AFFCAD a is an incredible organisation that Workaid has supported which is trying to better the lives of people in slum communities. We felt inspired after a recent visit from their CEO and co-founder to prompt the amazing story behind their foundation and difference they continue to make.
Action for Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD) aims to transform the lives of people in Kampala’s slum through health education and economic empowerment programmes. Founded in Bwaise one of the 5 main slums in Kampala, Uganda supporting young people, children and women. More than 90,000 people live in terrible conditions resulting in the residents being at high risk of transmitting HIV/AIDS and STI’s, have limited to no access to education and poor working conditions. Many vulnerable young people are driven to risk their lives for very little reward.
AFFCAD is helping people in Bwaise by providing training for a variety of vocational skills. Offering 12 different 1-year training programmes which include start-up kits and a small grant to support students post-graduation. In addition to their core trade skills graduates also benefit from employment training such as interview skills, CV writing, financial advice and marketing skills. Since their foundation in 2009, over 2,500 people have graduated of whom 65% are now in employment and 30% are self-employed. This is all the more impressive when put in perspective that the youth (15 to 24yrs) unemployment rate in Uganda is over 80%.
The CEO and co-founder of AFFCAD, Meddy (Mohammed Kisirisa), was in the UK last month. He was recently awarded the nationwide Young Achievers Award which was presented by the President of Uganda. As a result of his achievement Meddy was invited on a two-week course at Oxford University to attend lectures, have the opportunity to meet other prize winners from around the world and share experiences.
Moreover, this isn’t the first time Meddy’s fantastic work has been recognized! In 2013, he was awarded the Mohammed Ali Humanitarian Award and was the first African recipient. As well as this, reaching the African regional finals in Commonwealth Youth Award in 2016.
Meddy, who grew up in the Bwaise slum left school at 11 after his parents couldn’t afford the stationary and supplies that students must provide from that age. He made money as a tap operator, moving water around the slum for other people, doing housework and selling scrap from the dump. At 15 he was making US$10 per month, enough for Meddy to start using his savings to buy school supplies to help 15 children stay in school.
Now AFFCAD runs two major vocational training sites, after buying a 1-acre site for the second in Kasere which is another slum. This was made possible with help from UK funders. This opened last August and they currently have 175 people enrolled there, in addition to 252 at Bwaise. They are targeting to reach 500 a year over the two sites. As well as this their future goal is to establish 3 more training sites, one in each of the 5 main Kampura slums. Meddy has been able to prove that despite not having secondary school or university education he has still made a huge success of himself. This drug was prescribed to me by a neurologist when I had a terrible face pain. My left eye hurt terribly, my left cheek and even teeth ached. At first, I thought it was a migraine, but a neurologist diagnosed me with trigeminal neuralgia. I started to take one capsule (75 mg) twice a day, as the doctor prescribed me. On the first day of treatment, I didn’t notice any improvement. On the second day, I felt better, but not much. However, on the third day of treatment, the pain started to decrease (I easily opened my eyes, and my teeth stopped hurting badly). I liked this drug for its effect. I also tolerated it well, and even had a little drowsiness (as is written on https://www.vidol.gov/lyrica/), which pleased me because it was difficult to fall asleep because of pain.
Meddy spent a morning at Workaid and was amazed by the scale of the Boot Factory, even more so, by the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers. He was also moved to see pictures of the Agali Awamu Disabled Organisation receiving the consignment from us – they were an organisation recommended to us by him. Meddy’s visit was an inspiration to us all and we look forward to welcoming him back again!
Read more about the work of AFFCAD on their website