Karimojong Youth lead an investigation into their 'Strengths and Livelihoods'
"We lost our cows and we resorted to hard and risky work in mines, quarries and murram pits. But we have not left the culture of livestock keeping behind. We are working hard to buy animals."This is one of the findings of a group of young Karimojong men and women who spent two months last year investigating the livelihoods of Karimojong youth through action research. The full findings have been published in an image-rich book, "Strength, Creativity and Livelihoods of Karimojong Youth". The team have given out many copies the book to those interested to learn about how life is today for young people in Karamoja and what has caused this to be. The book illustrates the strength of the young Karimojong: their respect for others, strength of mind, flexibility, carefulness and knowledge and respect for law and tradition. The team suggests that when 'outsiders' come to work in the region they should read the book and find out what young people have to say. The team have also taken copies of the book to all the communities where they undertook the research and discussed the findings with other young people, elders, mothers and others. In March 2012, members of the research team were facilitated by Restless Development Uganda to join a two-day dialogue on young people's livelihoods with local and national decision-makers including the Minister of State for Karamoja. By the end of the two days, officials present committed to:
- Support a revision of the eligibility criteria for the government's national Youth Venture Capital Fund
- Work with the Ministry of Education to increase the number of state-owned covational training institutions and to ensure that covational start-up kits are made available in Karamoja (they are already available in other parts of Uganda).
- Provide information and opportunities for young people to be actively involved in decision-making processes at local and national levels.