EU Injects UGX 16 Bn to Curb Radicalization, Violence in Slums

The project is mainly targeting youth, women and other vulnerable groups. It is hoped that keep such groups busy would reduce the risk of being lure into terrorism.
Different ambassadors and staff of Action for Fundamental Change and Development cut a cake

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The European Union has injected over 16 billion shillings to support vulnerable people living in the slums around Kampala.

The four-year project is projected to support over 1,000 youths, women and other vulnerable people in Bwaise, Kabalagala, Katwe and Katanga.

It will address root causes of inter-communal conflict, violent extremism and radicalization through providing employment but also educating and sensitizing the youths.

Speaking at the launch of the project at Bwaise Youth Employment Centre, the European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda Ambassador Kristian Schmidt stated that the Uganda population in slums is growing and opportunities should be brought to such communities. This, he said, is a preventive effort against distortion of faith and radicalized messages that lead to terrorism.

Ambassador Schmidt says the project will also rebuild the relationship between the police and the people, in addition to building the capacity of Government actors in conflict sensitive service delivery.  The beneficiaries include police, ministry of internal affairs, and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) officials.

He says that although Uganda is peaceful, it is important to provide people with a livelihood that will not take them to a misguided ideology.

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Schmidt says that the July 2010 bombing in Kampala was a regrettable incidence especially since some of the suspects were Ugandans. Seventy six people died in Kampala when terrorists targeted football fans at Kyaddondo Rugby Club and Ethiopian Restaurant.

Joyce Nalubwama, a mother in Bwaise says the project is good news for many youths in the area who are disgruntled and out of school.

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According to Jaffar Nyombi Tazan, the Director Social Enterprise at Action for Fundamental Change and Development, the funding is instrumental in building the lives of slum dwellers. He says a jobless youth, for instance, is a risk to the community, adding that they will train youths in vocational studies and build centres for them to realize their potential.

Nyombi says that in many cases many students have been dropping out of school because of walking from Bwaise Katanga, Katwe and Kabalagala. He says establishing the centres in these areas that offer life skills and vocation studies among others will make the youth stay in school.

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Obiga Kania, the minister of state for Internal Affairs, states that it is very essential to equip the youths with skills. He says this will stop the usual running battles between rowdy youths and police but also save Ugandan youths from terror tendencies.

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Muhammed Kisirisa, the founder Action for Fundamental Change and Development notes that about 600 graduates through the different vocational schools will be awarded cash for business, toolkits to start their business among others.

The four-year program will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).