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
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
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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Juliet volunteers at the research resource center
Juliet volunteers at the research resource center

This report on our project “Support Disadvantaged Student Interns in Uganda”, which covers the period January to March 2019, is our third project progress report.

Our Successes in the Reporting Period

Research Resource Centre Established: A major component of our project is to enable our mentees to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills for doing research, policy analysis and advocacy for better public service delivery. We are delighted to report that we have made progress in establishing, within our Lira Learning Centre, our social enterprise, the Professor Fred Opio Ekong Research Resource Centre. Professor Opio Ekong (RIP) was among the founder members of CPAR Uganda and at the time of his untimely death, due to a fatal road accident, he was the Vice Chair of the CPAR Uganda Board of Directors.

Prof. Opio Ekong, at the time of his death, was also the Vice Chancellor (VC) of All Saints University Lango (ASUL). Rev. Jacky Milton Otto Olima, the Chaplain ASUL, in his eulogy is quoted by the New Vision as having said: “We have lost a great man with all his knowledge whose heart was pro-poor; who spoke for the poor and I think that is why he decided to accept being VC at ASUL instead of leading a lavish life elsewhere.” It is right and fitting that our research resource centre is named after him and is established in his honour and in his memory. Our research resource centre is intended to be a centre for cultivating pro-poor leaders and the epicentre for evidence-based advocacy for pro-poor policies and delivery of services.

By the end of the reporting period, we had allocated the space for the centre – conversion of a 150-seater training hall; the basic furniture – tables, chairs, shelves; and two computers. We also do have some starting reading material, including periodicals, books, reports, etc that have been donated to us and that we have accumulated over the years.

Selection of Student Interns: Discussions are in advanced stages for CPAR Uganda to enter into a memorandum of understanding and therefore partnership with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a consortium of 60 universities in 25 countries in Africa. RUFORUM has already vetted, identified and is supporting the kind of disadvantaged students in Uganda that are also CPAR Uganda’s target beneficiaries for our project. Entering into partnership with RUFORUM ensures that CPAR Uganda will not need to do rigorous verification in search of the most deserving disadvantaged students to benefit from its project, but rather we will work synergistically with ROFORUM and we will select our mentees from among the students already verified by RUFORUM as among the disadvantaged.

Students Mentored: During the course of May 2019, working in collaboration with RUFORUM, CPAR Uganda shall select our first five students for whom donations have been made and funds received. Our first cycle of mentees is expected to begin their mentorship and internship with us in July 2019, in conjunction with the calendar of tertiary institutions – July to August are the months during which tertiary students are expected to do their practical field experience. 

If we raise additional funds during the next report period (April to June 2019), and we hope so, CPAR Uganda will accordingly adjust upward the numbers of our first cycle of mentees.

Raised Funds: As of 7th April 2019 an additional six donations totalling to US$ 60 were made towards our project, bringing the total donations received for our project to US$ 3,397 from 63 donations. The six donations were from three of our donors who have committed to make recurrent monthly donations to our project; a major endorsement of our project.

We did not actively participate in online fundraising campaigns, because we had hoped to come up with options that would reduce the cost of giving. The cost of making a donation - for our Ugandan donors is high due to the fact that online banking has not yet caught on in Uganda. We had begun discussions with the biggest telecom provider in Uganda, MTN Uganda. Sadly, our efforts were interrupted by activities largely considered politically motivated – the expelling from our country of top MTN Uganda officials, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO had indicated to us the a possible solution in which mobile money donations to us would not have to go through all the following stages: Uganda donors make mobile money donations; our agent picks up the cash from an MTN service centre; deposits it on our bank account; we buy GlobalGiving gifts cards and which we send to our donors to then complete the donation.

Funds Received: GlobalGiving did not disburse funds to us during this reporting period. This is because we did not raise the required minimum disbursement amount. The two disbursements of funds from GlobalGiving totalling to UGX 10,028,646 (ten million twenty eight thousand six hundred forty six shillings), the equivalent of raised funds minus GlobalGiving fundraising administrative costs that we received during the previous periods are sufficient for us to mentor five students.

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 had access to online fundraising tools. Our Managing Director, Ms. Norah Owaraga, our project team leader, continued to be actively engaged with the GlobalGiving team and her fellow project leaders of thousands of initiatives from around the world that are in partnership with GlobalGiving; earning our organisation “Super Star Status”. Through engaging with GlobalGiving we are learning a lot about how to better our organisation; how to more effectively do online fundraising; and how to better utilise funds raised for maximum impact for the greater good of the communities that we serve, the reason for which our organisation was founded.

