Eight youth-led startups in northern Uganda have been selected to benefit from a 144 million shillings start-up fund from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to help them kick-start their businesses aimed at addressing sexual and reproductive health challenges in their communities.
The eight teams, comprising 40 youth from Adjumani, Arua, Yumbe, Moyo, Kitgum, Agago, Amuru and Lamwo districts, were selected following a competition in which they faced a panel of judges.
A total of 250 applications were received after which 22 semi-finalists were shortlisted for three-day workshops conducted in Arua and Kitgum.
Each of the eight teams will receive funding, business training, mentorship, and go-to-market technical guidance courtesy of the Up Accelerate WAY (Women, Adolescent and Youth) edition.
The initiative is supported by the Government of Denmark.
The eight teams that were selected are;
Baby Kit, a team using locally made materials to develop infant warmers help mothers in refugee settlements that have given birth to premature or at-risk babies.
The other is IKitty Supplies, a service that will help young men and women living in rural and refugee settlements and host communities in West Nile access affordable family planning services.
The other is Platform 503, a music dance and drama group which creates ‘’you-change skits’’ that will help young women, adolescent girls and young people affected by conflict in refugee and host communities access user friendly information on the causes, prevention and strategies to end gender-based violence through audio/visual context appropriate customer inclusive, educative and entertaining short plays.
Poker Card– A card book that will promote inclusiveness by helping deaf women and youths acquire primary Health care knowledge on HIV/AIDs through graphics, illustrations, and images that can be understood by the deaf.
Fema let’s talk– A solution that provides an interactive edutainment platform (Fe-Ma: let’s talk App) and school clubs that will provide a safe space for adolescent girls and boys aged between 12 to 17 to share, learn and get equipped with knowledge on Gender Based Violence to be agents of behavioral change and promoters of nonviolence.
We help– An interactive voice response system platform that will help women of childbearing age easily access family planning services by describing to them the benefits and likely costs of the chosen contraceptives; using their preferred language also linking them to the nearest health facility.
Mieringa– A mobile Application Service that will help young people between the age of 13 to 17 years affected by conflict and those in refugee host communities access information and consultation services on sexual and reproductive health and rights in both Lugbara and English language using toll free sms and toll free phone calls to help reduce cases of unintended and early pregnancies.
Unity and Prosperity Medical Center – An antenatal care service provider that will help expectant mothers living in refugee communities access safe delivery services within their community to solve the problem of long distances to the nearest health facilities through establishment of mobile antenatal clinics.