Advocacy change champions sharing ideas of how they want the safe space to look like.

UYAHF has engaged in different activities in Kyakka II such as carrying out a rapid assessment on rates of teenage pregnancy and child marriage, recruitment of 20 young people (15-24 years) from sub-counties; Apuyo, Ruyonza, Rentuha, Kyegegwa, Mpara in Kyegegwa District, including individuals from the Kyaka II Settlement as well as the host community. These 20 youth advocacy change champions have been engaged in community outreach, school outreaches, training, high-level meetings, and more as a way to advocate for a supportive social, legal, and policy environment that promotes access to comprehensive SRHR services and protects the rights of girls. Following from findings of the assessments done in Kyaka II refugee settlement and engagements with both the camp leadership and young people, UYAHF identified a need to support and equip the existing youth space in Sweswe.

On 21st August 2020, a meeting was held at the Sweswe youth space and was attended by 8 participants (F 4 and M 4). In order to better understand the specific needs of the young people and the identified youth space, UYAHF worked with the community engagements lead and in charge of youth activities, Mr. Natuhweera Benson, and the advocacy champions to carry out a needs assessment and co-design the best interventions to facilitate the space.  Mr. Natuhweera Benson gave a little background about the Sweswe hub, it was established by the AHA ASGBV program with funding from BPRM. The youth centre was established for young people with the objective of becoming an income-generating and a recreational project for the youth. “The reason why I recommended this hub to UYAHF is that I didn’t see the need to establish another safe space yet there is one that can be upgraded”, said Mr. Natuhweera Benson.

The change champions were happy to be part of the meeting and the initiative because they have always wanted a safe place where they can come to for fun and dialogue with their peers, learning from each other. The change champions were able to identify their needs and prioritize their needs and gave recommendations such as; to have more structures in place to handle specific sessions for example let the skilling room be for only skilling, have indoor games so that young people with disabilities are not left behind, aim to make the hub open to all youth in the community by having a friendly and conducive environment among others. The change champions shared some of the activities they would wish to have such as a fully stocked library, hold weekly edu-tainment concerts, and learn about agriculture, amongst others.

The identified youth space will be used for recreation, skilling, and learning among the youth advocacy change champions and other young people. It will promote peer to peer learning, well-coordinated mobilizing and organizing, build capacities and give confidence using music, dance, and drama to advocate for change in Kyegegwa district.