Youth Focus Africa Foundation
Youth Focus Africa Foundation (YOFAFO) is an independent, indIgenous, non-government organisation registered by the republic of Uganda. YOFAFO aims to empower women and children through education, health and micro-finance programs. YOFAFO has been active in three villages in the Lugazi area since 2005, working in partnership with each community. In this time we have built a strong foundation of trust, community involvement, listening and accountability.
Our mission is to improve the lives of children, youth and women through education, health and micro-finance programs so they may reach their full potential in life.
Our focus is on the communities in and surrounding Lugazi, including the villages of Kitoola, Najja and Bulimagi.
1. Siignificantly improve the numeracy and literacy levels of children, particularly those who have been disadvantaged through poverty and the loss of one or more parents to disease such as HIV/AIDS.
2. Help youth find meaningful employment.
3. Improve the independence and contribution of women to the development of their communities.
4. Improve the health status and life expectancy of all people living in these communities.
History / Background
YOFAFO is the evolving dream of Valence and Doreen Lutaisire. Valence is an orphan from the village of Kitoola, outside of Lugazi. Valence lost both his parents when he was young - but not before his mother instilled in him the value of education. He was sponsored through junior and senior school education and went on to become the only person from his village to receive a university degree. Valence was determined this fact shall not remain and returned to the Buikwe district to help the village communities he came from. His goal is to allow the people from these communities to dream, and to reach their full potential.
EDUCATION: We have opened two primary schools in the communities of Najja (460 students) and Kitoola (300 students). Most of the children who attend these schools are orphans, or in vulnerable positions whereby they would not otherwise receive an education. The five-year plan is to expand the project to include an agriculture program so we can sustainably feed children at the school, and to start building a secondary and vocational school.
HEALTH: YOFAFO currently provides health outreach services to 10 villages in the region. A mobile clinic visits one village per week, for two days. At the same time, the foundation provides public health education, particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention and counselling. A volunteer team provided in partnership with the Global Volunteers Network has also completed the first phase of construction of a health clinic at children's village/school at Najja.
MICRO-FINANCE: In 2008, YOFAFO started a micro-finance program for women in the village of Bulimagi. This program provides small loans to women who, as females, would not otherwise be able to secure one without the collateral of a father or husband’s land. The women use these loans to start small businesses which in turn, gives them a sense of independence and self-esteem while at the same time enabling them to better provide for their families. Women are placed in groups of five and guarantee each other for the loans. Loans start at US$50 and YOFAFO also provides the women with education about financial management. There are currently about 120 women participating in the program, which has a loan recovery rate of almost 100 per cent.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: In the villages supported by YOFAFO, the foundation has also established women's empowerment programs. These include donating animals to women so they can start agriculture businesses, and providing training in tailoring and craft, with products sold locally and internationally via our sponsors and volunteers. YOFAFO has also purchased some land with a long-term view to develop larger scale community farming.
YOFAFO’S MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
1. More than US$200,000 has been delivered to rural communities.
2. The building of the Hope for Africa Children’s village at Najja. More than 450 children attend the primary school, where there are clean water tanks, a bore hold and a community health clinic. Children at this school are achieving some of the best results in the country.
3. Hopeland Primary School and facilities built at Kitoola Village. More than 300 children are receiving an education at the school.
4. Sanitation and water tank facilities at Najja.
5. More than 75 children engaged in child sponsorship programs.
6. Establishment of a micro-finance loans and savings operation.
7. Provision of cattle, pigs and chickens to selected families for agricultural projects.
8. The establishment of two ‘empowerment centres’ where women and youth receive vocational training. The centres are equipped with desks, sewing machines, knitting machines, books and trainers.
9. The establishment of a permanent headquarters, administrative facilities and volunteer accommodation in Lugazi.
Volunteering with YOFAFO
YOFAFO welcomes volunteers from across the globe. Please contact us if you are interested in coming to Uganda and volunteering with YOFAFO.
To learn more, go to YouTube and search "You Invitation to Uganda".