Young people between the ages of 18 and 30 in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement and surrounding communities in northern Uganda face many problems, two of which GIG and Platform Africa proposed a project that seeks to address: Youth unemployment and lack of media literacy.

With a youth unemployment rate of almost 70% and a high percentage of people who could not complete their school education but were traumatized by war and flight as schoolchildren, misinformation often leads to outbreaks of violence. Tensions have increased over the past year, particularly following the Ugandan government’s restrictive measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and the World Food Program’s (WFP) simultaneous 30% cut in food rations for refugees.

Platform Africa foundation was in 2017 in Uganda by South Sudanese refugees. It is a non-profit organization that supports young people of all nationalities, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations through capacity-building programs (SDG 4). It focuses on media skills development, entrepreneurship, social-technological innovation, and establishing an open, peaceful culture.

With the #Labmobile, Platform Africa is running (literally!) a mobile space to deliver their popular and practical training in remote areas of Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement and neighbouring communities. Five workshops on (critical) media skills, podcast production and trauma recovery are conducted in different locations using the Big Blue vehicle converted into a mobile training room.

The idea of taking the spirit of maker spaces on the road was a discussion topic at various GIG meetings. The Egyptian Maker Express was the first project emerging from the discussions. And we also learned from them!

In late 2016, GIG member and co-founder Victoria Wenzelmann took the opportunity to buy an old, big, blue truck turned into a camper van by its previous owner. She slowly but surely transformed it into a mobile home and workshop – complete with bedroom, kitchen, desk, workbench, and of course, a Kanban Board!

This pilot project intends to prove the feasibility of using mobile training rooms. The #Labmobile is an itinerant space for learning, hacking, making, knowledge sharing and community building. It is a vehicle that connects people who would otherwise never have met. Platform Africa is sharing the learning that connections made through co-creation are deep, impactful, and lasting: We are what we create together!

The main objective is to contribute to peacebuilding and civil society empowerment in remote parts of Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement and surrounding communities in remote areas of northern Uganda.

The first round of workshops was Ocea C and another round in Odobu II, in partnership with SHFHI and the local leaderships. And participants are using the recent-learned skills to create podcasts and local stories. Stay tuned to listen to it! You can track up everything happening on the ground following Platform Africa’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Sponsored by the North-South Bridges Foundation with financial support from the BMZ

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