Programs and Projects

GYCO Academy strives to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status

The Art & Education Center is a meeting place for the post-war generation in Northern Uganda. It is a center for young people to be trained in the fields of art, personal development and leadership. The center also offers courses in crafts, agriculture and architecture. All participants of the training programs are equipped with the skills they need to build their own future. The GYCO Academy team gets trained by coach training specialists from Erickson International. With this training the GYCO Academy team members become themselves coaches so that they can support the personal development of even more young adults.

Goals of the GYCO Academy Art and Education Center

GYCO Academy Art and Education Center will forge close partnerships with small, local enterprises, craftsmen and craftswomen. GYCO Academy Art and Education Center will serve as a place for encounters, a place for discourse, reflection and discussion and as a training center for Gulu youth.

Mission of the GYCO Academy Art and Education Center

Through the GYCO Academy Art and Education Center, we support local GYCO Academy youth leaders (nine at present, who have taken the first steps towards becoming the driving force for change in their respective communities) in their work with Northern Ugandan youth on a local day-to-day basis. In particular, we aim co contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 4.7 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality) and 10.2 (Reduced Inequalities), and create a measurable and visible impact that can be audited by independent auditors at any point in time.

All members and participants of GYCO Academy Art and Education Center are given a chance to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development, amongst others..

Another important project for uplifting women is the GYCO Girls Soccer Club. The Soccer Club supports young women in their personal development by promoting their self confidence and helps to further reduce gender inequality.`

Goals of the GYCO Academy Girls Soccer Club

GYCO Academy Girls Soccer Club is one permanent initiative to communicate and promote GYCO Academy’s vision and mission in the region by having the soccer girls be our ambassadors. This is an initiative that is atypical for the region and therefore highly eye-catching. In this way we create a waterfall effect, thus attracting even more young people to participate in the GYCO Academy initiatives.

Mission of the GYCO Academy Girls Soccer Club

Through the GYCO Academy Girls Soccer Club, we support local female youth, who have taken the first steps towards becoming the driving force for change in their respective communities in their work with Northern Ugandan youth on a local day-to-day basis.. In particular, we aim to contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 10.2 (Reduced Inequalities) and thus ensure a measurable and visible impact that can be audited by independent auditors at any point in time.

Our next steps for the GYCO Academy Girls Soccer Club

We are looking for a conservation sponsor with a long-term commitment to continuous operations and a permanent equipment supplier for the necessary equipment (e.g. soccer boots, dresses, uniforms) for the GYCO Academy Girls Soccer Club. This is designed to ensure the ongoing operation of the club and thus the transport of the GYCO Academy’s message in the long term.


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The project area is Gulu city in northern Uganda. Youths Innovation Acceleration Project-Trade Fair duration will be for three (3) days from Friday 2rd, Saturday 3rd to Sunday the 4th of December, 2022.The fair targets all youth 18 and 35 years old, in line with Uganda’s youth policies.

Executive Summary

Youth unemployment and high poverty levels in Uganda have become a general concern and generated debate at all levels of community leadership and Social service provision, thus requiring practical intervention Strategies for addressing those issues (Butler & Kebba, 2014). Some youths have participated in capacity building activities implemented by agencies of the Government of Uganda, NGOs, and international agencies and are involved in economic production activities in Agriculture, industry, trade, art and crafts, information technology and performing arts among others. However, most of the actively productive youths have failed to access markets for their products, a situation that perpetually keeps youths in chronic poverty levels. It is expected that participation of youths in the Youths Innovation Acceleration Project will allow them to network, Showcase and market their products and talents, share experiences, document and categorize production activities in which youths are involved in. The outputs of this Exhibition will be increased participation of youths in production activities, access to markets, and access to production resources. It is expected that over 1,000 economically active youths will participate in this Trade Fair.

What we want to Change

Youths have been blamed for their own high unemployment and poverty levels for engaging in nonproductive activities such as alcoholism, gambling among others (Bermudez, 2012). Therefore, participation of youths in the Youth Innovation Acceleration Project-Trade Fair is expected to sensitize and create positive attitude in youths to participate more in productive economic activities (Jarrett, Sullivan, & Watkins, 2005).

Youths are widely portrayed as lazy and shunning economic production activities. Therefore, Youth Innovation Acceleration Project-Trade Fair will raise public awareness about efforts and contribution of youths to socioeconomic development of their communities and Uganda (United Nations, 2016). In addition.

1.6. Future Prospects

Youths Innovation Acceleration Project expects to pursue the following for future youth development:

  1. a) Any extra/surplus funds from the fair will be used to support youth in form of loans for at a very low interest rate of 10% and help organize youth thematic fairs and capacity building programs.
  2. b) Youths Innovation Acceleration Project is expected to become an annual fair
  3. c) The fair is expected to be organized at regional and national levels in Uganda.
  4. d) Champion youth socioeconomic development in Uganda

1.7. Conclusion

It is the humble call of Global Youth Conference Academy for participation of Government of Uganda agencies, international agencies, non-governmental organizations, youth organizations, corporate, business community, well-wishers, all youth, and the general public towards this noble cause of youth development in Uganda. We, therefore, expect your participation, funding, and generous contributions towards Youth Innovation Acceleration Project – Trade Fair.

