The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and leading German private foundations are launching an unique initiative, TEAM UP: Together, the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), Siemens Stiftung and BMZ will be supporting young people in rural areas of East Africa in improving their living conditions. A first pilot program in Uganda aims to reach more than 50,000 young women and men aged 15 to 30 and their families.
An income that is sufficient to live, reliable health care, access to family planning and improved water management – these are the goals of TEAM UP. At the same time, the initiative wants to encourage adolescents to influence decisions for a healthy and self-determined life and to help shape political processes. Half of TEAM UP will be financed by the participating foundations and the other half will be financed by BMZ. For the pilot project in Uganda, 6 million euros are available for the first three years.
Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary at BMZ, welcomes the initiative: "Together, we can do more and give young people in the countryside in East Africa real opportunities for the future. If you have work, you can feed your family and see for yourself again a perspective in your homeland. At the same time, we need to empower girls and women to become decision makers in their family planning. It has been shown that investing in women’s health and maternity care leads to a significant decline in the birth rate.
Michael R. Neumann, whose family is the founder of the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, adds: "The interdisciplinary cooperation of three private foundations with the same overall objective, but different fields of work, is innovative and forward-looking in this project."
With TEAM UP, the private foundations, their local partners and BMZ can combine their respective strengths for the first time, pool their potential for innovation and reach more people more effectively. The initiative is long-term, should be extended regionally and is open to further partners.
TEAM UP wants to document clear results and learning outcomes right from the start. The pilot program will therefore also be accompanied by an external scientific evaluation institute.
The project partners and their activities:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development forms the international framework of German development policy. The 2030 Agenda explicitly points out the importance of philanthropic organizations in order to reach global sustainability goals together with other actors. For this reason, BMZ has been intensifying its cooperation with German private foundations and philanthropists for several years. TEAM UP goes on an initiative of Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller. BMZ has accompanied and supported the design of the initiative and is contributing 50 percent of its funding. A close exchange of experience with the German Embassy in Kampala and state development cooperation with Uganda has been agreed.
Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)
DSW is a global development organization that focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. They are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services, supplies, and economic empowerment for youth. Within the TEAM UP initiative DSW empowers young people to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). It facilitates a frame work of youth clubs whose members actively advocate for the use of contraceptives, menstrual hygiene in schools, equal rights for both genders and protection against HIV. Peer-educators who received additional training in presentation and leadership pass on their knowledge to peers, cascading information and instilling lasting change. DSW works closely with its local partner Action for Health Uganda (A4HU) that emerged in 2017 as an independent non-governmental organization from the DSW country office in Uganda.
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Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS)
The goal of HRNS is to improve the living and working conditions of smallholder farmers in coffee producing countries. One of the foundation’s missions is to help young people in Mityana, where around 80 percent of the population work in agriculture, and to improve their economic situation. By providing agricultural, financial and entrepreneurial skills through HRNS Uganda, young people should be empowered to make informed decisions about making a living. Improved access to markets, resources, such as land, as well as financial services should help them to increase their income de facto. The Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is also designed to give those who are unable to meet the requirements of official financial institutions the opportunity to obtain access to credit within their communities. HRNS will use its network of Producer Organizations, Depot Committees and the Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance to represent the interests of youth at the country level as part of a national community of coffee growers.
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The goal of Siemens Stiftung is to contribute to the improvement of living conditions in developing regions by promoting innovations and proven models in technology and forms of organization as well as to create perspectives in local communities. As part of the TEAM UP initiative, among other things, Siemens Stiftung will support the development of an innovative approach to water maintenance. It will also work with local partners to improve sanitation conditions in schools and promote the development of improved irrigation opportunities for smallholders. In addition, further joint approaches to entrepreneurship and income generation for young people will be developed. The Siemens Stiftung draws on its expertise and network in the areas of water and hygiene, technology, and social entrepreneurship. Local implementation partner for water maintenance and irrigation. The local implementation partner for the program areas of water system maintenance and agricultural irrigation is the Ugandan social enterprise Whave Solutions. Whave works to establish structures for public private partnerships (PPP) in collaboration with local government and rural communities. By training young people to become water-system technicians and by setting up local water service providers, the organization will create a solution to provide long-term, reliable access to water in remote regions.
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