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Mass exploitation of youth who are categorized “unemployed”

Most people in Uganda, even our parents inclusive, only think having a salaried job is the only relevant thing to have after finishing school.  I give myself as an example. After school, I used to help my dad with legal advice for making decisions in his company, but I wasn’t even appreciated. He could ask me several times if I was even busy applying for jobs.

Even when I decided to open my beauty salon and he realised I was the one working in it myself, he was not happy about it. Instead, he was worried that I would stray away from the path of a career. He once asked me:

“But Dorah, don’t you think working in that salon will make you change your mind and make you refuse to look for a job?”

I replied to him:

“Daddy, I know what am doing, am tired of sitting home here and eating food only. At least, you should be happy that am making myself useful.”

He wasn’t happy, but he got used to me doing my salon work, instead of sitting home. He even told me to train my young sister after she finishes her Senior four examinations, so that she won’t just be sitting at home to watch television.

You see a lot of youth out there try to do some work to keep themselves busy, but because they are not appreciated, they shy away from innovation and tell themselves to wait for white collar jobs. I have seen many examples for sure.

By Innovator Dorah Adoch Komakech


Dorach Adoch Komakech is among the young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds that are benefiting from our CPAR Uganda project: “Mentoring Young Adults into Innovators against Poverty”; and she is also benefiting and participating in our CPAR Uganda research and advocacy project: “Challenging Categories: Educated Unemployed Youth as Institutional Innovators in Rural Uganda.” The former project CPAR Uganda is crowd fundraising for in partnership with GlobalGiving. To make a donation The latter project CPAR Uganda is implementing in partnership with Lira University and the University of East Anglia, with funding from The British Academy under the British Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

Photos credit @ Adoch Dorah Komakech Facebook wall.

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