boys in search of employment as bar and restaurant attendants, house-servants. On the other hand, the youths, who remain in the village, end up joining fishing villages scattered along the lake. Once in the fishing villages they are subjected to a number of anti-social practices, such as multiple sexual partners, drug-pushing behavior etc. It is against this background the PANUA CBO was founded in Bujashi ward with an ambitious mission of changing this status quo. After a broad consultation with various groups, the founder Emmanuel Buguba, a former Bujashi Ward Councilor now a private citizen) came up with idea of starting a grassroots Vocational Education and Training Centre under the name of Ihiushi Jitegemee Youth Training Centre. The objective of the Centre is to impart vocational life skills to the youth who do not qualify for secondary education on completing Primary Education, each year. The Centre started in 2000 with 20 volunteer youth trainees in the home compound of the founder. Today, the Centre boasts of a full flagged Vocational Education and Training Centre with basic buildings, like workshops for tailoring and Carpentry, classrooms, for theory teachings, administrative block and a multi-purpose hall. It also has two classes for pre-school facility which enrolls children free of charge within the neighborhood. Subjects being taught at the centre include: Carpentry, tailoring, gardening masonry, cross cutting issues like HIV AIDS, Gender, Environment and academic subjects such as English language, Book-keeping and Arithmetic. So far 40 trainees have graduated from the Centre of whom 6 have been retained at the centre as instructors and the rest are living in the village running their own income generating activities. Currently it has 25 trainees (12 girls and 13 boys) who will graduate in December, 2005). The general objective of our study in this Project Paper is to evaluate and assess the growth of this particular grassroots centre, its role, relevance and effectiveness in the struggle against poverty and youth unemployment, chances for sustainability and possible replication to other wards. Our assessment is totally based on the research findings. Suffice it to mention that , the findings are proving beyond reasonable doubt that the Project and its activities both are fully supported by the whole clientele. A few example of the responses from the findings which verify our above assertion: Parents- a sample of 30 interviewees have full knowledge about the Centre and have shown willingness and readiness to give moral and material support to the Centre. Trainees: The Centre has attracted many applicants in its intakes so far. For example; in the first intake 2000, there were 42 applicants. But for 2002 intake the number of applicants increased to 75 and only 20 were taken on competitive basis. Job creation: The findings tell it that of 40 graduates 6 are full time employees of the center and the rest are self -employed in various income generating projects such as tailoring, masonry, carpentry and gardening, in their respective villages. (Author abstract)