THE YOUTH CSO HUB: A BEACON OF HOPE FOR YOUTH CSOs IN ARUA CITY AMIDST THE POST-COVID-19 IMPACTS ON YOUTH CSO IN UGANDA
Key of the biggest challenges in organizational resilience is the capacity to attract and maintain human resource that is motivated and empowered to keep contributing to the vision and mission of the organization they work with. Motivation is not only related to salary and other personal benefits but also a working environment that nurtures and promotes the best out of the staff.
The Youth CSO hub is one of those unique approaches in youthful programming that has made people say Woooow and inspired over 30 CSOs to come together and tap into each other’s strengths.
According to West Nile CSO network, over 80 organizations expressed interest in being part of the Open Civic Space for Youth project target group however the resources available could afford to only support 30 organizations. This is an indicator that the demand for Youth CSO support is high than the supply side. This is strongly attributed to the post-effect of Covid 19 that led to increased downsizing of most CSO interventions but also change in priorities where Youth CSOs don’t have expertise in.
It's now 11 months into the project and we have seen tremendous improvement among youth CSOs and youth who have career aspirations of contributing to society through the Civil society sector.
The Youth CSO hub has not only supported 30 CSOs but also inspired over 50 youths who once in a while visit the place and those who have benefited from other Youth CBOs through the spillover effect. “I wish every City in Uganda has an initiative like this then youth CSOs targeting urban youth programming would be more organized and not working in competition but rather co-creation,” said Feni the Executive Director of West Nile CSO Network. The hub has promoted more organizations to come together and respond to the different calls for proposals as consortium organizations but also co-create or engage in a peer-to-peer review of ideas, applications, and thematic focus. “I did not know about all these organizations before however with the existence of the hub as a co-working space, we have surprisingly managed to come together and respond to a call for proposal if it goes through, we will be grateful,” Said one of the members of Participatory Inclusive Approaches.
According to the district CDO, the existence of the hub has not only organized Youth CSO but also youth in Arua City in general. “This is not only a Youth CSOs space, it’s a space where youth find fellow youth. This is exactly what we are supposed to be doing as a government using taxpayers’ money. The youth in the city have greatly challenged us.” Said Adiru Victoria CDO in charge of special interest groups
I don’t know why the mayor and the Resident City Commission (RCC) representing the president of Uganda in Arua is not here. She should have been invited because this is exactly what we need to do all over Uganda in order to achieve vision 2040 through National Development Plans. Said Ikaaba Mohammed the CISO for Arua City.