We are delighted to report that our Lira Learning Centre has been fully repaired, renovated and security systems beefed up, thanks in part to the unrestricted COVID-19 relief microgrant that our organisation received from GlobalGiving. While we still bear the emotional scars, the physical scars from the May 2020 break in, theft and vandalization of our Lira Learning Centre have been erased and it is now as good as new.
The icing on the cake is that we innovated and we were able to utilize some of that which was vandalized by bad people who took advantage of the COVID-19 induced lock down to break into our Lira Learning Centre. We were able to utilize wood from most of the damaged wooden door shutters and frames, for example, to make shelves and cupboards and to establish reading stations in the Innovator’s Hall, the Reading Room and the Guest House, at our Lira Learning Centre.
Better still, young adults under our mentorship actively participated in bringing back to life our Lira Learning Centre. Some, provided labour at a very modest cost; while some provided their expertise, such as Emmanuel O. who utilized his artistic talent to paint murals on the walls of our outdoor sitting shed (vehicle parking shed converted); and on the walls of our perimeter fence.
It gets even better, our newly refurbished Lira Learning Centre is currently, for a 21 months period starting March 2021, hosting our research and advocacy project: “Challenging Categories: Educated Unemployed Youth as Institutional Innovators in Rural Uganda,” which we are implementing in partnership with Lira University and the University of East Anglia; and with funding from The British Academy utilizing the British Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.
Seven young adults under our mentorship are directly participating in the implementation of our Challenging Categories project. They are working alongside two distinguished academics, the Principal Investigator and the Co-Investigator, through whom they are being mentored and are getting knowledge and skills on how to conduct empirical qualitative investigations from start to finish. They are also benefiting from the expertise of a media consultant and his team, who are enhancing their media content and navigation skills.
Three young adults from our first cohort of mentees who are continuing their mentorship with us, we have employed on probationary contracts, and, based at our Lira Learning Centre, they are working alongside our Managing Director. They are learning how to do publicity for a nonprofit organisation; and to profitably operate an innovators hall, a small reading room, a small guest house and a kitchen that are owned by a nonprofit organisation to raise funds for our organisation’s charitable work.
We are forever indebted to our donors for without your contribution we would not have the financial resources and the peace of mind to innovate, to implement and to make a significant positive difference in the lives of our direct beneficiaries - young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds, and ultimately their wider communities. To you our donors, we say thank you.
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