Tree Adoption Uganda (TAU) is a youth led social enterprise that seeks to jointly address the challenges of youth unemployment and climate change. TAU has a vision of transforming environmental interventions into a means of creating sustainable socio-economic development, proactively alleviate poverty in communities and nurture growth of socially responsible businesses.
Founder Charles Batte is a 27-year-old social entrepreneur from Kamwokya; one of the most impoverished slums in Uganda. Growing up in an environment characterized by lack of opportunity, poverty, crime, drugs and poor health, he harnessed a spirit of social responsibility and an insatiable desire to give back to his community. While in High school he designed the “Self-Sustaining Community” (SSC) model of enterprise. At 20 he used savings from a part-time job working in a car garage to start Empower Community Farm and he has since used profits from the farm to found 3 more enterprises; Family Health Center, Empower Study Center and Tree Adoption Uganda. Inspired by the work of environmental organizations like the green belt project and green pop he developed a model in which interventions against climate change can be used to foster entrepreneurialism among young people and thus founded TAU. In 2012 he won the World Merit, Your Big Year global social entrepreneurship competition out of over 60,000 contestants from 221 countries. He took a gap year volunteering in over 20 countries with social entrepreneurs on Social responsibility projects. In 2013 he was named Global Laureate Fellow by the International Youth Foundation.
Climate change threatens all countries, with developing countries the most vulnerable. Estimates are that they would bear 75 to 80 percent of the costs of damages caused by the changing climate.(World development report, 2010 )
Uganda is one of the most vulnerable and least resilient countries due to poverty and low-income levels.
Youth in Uganda are the youngest population in the world, with 77% of its population under 30 years of age. In 2012, the Uganda bureau of Statistics revealed that 64% of the unemployed in Uganda are youth!