The population of Karamoja is young with the average age being 15 years
of the 1.2 million people of Karamoja live in absolute poverty
of 18-30 year-old youth in Karamoja have used the Internet
of the youth aged 15-24 have never attended school
Like the Acholi sub-region, where we have been active since 2012, Karamoja has been affected by decades of conflict in the recent past, leaving a footprint that the current generation is still grappling with. In Karamoja, though, these post-conflict challenges come in combination with another set of difficulties. It is the poorest sub-region of Uganda, a country where 70% of youth population live on less than US$2 a day and where youth constitute 80% of the nation’s unemployed. Many challenges exist also in terms of access to quality education, infrastructure, etc. This is a region where interethnic conflict has historically generated insecurity, instability, and fragility. Many claim that it is difficult to foster peace and sustainable development in the sub-region because of the complexity of the challenges but that was not seen as a barrier by WPDI.
Starting to work in Karamoja in 2019, we believe that change is possible – if it is designed and driven by endogenous forces and if it draws on local energies. The purpose of the Youth Peacemaker Network is precisely to nurture and channel these forces and energies. The work of our peacemakers, through community dialogues or peace education courses in schools, or the small businesses we strive to support, all contribute to ensure that, in the end, local actors can transform their communities from the inside at the grassroots level.
Key numbers to understand our impact in the Karamoja sub-region:
youth leaders / entrepreneurs working with 140 local youth
income-generating community projects
Community Learning Center
small businesses incubated through our Business Boot Camp