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Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators

by CPAR Uganda Ltd
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators
Preparing gardens for fruit and vegetables growing
Preparing gardens for fruit and vegetables growing

During this time of the COVID-19 induced lockdown in Uganda, we are in our third month, three young adults, Innovators, that are undergoing our mentoring program, teamed up, designed a project , which they code named: “Food in Lawns”; and they authored a proposal for it, which they submitted to us at CPAR Uganda.  They proposed thus:

“Vegetables and fruits play an important role in human diet. The growing of vegetables and fruits, horticulture, can be practiced profitably at both large and small scale.

We want to create a horticulture farm on the grounds of the CPAR Uganda Lira Learning Centre and which we will run ourselves.

We want to do so, as a way to demonstrate to youth that it is viable to grow vegetables and fruits in small spaces; and to encourage youth to get involved in fruits and vegetable growing.

Overall, it is our intention to produce ecologically clean vegetables and fruits, so as to make nutritious food available to our communities; while at the same time we generate income for ourselves.

We will grow vegetables during all seasons, including the dry season, when prices for vegetables and fruits are high.”

Well, with our in-kind support – land and site for their project; and with our technical and financial support, the “Food in Lawns” project is now already off the ground. The three Innovators cleared the land; bought seeds; and have planted the first batch of crops; currently growing in seedbeds and in-field.

Similarly, another Innovator, from among the first cohort of our program, reached out to us with the following request:

“During the lockdown, when the CPAR Uganda Lira Learning Centre was broken into, it is unfortunate that I fell victim too. Among the things that were stolen where my assets with which I was using to run CPAR’s kitchen. I lost my restaurant items – plates, flasks, and half a bag of charcoal. This incident has impacted heavily on me. My capital base has been grossly affected.

I am a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet. Currently, I am struggling to raise money to re-establish my business. I am doing so through farming in the village with my parents. I am looking at opening a small retail shop just where I am living now due to the COVID 19 situation.

I am requesting for any assistance you can give me so that I can rebuild my business and I will highly be grateful if my request is put under your kind consideration.”

We have approved her request and we will provide her with financial and technical support to re-establish her business at her ancestral home in their village in northern Uganda.

We intend to support her, with the view that in the longer-term her innovation shall also function as an inspiration for the younger generation in her community to join the fight against poverty, through coming up with and implementing pertinent innovative and viable enterprises.

You may want to note that the pandemic escalated right after we completed, in February, the first of four modules of our program. Our original plan was that we would complete three modules, before requesting our Innovators to implement their innovations to address at least one challenge that is negatively impacting their communities; innovations that they would have development under our mentorship.

Clearly, the pandemic has forced us to innovate; to jump to the end; and work backwards. Our working paradigm has shifted from “learn how it is done professionally and correctly, then do”; to “go ahead and do, and as you do you will learn how it is done professionally and correctly.”

That four of the eight Innovators that are continuing as the first cohort of our programme, successfully have already come up with such exciting projects, is testament, as well, of the effective delivery of our first module, “Understanding Poverty in Rural Uganda.”

Without your support, this would not have been possible and so we thank you.

Preparing gardens for vegetable and fruit growing
Preparing gardens for vegetable and fruit growing

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On Friday, 14th February 2020, eleven young adults (4 men and 7 women) fulfilled all requirements and thus successfully completed the first of four modules of our CPAR Uganda Ltd innovator mentoring programme. We awarded them certificates, because they:

“Satisfactorily completed 23 days of training on Understanding Poverty in Rural Uganda as part of CPAR Uganda’s project: Mentoring Young Adults into Innovators against Poverty, conducted from 22nd January 2020 to 14th February 2020 at the CPAR Uganda Lira Learning Centre. Topics covered: Conceptions of Poverty; Measurement of Poverty; Causes of Poverty; Symptoms of Poverty; Gender and Poverty; Poverty Messaging; and Where to start in the Fight against Poverty.”

We are delighted to report that each and every one of our 11 Innovators are not afraid to get their hands dirty. We have every confidence that as they innovate against poverty, they will be hands-on; will lead by example; and will be excellent agents of change.

All have indicated their desire to continue on their mentoring journey and, if funds are available, they will participate in the remaining three modules of our programme: Module II: Applying Development Theories and Methodologies to Rural Uganda; Module III: The Dynamics of Uganda’s Rural Economy; and Module IV: Initiating and Sustaining Innovations for Positive Change in Rural Uganda.

In between modules, they have agreed to be volunteers, offering their time, labour and expertise to CPAR Uganda in areas of administration and fundraising. And, in return, our Managing Director is mentoring them and giving then hands-on training on how to fundraise for and how to administrate a non-profit Ugandan organisation.

Please note, although, we had selected 20 young adults and offered them scholarships to be among our first cohort, four of them did not report for their first module. They gave two major explanations: employers refused them study leave; and conflicting schedule with university programmes.

