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PRESS RELEASE

YOUTH VOICES AGAINST COVID-19: ANNOUNCING ARTWORK FROM 50 ACTIVISTS, ARTISTS AND LEADERS

KAMPALA – Thursday, July 1st, 2020: As the world continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic, Re!gnite Africa is honored to amplify voices of 50 young activists, artists, and leaders speaking out about the impact of this crisis to their livelihood and economic wellbeing and calling for better action from government. We are publishing artwork in form of poems, drawings, essays/letters, and songs and videos from young people aged 18-30 to inspire youth participation in ongoing discussions shaping narratives and informing decision-making processes about the pandemic and this demographic.

The activity aims to promote freedom of thought and expression, and is part of Re!gnite Africa’s ‘Youth Voices against COVID-19’ project that seeks to gather, document,  and curate youth experiences about the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown to the youth employment challenge. Rehema Namukose, one of Re!gnite Africa’s directors says this is a very good starting point in centering youth experiences in the fight against COVID-19. ‘’For too long the past 3-4 months, we have had many people speak on behalf of youth. This creative project changes that and gives young people power back to them to speak out using this platform and shape future narratives about them.’’

Youth participants in this activity are showcasing their courage and creativity by sharing personal experiences about the impact of this momentous period to their lives and that of their communities, and making recommendations about how the government can support youth as they navigate various challenges, remarkably; loss of jobs and career development opportunities, financial hardship, domestic violence, and mental illness, to mention but a few. Below are some recommendations and demands they make to the government of Uganda:

  • To provide relief aid in the form of food to all families, especially youth-led family households
  • Should ensure women and youth are part of all COVID-19 response consultations to create guidelines that fairly cater to the needs of all.
  • Must work with responsible ministries to provide relief packages such as non-repayable cash grants and tax holidays to small and medium enterprises, and informal sector workers.
  • Must invest in e-commerce to smoothen adaptability to the new ways working;
    • This would include the removal of over-the-top (OTT) or commonly referred to as social media tax and providing all citizens with free to internet to lessen the digital inequality gap.
  • Ought to add mental health support services to core health care interventions currently offered to citizens. Many young people need these services right now!
  • Provide informal sector businesses with relief packages such as cash nonrepayable grants
  • Invest in better healthcare for all and providing health workers with PPE to ensure they are safe as they do their work this season, among other recommendations.

The second component of this activity will involve developing a deeper analysis into the impact of government measures to youth livelihood and economic wellbeing where 10 of the submissions will be used developed as case studies on accountability and transparency in service delivery and governance, and how that trickles down to other sectors, and thus impacting our economic wellbeing and livelihoods.

All selected pieces have been published on the organization’s page in no particular order here.

For more information, please contact us: 0770343616 or via email: info@reigniteafrica.org

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About Re!gnite Africa: Re!gnite Africa is a young adults-focused not-for-profit organization tackling the employment challenge in Uganda. The organization supports un/underemployed young adults to learn soft and practical skills, get good jobs, and learn leadership and advocacy skills to tackle social issues in their communities.

Re!gnite Africa is grateful to the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, Ford Foundation, and its entire community of supporters who provide financial resources we need to continue providing practical solutions to the unemployment challenge for young adults in Uganda.

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