As part of its 100th anniversary, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has painted a mural at the Uganda Embassy in New York in recognition of the efforts the Government has put in place to solve youth unemployment.
The painting depicts a young woman draped in a headscarf in Uganda flag colours reaching up to clutch and clasp her dreams, and turn them into reality.
The mural, part of the five painted around New York, specifically honours the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) for its unique approach in promoting youth entrepreneurship while contributing to the reduction of youth unemployment.
While in New York to attend the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March this year, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Mr. Pius Bigirimana was interviewed by ILO officials for an in-depth understanding of YLP and its impact on youth employment.
The information went into creating a final imagery for the mural.
Bigirimana enumerated the challenges and pessimism that surrounded the start of YLP as opposed to a world acclaimed Programme it has become today after directly benefiting 241,799 Youth, of which 46% are female.
To date, the Programme which was initiated by Bigirimana following his posting to the Gender Ministry in June 2013, has funded 20,159 youth projects. Up to Shs9,232 billion has been revolved to finance another youth 1,090 projects.
Uganda has one of the highest youth populations in the world as well as youth unemployment levels, which calls for innovative ways of tackling the problem, hence the invaluable importance of YLP.
According to Aisa Ismail, an official at the Uganda Mission in New York, ILO will soon put a plaque below the mural with an approach through, which will have an automated playback of Bigirimana’s commentary on youth in Uganda.
Ismail further reported that the response from the public has been enthralling with people stopping to take pictures and just admire the painting.
All the five murals were inaugurated on 9th April, 2019 and for one on the Ugandan Mission, the ceremony was presided over by H.E Adonia Ayebare ( Ambassador/Permanent Representative) and the Director General of ILO Mr. Guy Ryder and the painter Mr. Cenz.
The Uganda House, where the Embassy is located is a tower that every Ugandan in this part of the Diaspora takes pride in. It symbolizes The Pearl of Africa. It stands in close proximity to the United Nations Headquarters or secretariat and therefore is visible to the UN guests.