Posted by Catherine Njuguna on Apr 08, 2019

Who is Joe Nuwamanya?

I serve as the District Youth Service Vice-chair working under the able leadership of Emma Mbaga in Tanzania. I am also the Charter and Past President of Kampala Metropolitan. I am both a former Interactor and Rotaractor at the Rotaract Club of Kampala City. I am an architectural designer. I am also a family man and my motto is God, Family, Design, and Rotary. Outside Rotary, I am a car enthusiast. I love jazz, travel, I love gadgets and experimenting with buildings.

How did you organize this year’s RYLA?

The District Governor wanted to change the experience of the RYLA to something more transformational. We had a small budget and companies are fatigued. So we decided to cut our cloth according to our size. This called for doing business differently with the little resources we had.  We focused on youth who had excelled in their communities and targeted three categories: social entrepreneurs, youth leaders and business entrepreneurs. We reached out to Rotary Clubs and asked them nominate and sponsor suitable candidates.  We also used Rotaractors to nominate young people in their communities and radio adverts and Facebook live to reach out to potential participants. We held regional trainings in Mbale, Kiira in Wakiso, Jinja and Mbarara and trained over 400 youth including 200 non-Rotaract youth who we hope will join Rotaract clubs and later Rotary. 


Why do you love working with young people?

They remind me of my youth and they keep me young. I like the energy they bring and I like to mentor the youth. I have made a couple of mistakes growing up and I want to reach out to them to share my experiences and help them to try and avoid making similar mistakes. 


What is the success of this year’s RYLA?

The past RYLAs have been organized with budgets of over UGX200m. As I mentioned earlier, we used the resources we got from the Rotary clubs and worked with a budget of UGX48m and held transformational trainings in different regions in Uganda. 


This has taught me that we can hold inexpensive and highly impactful RYLAs and have facilitators travel to the regions instead of bringing youth from around the country to a single location. 


The regional RYLA’s this year focused on value addition, managing service projects, and soft skills- communication skills, public speaking, etiquette and personal branding. We also shared business tips on registration, source financing, value addition to products, digital marketing and record keeping. We inspired the attendees to be bold fearless youth who can do anything they set their minds on. 


We encouraged accountability to the sponsoring Rotary clubs and asked the youth to report back to their sponsoring clubs on their lessons from the trainings and how it is changing their lives. We also encouraged clubs to let Rotaractors take over their clubs as a way to practice their leadership skills.


Click to read the rest of the Wave April