Our Minimum Plans for the next Reporting Period

Nurture Culture of Saving to Give: We encountered several of our fellow Ugandans who believed in our cause and ideally wanted to support it financially, but who found themselves in situations that they were juggling multiple financial commitments and requirements expected of them and were thus unable at the time we asked them to support our project financials. It dawned on us that to a great degree we, as Ugandans, have not fully embraced the culture of actually planning to give, as in save for the purpose of giving. Ten of us – individual Ugandan donors to our project – have bought into the idea of developing and piloting a model, a vehicle if you will, or perhaps network of Ugandan professionals who are committed to the idea of saving for giving. The name “Giving Hearts” has been suggested for the team of ten. This idea remains valid, but we have not yet found time to meet in order to work out the modalities of how it will work. We will do our very best during the next reporting period to activate it.

Fundraising: There seems to be movements towards normalisation of relationships between MTN Uganda and the Government of Uganda and we hope to resume discussions with MTN Uganda, with the view of reducing the cost of giving for our Uganda donors. This is in the meantime as we hope that GlobalGiving can work out a mechanism with one of the major telecom companies in Uganda that will facilitate our donors to make direct mobile money donations to GlobalGiving. We will also continue to actively encourage our Uganda donors to utilise the current online banking facilities that are available in Uganda.

We will participate in GlobalGiving fundraising campaigns, starting with the Little x Little campaign, scheduled for the second week of April.

Research Resource Centre Establishment: We will recruit a Librarian who will help us in the establishment and running of our centre. The advert will go out next week and hopefully, by the end of May we will have recruited our Librarian. We will also actively seek out partnerships or collaborations with knowledge generators / distributors to donate to our centre or allow us free access to reading material – physical copies or online, for the benefit of our mentees as well as other knowledge seekers.

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This is the second progress report on our project “Support Disadvantaged Student Interns in Uganda” and it covers the period October to December 2018.  

Our Successes

GlobalGiving Membership: We, CPAR Uganda Ltd, 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 to have access to online fundraising tools.

Our Managing Director, Ms. Norah Owaraga, our project team leader, continued to be actively engaged with the GlobalGiving team and her fellow project leaders of thousands of initiatives from around the world that are in partnership with GlobalGiving. Through this engagement we are learning a lot about how to better our organisation; how to more effectively do online fundraising; and how to better utilise funds raised for maximum impact for the greater good of the communities that we serve; the reason for which our organisation was founded.

Raised Funds: As of 5th January 2019 an additional 16 donations totalling to US$ 511 were made towards the project, bringing the total donations received for the project to US$ 3,327 from 56 donations. We are delighted to report that three of our donors have committed to make recurrent monthly donations to the project – one has already made four donations and another has three donations.

Received Funds: We have received two disbursements of funds from GlobalGiving totalling to UGX 10,028,646 (ten million twenty eight thousand six hundred forty six shillings), the equivalent of raised funds minus GlobalGiving fundraising administrative costs.

Students Mentored: On average the direct unit cost for mentoring a student is budgeted at UGX 1,850,000 (one million eight hundred and fifty thousand shillings). It is important to note that this unit cost does not include CPAR Uganda Ltd overhead costs, such as employee remuneration costs.  The funds so far disbursed to us enable us to mentor five students.

We have agreed on the overall structure of the mentoring programme and are in the process of developing a detailed mentoring curriculum and the student recruitment/application package. Our first five students for whom donations have been made will begin their mentorship and internship with us in July 2019, in conjunction with the calendar of tertiary institutions – July to August are the months during which tertiary students in Uganda are expected to do their practical field experience.

Our Minimum Plans for the next Reporting Period

Reduce Cost of Giving: The cost of giving – the cost of making a donation - for our Ugandan donors is high due to the fact that online banking has not yet caught on in Uganda. We will continue to encourage our donors to better utilise the current online banking facilities that are available. This is in the meantime as we hope that GlobalGiving can work out a mechanism with one of the major telecom companies in Uganda that will facilitate our donors to make direct mobile money donations to GlobalGiving. This is as opposed to the current status quo in which our Uganda donors make mobile money donations to us; we use the donations to buy GlobalGiving gifts cards which we send to our donors to then complete the donation.

Nurture Culture of Saving to Give: We encountered several of our fellow Ugandans who believed in our cause and ideally wanted to support it financially, but who found themselves in situations that they were juggling multiple financial commitments and requirements expected of them and were thus unable at the time we asked them to support our project financials. It dawned on us that to a great degree we, as Ugandans, have not fully embraced the culture of actually planning to give, as in save for the purpose of giving. Ten of us – individual Ugandan donors to our project – have bought into the idea of developing and piloting a model, a vehicle if you will, or perhaps network of Ugandan professionals who are committed to the idea of saving for giving. The name “Giving Hearts” has been suggested for the team of ten. This month, January 2019, the “Giving Hearts” will meet and workout modalities.

