Youth Rising is a youth-led and youth development focused organization with the sole objective of creating safe and vibrant community youth spaces for vulnerable young people and at-risk youth. In our centers, they get the training and the skills they need to access economic opportunities and pathways to employment. Additionally, young people attain leadership skills, reproductive health skills and join a larger network of young people in their community through which they build relationships for business creation and employment linkages.

Youth Rising is a response to several youth development issues in Uganda that include:

  1. The high youth unemployment challenge with over 80% of 15–30-year olds who constitute over 70% of Uganda’s population has no access to employment.
  2. Seven out of ten girls do not complete primary education. This huge demographic dividend lacks skills and economic opportunities to change their livelihoods as they grow into adulthood without careers.
  3. In Uganda, young people generally face higher-than-average rates of HIV/AIDs, teenage pregnancy, early marriage and substance abuse coupled with limited educational and economic opportunities.

Doreen is a typical Ugandan, who is 14 years old and grew up with dreams and aspirations just like any other kid. However, like most Ugandans, her parents are subsistence farmers who only earn enough to feed their family. Because of this, Doreen’s plans and dreams came to a complete stop right after completing middle school at age 11. Her parents couldn't afford to take her or her 6 siblings to high school.

After enrolling in our beauty and cosmetology program, Doreen spent the next year in a safe space reigniting her dream to become a beautician. She not only learned how to cut and style hair, but she also acquired the life skills and self-confidence she needed to make informed decisions for her future.

Vision & Mission

Vision: United Youth Leadership for Community Transformation. 

Mission: We have committed to creating holistic community spaces where young people have a platform to create solutions that power community transformation through holistic workforce development and creative youth leadership.

Characteristics of Out-of-School Youth

  • Most out-of-school youth drop out before secondary school and many never set foot in a school.
  • The prospect of an early marriage is a key barrier to young females’ education. It affects girls’ schooling even before they get married.
  • Young people living in rural areas are more likely to be excluded from education than youth living in urban communities, and most of them work.
  • Parental education is the single most important determinant of youth’s education outcomes.
  • The number of working adults in a household has an important impact on schooling choices and school/work decisions.  
  • Low educational quality affects the decision of going to and/or staying in school.
  • Access is a key problem for poor and rural communities, where distance to a school can be a major constraint.


Our Policy Brief on Youth Education & Employment. 

Retention of at-risk youth in school:  Given that most youth drop out before they start secondary school, retention efforts must begin before youth enter secondary education.

Retention could be improved through greater early intervention to get children enrolled at the right age and a renewed focus on improving the quality of primary education, and this is our point of focus for Literacy for Life Program. A greater awareness for the importance of education, especially for girls and rural youth, is also essential. 

Remediation through alternative education:  For youth already out of school, the most likely path to complete their education is alternative education systems.

The PIVOT Program is a small-scale alternative education scheme that targets out-of-school youth to offer a mix of cognitive and technical skills development with life skills training and mentoring.

Integration with the labor market: Youth who are not likely to go back to school require practical training and experience to increase their employability.

PIVOT as a workforce development program considers, in terms of skills and services offered, that most youth will be self-employed or work for a small, informal enterprise.


Graduated Youth


Youth Hoops Outreach


Care Clinic Monthly Reach


Children in Headstart Program

Youth Rising Approach

Youth Rising International are community youth centers for young people (14-25) who are out of school and (or) unemployed, and children between 1-13. Our center model focuses on creating the infrastructure, programs and methods that foster positive youth development through identifying and utilizing community assets, to ensure that young people meaningfully participate in their own development and that of their community.

Our centers are a resource for young people to (i) enhance skills development, (ii) develop youth talents and assets, (iii) promote health and wellness, (iv) improve access to learning, information and gender parity, (v) and improve economic opportunities.

Literacy for Life

Literacy for Life

The program targets vulnerable children to ensure that they have increased access to quality early childhood development services and education.



A vocational skills training program for young people 14 - 25. In this program, they access hands on skills can help them transition into the workforce.

Youth Hoops

Youth Hoops

Using Sport and Art to build confidence of young people to be facilitators and advocates of their own reproductive health and rights.

Care Clinics

Care Clinics

Some communities are 10 -15 miles from the nearest public health facility. This activity brings healthcare close to them in partnership with public health centers.

Women Rising

Women Rising

The activity empowers mothers through skills training, to be able to earn a living that can support their families and also pay school fees.