Why We Exist
"Making a difference for the community we are living in is ultimately driving us. "
"Young people are the dynamic force of any society. Thus, they should have the opportunity to participate in resolving the social problems that affect their communities. We should harness that energy and dynamism to change the course of our history"
Social & Economic empowerment
The artisan sector is a 32 billion dollar industry and the second largest employer
in the developing world after agriculture. Thousands of people are practicing the traditional artisan craftsmanship.
Unfortunately, most of the artisans lack access to resources and further competences to build up on their core skills, are not connected to local or international markets and are thus missing the opportunity to secure a proper income on their own.
To help the artisans in anticipating those needs, Kaz´O´zah is providing a respective platform.
Why The Youth
Africa has the youngest and fastest growing youth population in the world today. The number of people between the of age 15-24 is expected to double to 300 million by 2045. Youth under the age of 25 represent 62% of sub-Saharan Africa’s unemployed population.
Young people are the dynamic force of any society and change makers. Thus, they should have the opportunity to participate in resolving the social problems that affect their communities. We should harness that energy and dynamism to change the course of our history. They need to develop roles that give them visibility and make them feel taken into account along with other social groups.
The majority of Burundian youth from underserved communities have not completed school or vocational training, and lack formal work experience.High unemployment rates may lead to idleness that in turn leads to young people being involved in violence, drugs and other self distractive activities.
To break that cycle and counteract cyclical unrest and poverty, Kaz’O’zah is mobilizing entrepreneurial initiative and skills development. Assisting the youth earn a decent wage, instilling the value of work and nurturing their effort is one of the things Kaz’O’zah champions.
Our Work With Burundian Refugees
In 2015, Uganda saw an influx of Burundian refugees reaching a number of 27,849 Burundian refugees in October 2017. Although Burundian refugees receive support in aid and the rights to work or start a business, most have fled with little or no resources to invest in businesses, lack knowledge of the new country and its markets, and struggle with language barriers.
Uganda is currently coping with high rates of unemployment that leave refugees with limited opportunities, particularly for woman and single mothers. Therefore the aim is to support Burundi and Burundians. Kaz´O´zah expanded to Uganda, where it can provide specially tailored courses for Burundians, including facilitators from Burundi that speak kiBurundi, and support groups of women to build a strong community and support system, and provide life skills and soft skills development that support their economic empowerment and overall wellbeing.
The refugees’ labor force participation is an average 38 percent compared with Uganda’s 74%. In terms of employability and economic integration of refugees, almost 43% are actively engaged in the labor market of their host communities.
To ensure impact, our focus is on transformative investments that will address the pressing needs of refugees in Uganda and host communities alike and jump start local economies. Specific attention and backstopping is needed for urban refugees to enable them to benefit from social and economic opportunities without being exploited or resorting to risky behaviours.
Kaz’O’zah has so far trained 50 Burundian refugees living in Kampala. Many of them face difficult living conditions and need an income to start to rebuild their lives. Kaz’O’zah intends to continue training and supporting them to improve their lives.
Before the training, I could only dream of having my own business and being able to cover my basic needs. I always thought that only rich people can do this!
However, the training made me understand that even without “physical cash” or with little money only - let´s say 5000 shillings ($1) - I can still make a difference.
I learned how to get a loan from a grocery shop by applying my newly won negotiation skills. In that way, I got credit for flour and cooking oil worth seven thousand shillings ($2), which allowed me to initiate my pastry career.
An original investment of 1$ turned into a monthly profit of $257 - generated from the cookie sales around the Bus terminals in Kampala. I even managed to employ two other refugee teenagers! Each of us comes back with 10,000 shillings ($2.8) per day.
"Thanks to Kaz´O´zah´s Entrepreneurial and Business training, I have finally seen hope and light coming to my life"
Empowering Women As Pillars Of Our Community
Societal norms about a woman's role in child-rearing and domestic work in Africa can be huge obstacles standing in between a woman and her professional and personal development. United Nations statistics tell us that women make up 70% of the world’s poor. They own only 1% of the world’s titled land and two thirds of the world’s illiterate are women. Women comprise 60-70% of those living in poverty worldwide and make up the majority of the artisan sector. Moreover studies show that when women have greater control over the family resources they are more likely to allocate resources to food, healthcare and education. When women are able to earn an income they invest in their children. They bring their friends into the business, become empowered leaders and create more prosperous communities.
Kaz’O’zah is dedicated to widening economic opportunities to them by equipping them with relevant practical skills and opening untapped sales channels. Our goal is to promote gender equality and alleviate poverty using artisanal artistry as a tool for change. Buying the work of women artisans is a powerful means to elevate women’s status and facilitate the improvement of living standards for millions of women and children around the world.