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We are so impressed by your organization’s hard work and determination that we would like to invite you to continue fundraising on GlobalGiving as a permanent partner!” 

The GlobalGiving Team

 We, at CPAR Uganda, are delighted that following our performance during the GlobalGiving September 2018 Accelerator, GlobalGiving gave us an “exceptional invite” to become among their permanent partners. Our partnership with GlobalGiving means that we are now permanentlyfeaturedontheir website, wherewehavethepotentialtobenefitfromcorporaterelationships and exposuretoanewdonornetwork; and through their website we are accessing dozens ofonlinefundraisingtools.

Our journey to permanently partner with GlobalGiving began recently when we were selected by themtoparticipatein September intheirAccelerator, afundraisingopportunityfornon-profitorganisationsaroundtheworld.GlobalGiving challenged us during the period 10th September to 2nd October 2018 to fundraise online through their platform and to raise at least $5,000 from 40 donors for our first project with them, “Support Disadvantaged Student Interns in Uganda”.

As of Sunday, 6th October 2018, from 39 donors we have received 40 donations totalling to US$ 2,816.  This means that we have so far raised 56% of the targeted $5,000 from 98% of the targeted 40 donors; and which means, therefore, that we have not yet achieved the Accelerator graduation threshold. For this reason, our becoming a permanent partner of GlobalGiving was thus by “exceptional invite.” It is important, however, to note that while GlobalGiving made an “exceptional invite” to us to become their permanent partner they still require us to raise the full Accelerator target of $5,000.

The ultimate goal for which we are raising funds to support disadvantaged student interns in Uganda is to contribute towards the fight against poverty in the poorest region of our country - the greater northern region of Uganda, including the five sub-regions of: Karamoja, Teso, Lango, Acholi and West Nile. Our target region borders The Democratic Republic of Congo to the West, The Republic of South Sudan to the North and the Republic of Kenya to the East. Our target region hosts a population of over nine million people who can mostly be categorised into two major groupings of the first nations of Uganda – The Nilotics (Acholi, Alur, Jopahdola, Sabiny, Langi, Iteso, Kumam, Karimojong, Kakwa and Nubi) and The Madi-Moru (Lugbara, Madi, Metu and Okebu).

We are delighted to note that of the donors that we have received so far, are donors with ancestry from our target region, the project host region, and they are spread over the five sub-regions: Teso - 33% (13 donors); Acholi - 7% (3 donors); Lango - 6% (2 donors); Karamoja - 3% (1 donor); and West Nile 3% (1 donor). Our other donors, 21% (8 donors) are of ancestry from other regions of Uganda and 28% (11 donors) are of ancestry from Uganda’s Diaspora – non-Ugandans.

It is important to us that donors from the host region, through their donations have effectively endorsed our project and have enhanced our legitimacy to address the challenge of poverty that thrives in our target region. With the support of our host donors, donors from other parts of Uganda and from Uganda’s Diaspora, we are confident that our project is now off the ground, so to speak.

 We have begun the pre-project launch preparations, including identifying universities that are located in our target region. We are aware that there are a total of seven universities that are located in our target region as follows: Karamoja has none; Teso has two – Soroti University and Kumi University; Lango has two – Lira University and All Saints University; Acholi has two – Gulu University and University of the Sacred Heart Gulu; and West Nile has one – Muni University.

Internal discussions among us with CPAR Uganda have begun on how we will ensure that the most deserving of the disadvantaged students that are affiliated to those universities located in our target region will be the ones selected to benefit from our project. Tentatively, these are some of the emerging guidelines that will inform the selection of our benefiting students:

  • Gender considerations - We will consciously aim to ensure that the beneficiaries of our project will be gender balanced – equal number of men and women, but if need be we will exercise positive gender discrimination in favour of women, in order to contribute to reducing Uganda’s historic gender imbalance in favour of men in formal tertiary education; and in the policy making and implementation arena.

 

  • Sub-Regional considerations - It is our intention to ensure that the 100 students that we will mentor under this project will be proportionately representative of the five sub-regions.

 

  • Brain Drain Considerations – We will make every effort to ensure that the students that we will mentor will be the kind that will effectively utilise their learning for the benefit of their respective host sub-region.

We are buoyed by our fundraising progress so far made. We are optimistic that, yes, we can raise the remaining 44% ($2,184) in order to meet our GlobalGiving target of raising $5,000. We are indeed excited that very soon we will receive our first group of mentees and that we will begin our systematic efforts to contribute towards enhancing human development in our target region; which in turn will stimulate processes that will improve standards of living in our target region.

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Organization Information

CPAR Uganda Ltd

Location: Entebbe - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @CPARUGANDA
Project Leader:
Norah Owaraga
Entebbe, Uganda

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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