Beneficiaries perceptions on the impact of the youth livelihood program. A case study of Lubaga division, Kampala district
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This qualitative study documented the impact of Youth Livelihood Program on the empowerment of young people in Uganda. The study brings forth the voices and experiences of beneficiaries of the program. The objectives of the study were (i) to document beneficiaries’’ perceptions of the Youth Livelihood Program prior to their enrolment,; (ii) to document beneficiaries’ voices on the impact of the program on their social capital and (iii) to document the economic impact of the program from beneficiaries’ perspectives. The study was qualitative; data was collected through 3 focus group discussions and 15 in-depth interviews with beneficiaries. The findings show that beneficiaries had various expectations including expansion of their businesses, starting up new businesses, transiting from unsatisfactory employment to self-employment, and creating employment opportunities for others. The study observes that the beneficiaries’ expectations are in sync with the ideals and vision of the program. Regarding finding on the impact, beneficiaries reported positive social and economic changes as a result of their participation in the program. Socially, the program enabled beneficiaries to make new friends and gain community recognition. On the economic front, beneficiaries reported increased capability to meet their basic needs, and improvement in their economic wellbeing as exemplified by improved housing, expansion of businesses, creating employment opportunities for others and becoming self-employed. Despite these benefits, beneficiaries reported challenges pertaining to the lag between application and receipt of funds, intermittent release of funds and the tedious and costly application processes. The study recommends that attention should be put to the perception and experiences of YLP beneficiaries on their social economic impact of the program. There is need to increase the age limit to at least 35years ,the program managers should make enough follow ups to find out whether the members of the group have received the funds ,the funds applied for should be the one given to participants in full amount but not in instalments to avoid miscalculations of beneficiaries ,the period for paying back should be extended , the program managers should fund members who are already having projects to run this will enable effectiveness of the program and finally there should be enough training to equip the youth with enough business skills.