Jinja Materials Training Centre

Urban Poverty Fighter

A few years ago, Joseph Serunjogi and the Jinja federation started to ramp up slum upgrading projects in and around the city using their own savings. Before long they had secured technical support from SDI and built a partnership with the Jinja Municipal Council.

They started constructing sanitation units and community halls and they began to really make a difference in the living conditions of Jinja’s slum dwellers. The problem, though, was that construction materials were hard to come by and very costly.

For the organized urban poor problems are opportunities. The elders in the Jinja Federation, concerned that so many of their youth were unemployed, hit upon the idea of manufacturing building materials themselves. That is how the Jinja Materials Workshop was conceived. Before long the Jinja Federation constructed a building materials workshop where youth from Jinja’s slum are trained to manufacture affordable and eco-friendly building materials.

The site has now become a learning centre for the manufacturing of innovative, climate-friendly building materials. At the same time it gives local youth valuable skills training and small but regular income from the sale of their products.

But more than half the youth in Uganda’s second largest city are still unemployed and there are many public facilities and houses to be built. Joseph Serunjogi and the federation in Jinja need help to make that happen, and in other parts of Uganda, more Federation groups are requesting support to start similar income-generating projects of their own.

You can support Joseph and the Jinja Federation by contributing towards training more youth in the Jinja Materials Workshop, or you can help the Uganda federation extend this project to other cities where the demand for youth employment, public amenities, and houses is just as high.