Young Water Fellowship (YWF) is the flagship programme of Young Water Solutions (YWS) which empowers promising young entrepreneurs to launch or kick-start social businesses that tackle water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) issues in rural and vulnerable communities, while mainstreaming gender equality and reducing youth unemployment. The goal of Young Water Solutions is to empower at least 1,000 young entrepreneurs aged 18-35 years to implement water solutions in their communities by 2030. The YWF programme model involves: 1) organizing hackathons, 2) call for applications and selection of fellows, 3) business training focused on water start-ups, 4) allocation of seed funding of up to € 5,000, 5) intensive coaching and mentorship for one year and, 6) ecosystem development. Since 2015, YWS in collaboration with local incubators has run seven editions of the fellowship at regional and national levels in 32 countries. Young Water Solutions has supported the launch of over 93 youth-led WASH start-ups in 32 countries with an impact of over 200,000 beneficiaries. About 70% of the fellows are actively implementing WASH projects and 30% are working in related sectors.
Turi Kumwe Development Foundation partnered with Young Water Solutions (YWS) in 2019 and implemented the Young Water Fellowship East Africa Programme 2019, supporting 10 entrepreneurs from 5 East African countries. In 2021, Turi Kumwe Development Foundation signed a partnership agreement with Young Water Solutions and are currently implementing the first Young Water Fellowship Edition in Uganda supporting nine fellows and the second in East Africa. The support of youth-led start-ups in water and sanitation not only fosters the solution to water challenges, but also creates employment, decentralizes economic opportunities, and builds capacity in young generations. This programme brings about young community leaders aged between 18-35 years capable of successfully designing and implementing sustainable and inclusive water initiatives that significantly improve living conditions in their communities, while contributing to the achievement of SDG #6 (water and sanitation for all).
Turi Kumwe Development Foundation and its local partners are building valuable connections with the private sector and gaining access to tools that can help it attract new partners and grow more effectively.