Engaging Buwasa youth in the construction and maintenance of water access points: a project that benefits everyone in the community
Abbey Musaazi, congratulations on your award! You have been volunteering with the Buwasa Youth Development Association (BYDA) since 2016. Can you tell us about it?
The Buwasa Youth Development Association (BYDA) is a youth-based organization located in the Gombe region of Central Uganda (Municipality of Nansana, Wakiso District). Many of the young people here are in very precarious situations. The BYDA positions itself as a group whose purpose is to defend their rights. We help on several fronts: offering opportunities for generating a steady income (farming activities, financial support for small business creation), helping them to develop marketable skills (hairdressing, tailoring, weaving, bookbinding and other artisan crafts) and raising their awareness of certain health and social issues (HIV prevention, reproductive health education, prevention of violence).
Can you tell us what drove you to get involved with the association?
Working in the service of your community is both a vocation and a blessing. I have always been involved in that sense. I really wanted to contribute to improving people’s lives, but I couldn’t do it alone, and so I looked for a dynamic and proactive association that I could join.
Having seen many young people around me fall into drugs, prostitution or delinquency, I was particularly alive to BYDA’s mission, to the idea of transforming the futures of young people who have lost their way, of helping them to become useful citizens engaged in their communities.