The World Bank, UN and many other big players and academics in international development agree that the creation of jobs that provide fair wages, conditions and security is one of the main ways for a country to develop. Employment is the best way for an individual, their families and most importantly their children to escape a life of poverty. Uganda has one of the world’s youngest population (78% being under 30) and highest youth unemployment rates for those aged between 18-30 (ranging from 62% to 83% – Action Aid 2014, African Development bank 2014). Uganda has a pressing need to create quality employment and training opportunities for those aged between 18-30 if it is going to avoid a generation that misses out on the benefits of development and are consigned to a life of poverty.
We have developed our playground building programs to create quality training opportunities and employment for young adults in our playground building workshops. By constructing our playgrounds using local material and our teams of locally trained playground builders we are able to increase the impact we have on development in Uganda. As with every area we work in, we focus on quality over quantity in each of our teams. We have 4 teams, welding, building, arts and play and support teams. Each member of staff and trainee has a clear path for personnel development which can take them from entry level, to junior and then on to senior team member with no glass ceilings for anyone. Everyone (men, women, former street-children and those of low level education) all have the same opportunity to develop with us.
We have developed an employment package to support our employees. This enables them to focus on personal development, which in turn has increased the quality of our team, our playgrounds and has enabled us to build more playgrounds and give more children the chance to play. We included performance related bonuses, healthcare cover, savings programs, staff meals, all safety equipment and outside training opportunities for all of our staff. Our teams take great pride in their work and are extremely proud of the playgrounds they build. This is shown in the excellent reputation that our team have across East Africa.