YUMBE. Partner in community transformation (PICOT), a non-governmental organisation operating in West Nile has received funds for supporting youths in information and communication technology (ICT) and other skills development in West Nile.

The 3-year project dubbed ‘Enhancing access to skills development and reduce unemployment among youth through strengthening capacity of local society organisations in West Nile, Uganda (EARN PROJECT)’ will be implemented with funding from the European Union.

During the project inception, Ms Sauda Ropani, the PICOT executive director said the project will be implemented in the districts of Yumbe, Koboko and Maracha and a total of 300,000 Euros has already been secured.

She said they are going to implement the project in partnership with Umoja Rescue Agency and the district local governments.

"We want the youths to take up this project seriously so that it can facilitate them in earning a living. Due to poverty and other reasons, our youth never attained certain level of education that can help them get into formal employment. We now want to skill them so as to get a second chance in life," she said.

The PICOT project officer, Mr David Wayi said they are going to target a total of 930 youths in the three districts.

He said they will also equally share the 930 targeted beneficiaries among the three districts and each district will have 3 groups.

"We are targeting the young men and women aged 15-30years including the survivors of HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) among the young people. We shall work with the vocational institutions and apprenticeship centres to place the beneficiaries for the skills training," Wayi said.

He said the components of the project include skills training which will take 65 per cent, ICT 32 per cent and Agro-Forestry taking 3 per cent.

Wayi added that they will advocate for transparency and adhere to the national standards in the project implementation.

But Mr Khalid Isile, the Yumbe district youth chairperson said a similar project was implemented by ACAV in the district but the impact is quite minimal.

He said out of the young people trained during ACAV's time, few of them succeeded but most of them are now redundant because the knowledge they acquired was not enough.

Mr Yassin Taban, the Yumbe district chairman cautioned PICOT on the beneficiary selection criteria.

He said some of the organisations at times, use wrong criteria of selecting beneficiaries for such programs and as a result, many end up selling tools and kits received.

"We need to go to the drawing board and ensure that we do things right. We should get beneficiaries who are working and committed but if you go to sub-counties to select the people politically, we may identify wrong people because we need voters at the end, the impact will be negative," he said.