When I left Uganda to join YALI https://www.yalieastafrica.org/ a program launched by former President of the United States Barack Obama as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. I discovered and believed myself to equip my community with skills to bring about change.
A few months ago, Mbarara Rise Foundation strengthened its peer program (a program that raise voices collectively and experience sharing) to this new experiment in modern leadership — to help more people find their own voice.
We asked our beneficiaries what Mbarara Rise Foundation looks like to them. What work is going on out there that we should lift up? What we can deliver beyond what they could have hoped for.
Based on what we’ve heard from our beneficiaries, I’m here to tell you what’s next.
We’re going to focus more on advocating for equal human rights, offering Health care services, empowering and equipping them with innovative skills i.e. Cake baking skills, financial skills, brick making etc and tools they need to create change in their communities. We’ll spotlight the incredible individuals and projects around western Uganda that are making an impact, and convene those that are tackling challenges in their own backyards.
We’re launching the Mbarara Rise Foundation – ACT Now project to support and elevate outstanding members — individuals from western Uganda who are working with their fellows to tackle big challenges. We want to lift up the amazing work those inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, and others are doing — and if we do it right, together we’ll show how best we have improved.
We’ve also heard from hundreds of young people who are still unemployed, asking for help on how to get started. So, we’re putting together a series of Training Days across western Uganda — starting in Mbarara being nearest and due to limited funds — to teach young people how to put skills into action where they live.
Finally, we heard how much our beneficiaries want to hear from one another that live in different places and share experience on different challenges. So this December, we’re bringing together hundreds of LGBTIQ+ from all around the western parts of Uganda for a hands-on exchange of ideas. This will be a place to share stories, learn from one another, and then go back to their communities to lead others in the hard work of change. It will also help guide our Foundation as we continue to design programs that connect and support the rural LGBTIQ+ people here in Uganda. Mbarara Rise foundation is inspired by you.
From the day we launched Mbarara Rise Foundation, I told fellows that even as we experiment, even as we try and fail as humans do, there would be one constant in our work — our commitment to progress.
Togetherness will strengthen us