Uganda’s society is still characterized by widespread inequality between men and women. That is the GYCO places particular emphasis on supporting the development of young women and promoting their skill and knowledge acquisition. Young mothers receive coaching in their own personal development as well as in issues pertaining to family and education. With this training the girls should become better leaders and excel in their fields of talent. GYCO created a safe place where girls and children can relate with one another.

Achieving a mind shift through coaching

An essential part of the GYCO program is the coach training for the GYCO team on site. When 2018 Carmel Lee Paul, an experienced coaching expert, was asked to support GYCO, she did not hesitate and travelled to Gulu, Northern Uganda, to meet the GYCO team in person. There she immediately realized: Yes, she would like to support these committed young adults to develop themselves and to accompany other young men and women in the “motivating – inspiring – transforming” vision. Carmel Lee started to tirelessly activate her coaching network. At a worldwide conference of Erickson International, an international coaching training provider, she presented GYCO and the coaching project. Coaching colleagues from all over Europe then contacted her to participate in the program. She also received support from two Coaches from the German network elccon and was able to put together a training curriculum for the team in Gulu.

Last year and at the beginning of this year, experienced German coaches Christiane Windhausen and Melanie Lüninghöner started with a week specifically focused on working with emotions and trauma, an important skill for the post-war generation. Erickson Coach Trainers Asta Blazinskiene and Inga Yashina then taught the Parent as Coach Training, and then their coaching colleagues Miglena Doneva and Moera Saule conducted the Erickson Coaching Training “The Art and Science of Coaching (TASC)” curriculum in a total of four sessions, each lasting four days as well as three days of drawing and scribing by Inga Yashina to some 20 young people at GYCO in Gulu. The coaches worked on a pro bono basis, with travel costs partly financed by donations.

The training does more than just promote the personal development of each individual. The GYCO team can also leverage the coaching instruments to support other young adults in their own personal development. The participants received their Erickson certification, and some will also continue work in order to be certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

This is particularly crucial for the further development of the GYCO Art & Education Center, so that it can establish itself as a recognized educational institution – and one that will be self-financed one day and thus no longer dependent on donations from abroad.

“It was just wonderful to see how the young people in the training program worked on themselves and are now also capable of supporting other young people in their personal development efforts. We can achieve a change of mindset. In turn, this will have a positive impact on the country’s development,” says Carmel Lee Paul.

Gyco Art – Hub for Ugandan Artists

At the Art and Education Center, experienced international artists and curators share their expertise and technical knowledge with local artists.

The GYCO Art Board has already discovered several talented artists whose works have been successfully exhibited and sold in Austria.

Art from Northern Uganda encompasses most forms, namely painting, sculpture, dance, performance, literature, and philosophy. Photography, video and new media will also be integrated and established.

GYCO would like to develop a hub for Ugandan art as a new market for contemporary art to revive the region and attract more artists and interest from international investors and supporters.

Africa is currently the focus of donor countries. Migration has to be stopped and self-determination promoted while democratization and human needs to be established. African culture is to be brought into the public perception as an independent stylistic position of art.

One successful example is the African art fair, ART Dakar, DAK’Art.

The art trading company Artcare in Vienna supports GYCO by offering selected works by young artists from Gulu for sale on the company’s online platform. 50% of the sale go to GYCO and 50% to the artist. Artcare only retains any costs for shipping the artwork to the buyer.

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The Horticulture Demonstration Farm focuses on horticultural crops, primarily fruits and vegetables.

The HDF trains youth and women on best practices of horticulture farming through equipping them with skills they can use to advance their farms and design appropriate solutions.

Justification for the HDF

Horticulture enriches diets: Horticulture — specifically, growing fruits and vegetables — provides critical nutrients for a balanced diet. Diets low in fruits and vegetables contribute significantly to some of the world’s most widespread and debilitating nutrient-related disorders and malnutrition.

Horticulture increases incomes: Farmers growing high-value crops, such as fruits, vegetables, flowers or herbs, consistently earn more than those growing other commodities. Horticulture can be an engine for agricultural and economic diversification

Improving livelihoods — by increasing farmer profits and diversifying nutrient-rich diets — are major goals of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s research efforts around the world.

Gender equity: Vegetables, fruits and cut flowers are often grown and marketed by women, but women often have less access to markets, land, inputs and education. Addressing these constraints places women growers on the path to increasing productivity and expanding horticultural markets.

Access to information and research capacity: Commercial success in horticulture depends on locally adapted research on tools such as improved cultivars, management tools, market knowledge and effective postharvest practices which are all part of our demonstration farm.

What activities will be carried out at the horticultural Demonstration Farm

Fruit and vegetable production: HDF trains farmers on agronomic practices that improve horticultural crop production makes it more profitable

Soil and irrigation techniques: HDF trains farmers on tools and practices that helps them improve soil health and access improved irrigation services

Pest management practices: HDF trains farmers on improved pest management in their fruit and vegetable crops with tools and practices that can manage pests safely and how horticulture farmers can use integrated pest management tools.

Post-harvest practices: HDF trains farmers on how harvested fresh fruits and vegetables can best be handled to maintain quality that is cooling, packaging and transportation in order to reduce postharvest losses.

Food safety: HDF trains farmers on critical food safety practices especially on how farmers handle fresh produce.

Target Beneficiaries

The youth in Unyama between the age of 16 and 35years of age. The Local area leader will be involved in identifying the youth who will then go through our self-development sessions and set goals towards economic independence. We shall categorize the youth into different clusters that suit their area of passion the provide them with the necessary skills through training.