Of the 16 that reported, two dropped out because their employers called them back to work; and two, because of inability to cope with the participatory nature of the training, which required all to participate equally in class and during non-class activities. Of the twelve that stayed on to the end, one was found insufficient in quality.

Depending on our success in fundraising, it is our intention to make another call to young adults, so that we may select 14 for whom we will conduct Module I. If we can, we intend to do so before we conduct Module II for the eleven who have already gone through Module I. If we succeed then we will combine the two groups and all the twenty five will go through Module II together.

Our project is now off the ground and we are up-beat that with vital financial support from our donors it will succeed. We are thus indebted to our donors for making it possible for us to positively impact the lives of young adults from disadvantaged communities of Northern Uganda; and through them their wider communities.

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Grooming next generation of leaders to bring joy
Grooming next generation of leaders to bring joy

We, at CPAR Uganda, are delighted to report that, in partnership with the GlobalGiving Foundation, we have been able to raise sufficient funds to offer scholarships to 20 young adults (13 women and 7 men) to participate in the first module, “Understanding Poverty in Rural Uganda,” of our programme: “Mentoring Young Adults into Innovators.” We selected our first cohort from among 46 applicants, 

Twenty five percent of the young adults in our first cohort are currently university students. The others - fifty percent have academic degrees, 10 percent have diplomas and 15 percent have course certificates; all in various fields of study, including: Legal Laws, Agribusiness, Social Work, Social Administration, Education, Nursing, Management Science, Ethics, Human Rights, Information Communication Technology, Development, Economics, Statistics, Arts, Gender, and Business Administration.

They are alumni or current students of: Uganda Christian University Mukono, Makerere University Kampala, Nsamizi Training Institute of Social Development, Kampala International University, Lira University, Ibanda School of Midwifery and Comprehensive Nursing, Kyambogo University, Gulu University, and Ndejje University.

From Monday, 6th January to 1st February 2020, our first cohort will be under mentorship and training at our Lira Learning Centre; and at which they will have access to a wealth of knowledge that is located at our Professor Fred Opio Ekong Memorial Library.

We have every confidence that the gifts of scholarships to each and every one of the 20 young adults in our first cohort are gifts that will keep on giving. This is because we are confident that the beneficiary young adults will proactively advocate for healthy and dignified lives; and that they innovate, initiate and facilitate processes that will lead to improving standards of living among the poor and thus will ameliorate deprivation in their communities.

For enabling us to make a contribution towards the achievement in Uganda of the United Nations “Sustainable Development Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere,” we are grateful and forever indebted to each and every one of our donors who have this far made a contribution in support of our mentoring young adults into innovators programme.

We aim to successfully implement our programme and that the significant positive impact that we will generate will convince our donors to continue finding it worthy to give some more in support of our programme; and to convince others to give. And so it is, we end 2019 on a positive note of hope.

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Sights of our Lira Learning Centre
Sights of our Lira Learning Centre

The progress that we have made, since our last report, makes us happy that we took the decision to partner with the GlobalGiving Foundation and, therefore, took the first step in our Chinese proverbial journey of a thousand miles to make our dream come true to establish a long-term programme for “Mentoring Young Adults in Uganda into Innovators.” In this report, were pleased to share with you our three new major achievements that are exciting us:

We have set the dates for receiving our first cohort of 25 young adults for their first mentoring session with us. From 6th January to 1st February 2020 our first cohort will be in training, going through the first module of our programme: “Understanding Poverty in Rural Uganda.” Highly experienced trainers and mentors for this session have already been identified and they will facilitate an in-depth participatory qualitative analysis of poverty. The call for applications from young adults is out and 22nd November 2019 is the deadline for us to receive applications.

The modifications to our Lira Learning Centre, the epicentre for our mentoring programme, are near complete. In fact, our Lira centre is essentially already in use. Within a serene environment, it hosts our Prof. Fred Opio Ekong Memorial Library; a 50-Seater Training and Meeting Room; a Canteen; offices for rent; a Staff Guest House; and the rest of the grounds have agriculture for food demonstration gardens.

Our Prof. Fred Opio Ekong Memorial Library, a crucial component of our mentoring programme, is up and running as of September 2019. A wealth of knowledge is hosted in our library in the form of thousands of academic publications and hundreds of novels; and with loads more publications promised to be donated to our Library. We have identified a young adult, who is currently functioning as our Librarian on a probationary contract. If and when he successfully completes his probationary contract, we will formally introduce him to you.

Our journey continues with confidence that next we report we will have taken some more significant steps. In the wisdom of our African ancestors, were are not going it alone, and we know we will go far, for with you, our supporters we are taking this journey together. Thank you for trusting us and for choosing to partner with us on this journey to produce active Ugandan citizens who will proactively innovate, initiate, and facilitate processes that will lead to improving standards of living among the poor in Uganda and that will ameliorate deprivation in their communities.

