Kensekka is an isolated and severely under-resourced rural area in Rakai District, Uganda where around 22,000 people, or 69% of population, are subsistence farmers living beneath the poverty line. Low income, unemployment, child labour, early marriage, and illiteracy are some of the challenges that the community faces. The area is also recovering from the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, and child-headed families and children of child-parents are far too common. To support their livelihoods, the community has requested access to quality vocational education and skills development for its youth.

In 2011, St Joseph’s College Geelong year 12 students visited St Luke Mannya Catholic Parish and were touched by the need and extent of poverty in the area. They raised funds and worked with the Parish to purchase 17 acres of land and construct two classroom blocks establishing St Joseph Kensekka Vocational Secondary School (SJKVSS) which started operating in late 2017 and now has around 200 students.

ERFA has been working with the school since 2022 to support it in delivering the Uganda Vocational Qualification Framework. To do this successfully, fundamental resources need to be established and developed, these include: access to power, water and sanitation; classrooms; computers; a kitchen; agriculture inputs; dedicated training facilities and equipment; and training for staff.

There are so many opportunities to support the empowerment of youth in Kensekka through learning and skill development. ERFA looks forward to this journey with energy and enthusiasm, and appreciates the ongoing support of our generous Australian network.

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