In the heart of Busoga, a silent revolution is underway, one that seeks to transform the lives of its youth and marginalized children. The Uganda Network for Empowerment for the Marginalized Child and Youth (NEMACY-Uganda), formerly known as Jinja Network for the Marginalized Child and Youth (JINNET), has set its sights on a noble mission — to empower the young people of Busoga and the broader eastern Uganda.
Established in 2001, NEMACY is a beacon of hope for over thirty member organizations dedicated to promoting the welfare of children and youths in the region. The organization envisions a society that not only acknowledges but respects the rights of young people, providing them with the support needed to reach their full potential.
A recent stakeholders meeting held at Cisand Suits hotel in Jinja city marked a pivotal moment in NEMACY’s journey. Local leaders, dignitaries, and community advocates converged to chart out strategic plans to address the pressing issue of street children in urban centers. The meeting also aimed at bolstering the capacity of NEMACY members to deliver impactful services to vulnerable children and youth groups.
Paul Batambuze, the program coordinator of NEMACY Uganda, expressed the organization’s commitment to economic empowerment. The initiative focuses on providing young people with the economic resources necessary to break the chains of household poverty. Additionally, NEMACY conducts research, collecting and disseminating information crucial to addressing children and youth rights issues.
While NEMACY is making significant strides, challenges persist. Batambuze raised concerns about the alarming increase in child abuse cases within communities, often inflicted by parents for unclear reasons. He also highlighted the prevalent issues of teenage pregnancies and early marriages among young people, urging the Busoga kingdom to take prompt action for the betterment of the region.
Fazirah Kauma, the Jinja City deputy mayor, commended NEMACY Uganda as an answered prayer to many issues within the region and the country at large. She emphasized the importance of NGOs aligning with moral values and encouraged leaders to support initiatives that promote the well-being of children.
As NEMACY Uganda continues its transformative journey, the organization remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering young people. Real-life stories of impact, community testimonials, and commendations from local leaders all underscore the organization’s role as a catalyst for positive change. The road ahead may be challenging, but with the collaborative efforts of NEMACY and the support of the community, the vision of an empowered, thriving youth in Busoga is undoubtedly within reach