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Books donated to our research resource centre
Books donated to our research resource centre

Our project, “Support Disadvantaged Student Interns in Uganda,” is part of our mission to contribute towards human development through mentoring and training of young adults into innovators who are highly skilled and who have experienced a life-changing positive awakening process that will inevitably lead them to engage in a rational analysis of their own attitudes and actions, as well as the existing social, cultural, economic and political relationships in their communities. And that their new awakening will motivate them to want to take action to contribute to the greater good.

Mentoring and Training Programme Developed: Our Innovator Mentoring and Training Programme has been developed and finalised. It consists of four independent modules: Module 1 - Understanding Poverty in Rural Uganda; Module 2 - Applying Development Methodologies and Theories to Rural Uganda;Module 3 - The Dynamics of Uganda’s Rural Economy; and Module 4 - Initiating and Sustaining Innovations for Positive Change in Rural Uganda. We have published on our website the detailed concept paper for our programme and as well as the detailed description of Module 1.

A professor based in a university in the UK, who often visits and does field research in Uganda, on reading our concept and module 1 emailed us to say: “I became tempted by the idea of enrolling in the Understanding Poverty module -- 23 days, accommodation and meals included, in Lira for 800k is good value and I'm sure I would learn a lot.” The detailed descriptions of the remaining three modules we shall publish subsequently and in turn after we have successfully piloted the preceding one and the new learning integrated into the successive models.

Mentoring and Training Center Ready: Our programme will be domiciled at our Lira Learning Centre that is located at Plot 5 Makerere Road in Lira Municipality in Lira District in Northern Uganda. Our centre is located on substantial grounds on which we have established demonstrations for urban yard gardening for nutrition and income generation.  We made modifications and additions and it now hosts Offices, CPAR’s Kitchen – canteen and restaurant, CPAR’s Business Centre, CPAR’s Professor Fred Opio Ekong Research Resource Centre; and a Training Hall. These independent units at our centre are each operated under the social enterprise model and are a crucial element for delivering or mentoring and training programme.

Professor Fred Opio Ekong Research Resource Center Stocked:  Dr. Ben Jones, Lecturer at University of East Anglia (UEA), is actively collecting “Books for Uganda” from his fellow staff and students of UEA. We have so far received from Dr. Jones’ initiative, two batches of books that are on a varied range of topics and are in excellent condition. There are still more books that have been collected from this initiative for which we need help in having them delivered from the UK to Uganda.

We have also received promises for books and publications from the Women Democracy Network Uganda Chapter and Dr. Victoria Sekitoleko, Chairperson and Founding Member of the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance. Dr. Sekitoleko was Minister of Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture 1986-1995.

The new donation of books and publications are a welcome addition to the books and publications that we have accumulated since 1992, first as a country office and programme of the Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief and now as an independent Ugandan non-profit.

During the month of July, an experienced Librarian has agreed to work with us in establishing the necessary system for archiving and storing the books and publications in our centre in a user friendly manner that will make it efficient to access them and to ensure their safety.

Selection of Student Interns: We entered into formal memorandum of understanding and partnership with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). RUFORUM is in the process of selecting for us the first cohort of 25 students. We expect that our first cohort will begin their mentoring and training with us during the next reporting period.

Students Mentored: Through the GlobalGiving platform we have now received sufficient funding to offer five full scholarships to five students for all the four modules of our programme. However, we have decided that it is best to start the programme with the ideal number of a cohort of 25 and so we will be utilising the funds that we have received so far and will provide scholarships to 10 or 15 students to be able to go through the first module. This is because RUFORUM has promised to support 10 students to go through the first module.

We have reached out to others to sponsor interns as well, but none has so far confirmed.  We are hopeful, however that when the first cohort experiences our first model they will be motivated to join us in aggressively fundraising for funds to provide them with full scholarships to participate in the remaining three models and also for others to benefit from the programme.

Raised Funds: As of 7th July 2019, we received additional US$ 89.35 in new donations, bringing our total so far to 77 donations which have raised for our project a total of US$ 3,586.35.

Funds Received: In May 2019 we received the 3rd disbursement of funds from GlobalGiving, US$ 270.89 the equivalent of raised funds minus GlobalGiving fundraising administrative costs. This brings the total funds that GlobalGiving has so far disbursed to us to US$ 3,028.27.  

GlobalGiving Membership

We continued to enjoy the “exceptional invite” given to us by the GlobalGiving Foundation to be among their permanent partners. We continued to be permanently featured on the GlobalGiving website, and moreover as an organisations with a “Super Star Status”.

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Organization Information

CPAR Uganda Ltd

Location: Entebbe - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @CPARUGANDA
Project Leader:
Norah Owaraga
Entebbe, Uganda
$4,287 raised of $12,500 goal
 
120 donations
$8,213 to go
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