About us

About Kawempe Youth Centre

Kwempe Youth Centre

Kawempe Youth Centre inspires young entrepreneurs to start businesses in Uganda Community need
Home to almost 300,000 people, Kawempe is the most densely populated division of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. One in five people are unemployed and over 50% live in poverty. The innovative service
Working with their local NGO partner, the Private Education Development Network, Kawempe Youth Centre (KYC) is providing a desperately needed service: computer, business skills and financial literacy training – and is steadily making a difference to young people in the community
In just one year after its launch in March 2011, the library’s ICT service trained 90 young people to use computers, to start small businesses, to manage their money and to look for jobs and income-earning opportunities online. Over a quarter of the trainees reported having opened bank accounts; several started small businesses and others entered a variety of vocational training courses.

Our Story

Kawempe Youth Centre (KYC) is located in Kawempe Division, one of the five divisions of Kampala in Uganda. Kawempe Division is one of the five divisions of Kampala District under the governance of the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA). It is one of the largest Divisions with an approximate population of 338,312 people according to the 2014 national population census, characterized with the lowest income per capita of the five divisions, high crime rate, HIV/AIDS transmission (2013 Survey), and the highest number of commercial sex spots. The Division is a transient multi-cultural and multi-lingual community characterized with low education levels. Economically, Kawempe has several manufacturing industries and employs a dense population of casual workers, traders and many people survive on petty trade. It has over 200 schools both primary and secondary schools, many of which lack the much needed educational and information facilities to enhance reading and learning. Public facilities are scarce in the division and the distance to the city centre’s public facilities like the public library is far (about 5miles) and thus too costly for most youth to visit regularly. It was for this reason that Kawempe Youth Centre was established in Kawempe.

KYC initially started out in 1999 as a project for a public library under the name of Kawempe Youth Library (KYL). The surveys and interviews held in 1998 among primary and secondary schools in Kawempe and stakeholders in the field of education and information services showed the need for information and library services in the division. The initiative started with the support of a Dutch volunteer, who worked with Esther Kyazike and a team of local people of influence in the education sector and community leaders in establishing the youth library. The idea was welcomed and supported by different donors both financially and in kind. KYL was established originally with two main aims of improving the standards of literacy in the community and helping to create a reading culture amongst the members of the community. The overall goal of KYL was to offer children between 4 – 19 years access to books to enhance literacy skills for academic excellence and personal development. The team worked tirelessly to have the library opened on 6thSeptember 1999 by the Minister of State for Primary Education, Hon. Mrs. Bitamazire G.

Given the rate at which the library was growing it was thought wise to register the library as an independent entity to enable it to develop. A new organisation in the name of Kawempe Youth Centre Uganda (KYC) was therefore established in 2002 as a Community Based Organisation and later registered as a Non Governmental Organisation and a Company Limited by guarantee in 2003. KYC’s aim was to develop an educational youth centre that is an exciting learning place for young people through its facilities and services. Since the library was hosted by a primary school in two of the classrooms, lack of space for library users was a major problem. With the support of Wilde Ganzen, Netherlands, KYC acquired land in December 2003 with a 2 roomed house, which was completed to house a library reading room, reception/ book bank room and an ICT facility. KYC was able to move in to its own home in April 2005.

In 2006, KYC broadened its scope to become a Youth Centre providing information through its library services as well as facilitating educational, ICT training, youth skills development and recreational activities. To date, KYC’s library has been visited by over 60,000 users and has worked with over 30 schools through its mobile library services since its inception. Over 300 youth have been trained in ICT and over 161 in business skills.

 The library, which was the first of its kind in Kampala was then hosted by Kawempe Muslim Primary school and offered a variety of reading material to young people and schools, educational material for all subjects, reference books, early readers and novels, newspapers and magazines. Despite its relative infancy, over 4,000 youth visited the library in the first few months of operation. The library proved to be a success not only with the availability of reading material but also with the availability of a reading room which was and still is of great importance for youth who want to read and study in a quiet environment.

