The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is an Agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that share a mission to improve the living conditions and opportunities for marginalized communities across some target countries in Africa and Asia. AKF was established by His Highness the Aga Khan in Switzerland in 1967 and beinternational alertgan working in East Africa in 1974. Globally, AKF seeks sustainable solutions to long-term problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and ill-health, with special emphasis on the needs of rural communities in mountainous, coastal, and other resource-poor areas. AKF was established in Uganda in 1994 and has been implementing programs focused on Education, Early Childhood Development and Civil Society, aimed at improving the quality of life of all boys and girls, women, and men in the Central and West Nile regions of Uganda. All the Uganda Country programs are embedded in government and community interests and structures, and work to promote social inclusion, equity, and pluralism.


The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is implementing a regional programme to strengthen responses to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the 3 countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. The 30-month, multi-sectoral programme will help strengthen existing health responses and increase awareness of prevention strategies and support mechanisms, while also working to minimize the mental health and socio-economic impacts of the crisis. It is anticipated that 140,000 individuals across the region will be directly supported. AKF Uganda will work with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to strengthen communities’ ability to prevent and respond to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures of learning institutions have revealed both the opportunities and limitations of distance learning, AKF will collaborate with local youth focused civil society or other educational institution partners to conduct entrepreneurship and employability skilling sessions for youth to equip them with the skills to start their own enterprises or find decent employment. The program shall reach a total of 3,000 out of school youth (18 to 35 years) with this intervention.


AKF invites interested and qualified applications from district based local CSOs, youth networks and learning institutions in Arua and Kampala, to submit their applications for sub-grants to conduct a training comprised of entrepreneurship, employability and life skills/soft skills packages for unemployed youth, who cannot access training opportunities through the conventional educational pathways. The training packages should aim to strengthen attitudes, behaviors and personal qualities that enable young people prepare for the labour market and navigate their environment to achieve their personal goals.

Applicants are required to have the following resources and experience:

  • Training facilities/classes/halls where groups of up to 25 youth at a time can participate in physical training while maintaining social distance and other SOPs,
  • Tried and tested youth focused practical vocational, entrepreneurship, employability and life skills curricula that have been used in previous projects targeting young people,
  • At least 3 trainers who have experience delivering the above curriculum to youth with adult learning facilitation skills,
  • Experience mobilizing youth for similar training activities.

The Foundation will provide sub-grants of up to EURO 20,000 per organization to train and graduate at least 450 youth each by December 2022. Organizations that can demonstrate capacity to reach larger numbers may apply for larger sub-grants. The sub-grants will include all the costs for the activities i.e., mobilization and management costs, training fees, materials and graduation costs e.g. certificates.

How to apply

The call is open to local CSOs, youth networks and learning institutions in Kampala and Arua with the capacity and resources indicated above. Eligible partners are encouraged to apply by submitting the following:

  • One page cover letter introducing the organization and its capacity to conduct the entrepreneurship trainings.
  • Two-page concept note(s) description of how the partner intends to mobilize and train the youth including methodology and training schedule The partner should mention retention/completion strategies for their youth.
  • Copies of training materials/ resources available that the partner has used/ uses to train the youth.
  • For CSOs, a valid NGO permit and certificate of registration. For educational institutions, the relevant license to operate. The CSO/institution must have been in active operation for at least the past 2 years.
  • CVs for the CEO/MD/Founder/Principal + CV for the Lead trainer and other trainers within the institution.
  • List of former partners/funders of the previous trainings conducted and 2 success stories of youth beneficiaries from the trainings.
  • Letter of introduction/support from the local government; either the District Education Officer (for educational institutions) or the Community Development Officer (for CSOs).
  • Budget: applicants will show how the EURO 20,000 sub-grants for 450 youth will be utilized across the various activities e.g., mobilization, management, training fees, materials and graduation costs.
  • For organizations that have capacity and experience reaching bigger numbers and seeking larger sub-grants to reach over 550 youth, full financial proposals and workplans will be required.


  • Organization’s legal and registration status and standing, leadership as well as the track record and capacity to implement similar interventions within the West Nile region of Uganda. (50%)
  • Technical submission of the concept note. (50%)

Organizations qualified and interested in this unique partnership opportunity with AKF should submit a compressed/zipped folder with the documents indicated-by 5pm on Friday 30th July 2021. E-mail these documents to with “AKF UGANDA COVID-19 RESPONSE PROJECT, PILLAR 3 CALL FOR APPLICATIONS” in the subject line. Only shortlisted organizations will be contacted.

AKF believes in Equal Opportunity and is Committed to Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults and Expects all Staff and Partners to Share this Commitment.

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