KYC Management

KYC management includes a Board of 7 members (2 female and 5 male) who collectively represent the interests of the members and stakeholders by providing KYC with guidance and strategic oversight. KYC has enthusiastic and committed staff members who include 7 full time local staff, 1 support staff and 3 local youth volunteer. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) manages the centre and represents the secretariat on the Board.

15

YEARS IN CHARITY

28

PROJECTS HANDLED

11

STAFF MEMBERS

KYC CEO

About 22years ago, my dream of becoming an accountant was shattered. When my father lost his job, I had to stay out of school for a couple of years until I met Judith Grooscholten in 1998 while I worked at a public children’s library in Kampala. It is in the same year that I went back to school not to study accounts but this time to study library and information science, a course that many regarded as useless at that time. 

My dream was to start a youth library through which youth could have access to information for their personal development. Judith had the same vision so together we started a very small library in 1999 that was hosted by Kawempe Muslim primary school in Kawempe division. At that time, Mr. Kibedi, the current chairman of Kawempe Youth Centre (KYC), was the headmaster of the school. In May 2002, the small library gave birth to KYC, a local community organization that not only provides information but facilitates educational ICT4Development and Community Outreach programs. 

KYC has grown into a community centre that not only serves youth but children, schools and entire Kawempe community and beyond. To date the centre has been visited by over 60,000 young people, works with 26 schools to offer educational material, facilitate reading sessions and train teachers, partners with health centres to implement health activities and trains young people in ICT, entrepreneurial and soft skills. It is very exciting to see an organization that started with only one shelf of books, in a primary school classroom, to acquiring a home that was once a community garbage site to a place where most young people come to acquire a wealth of knowledge and opportunities. Over the years, KYC has received support from donors, individuals and friends of KYC from all over the world to whom we are grateful.

Working with their local NGO partner, the Private Education Development Network, Kawempe Youth Centre (KYC) is providing a desperately needed service: computer, business skills and financial literacy training – and is steadily making a difference to young people in the community…

My Story

About 22years ago, my dream of becoming an accountant was shattered. When my father lost his job, I had to stay out of school for a couple of years until I met Judith Grooscholten in 1998 while I worked at a public children’s library in Kampala. It is in the same year that I went back to school not to study accounts but this time to study library and information science, a course that many regarded as useless at that time. 

My dream was to start a youth library through which youth could have access to information for their personal development. Judith had the same vision so together we started a very small library in 1999 that was hosted by Kawempe Muslim primary school in Kawempe division. At that time, Mr. Kibedi, the current chairman of Kawempe Youth Centre (KYC), was the headmaster of the school. In May 2002, the small library gave birth to KYC, a local community organization that not only provides information but facilitates educational ICT4Development and Community Outreach programs. 

KYC has grown into a community centre that not only serves youth but children, schools and entire Kawempe community and beyond. To date the centre has been visited by over 60,000 young people, works with 26 schools to offer educational material, facilitate reading sessions and train teachers, partners with health centres to implement health activities and trains young people in ICT, entrepreneurial and soft skills. It is very exciting to see an organization that started with only one shelf of books, in a primary school classroom, to acquiring a home that was once a community garbage site to a place where most young people come to acquire a wealth of knowledge and opportunities. Over the years, KYC has received support from donors, individuals and friends of KYC from all over the world to whom we are grateful.

Working with their local NGO partner, the Private Education Development Network, Kawempe Youth Centre (KYC) is providing a desperately needed service: computer, business skills and financial literacy training – and is steadily making a difference to young people in the community…

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Contact us

ADDRESS

Kawempe, 5 miles along Bombo Rd
Turn off right at Kobil stage to Ttula Rd
1/2km in Kizza Zone

PHONE

+256 (0) 773-518013

EMAIL ADDRESS

kawempeyouthcentre@gmail.com

OPENNING HOURS

Monday – Friday 8.30am – 6.00pm 
Saturday 8.30am – 1.00pm 
N.B: KYC is closed on public holiday