My name is Patrick Aikonia, I am thirteen years old and I am a Uganda. I am a member of the Butterfly Project and that is where I learned to play the roleplaying from. I also learned how to be a GM from the chrysalis center.
I come up with an idea of having a project in Uganda. A project that will develop roleplaying all over Uganda. The project which I am calling “Developing Roleplaying in Uganda.”
This school holiday I decided I would like to go to Koro again and run an adventure week called “Eagles Last Hope,” the adventure will contain a range of activities for instance looking for ingredients to cure a disease like in “Hollow Last Hope.” The purpose is to improve children’s imagination and their thinking abilities so that they can experience and learn something in roleplaying and to also get some interested in being GMs. After the adventure week I am going to run GM training for two further weeks with the children who are interested in being GMs so that they can also help me in the roleplaying when I am in Kampala.
The children in Koro were asking the Director of the Chrysalis Centre north Ayaa Grace, to run activities this school holidays. I decided to take roleplaying also as one of the activities.
We also ran activities from their and if you want to see some of them click here https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Patrick+Aikonia
If you want to support us or even see what we are doing please click here http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/koros-last-hope
This is me running runs in Koro. This is me again running ruins still
This is Joseph with children children enjoying deadly mine.
How lovely is your city and its districts?well this is how lovely funny and fabulous our city Kampala is.As part of our training,three different groups were sent out into Kampala city to find out new various areas and how they function.Among these three groups, our group the Drapochilchrystab was also included and this group came up as a result of combining our project as the five of us, so we went out into the city of Kampala where we got to know many different areas, the way people socialize and how they work we even got to know how Uganda has improved on its security for the last threats of the Alshabab.
Despite all the fantastic movement we had, we also met different challenges on our way such as geting caught at parliament and at Bank of Uganda but the most funniest part is almost cainned at the kings palace in Mengo because of wearing trousers and yet we are girls so it made no difference between us the girls in the group and the boys in the group and for taking photos at the palace but to some of us this was a new experience since some of us were from Northern part of Uganda so this culture of Buganda was new to us.
All of us has ever been to the different places in Kampala such as shopping malls,hotels,theatres and even cineplex individually but this time it was different because we went as a group and we were able to share different thoughts
and ideas of the city and got to visit many different places.But all thanks goes to all the managing staff at the Chrysalis center.
We are the Young hidden treasure members who reported on the Kampala taxi exercise visiting different places around Kampala on the 6th June 2015 and we were five in number viz. Ojok Junior(15),Lamaro Sharon(14),Atim Sarah(15),Okema Beckham(13), Ochola Kenneth(15).Above are the members of the young hidden treasure group. Where by we visited more new place in Kabalagala, Serena hotel, City Annex, Moodland restaurant, the national theater, nakumatt, the bank of Uganda, the Watoto church, the village mall, the parliament of Uganda, the garden city.And these were places we had never been to because it was our first time to visit those types of places. Some more of the interesting things that we also experienced were types of houses, types of dressings, peoples ways of living, modernization and so on. And these made us to think ahead of doing things in a way that we as the ones who has experienced something from the butterfly project. Appreciation goes to the chrysalis staff and the butterfly project staffs for their wonderful and amazing responsibility that they have played as change makers.
(okema Beckham junior)
(ojok junior & okema Beckham)
Hey, am Charles Obuk, aged 17 and a Ugandan from Northern – Lamwo District. When I talk of Northern Uganda, you all flash back at the war that occurred there for several years witnessed by massive massacres of Northerners for which we will still pay homage. May their souls rest in peace.
I was in a world characterized by a number of social problems. I am scared I may die in it because the situation keeps growing and worsening. This will give me no tales to tell when I reach Heaven. There is nothing I can jazz the heavenly angels when I sneak into the heavenly kingdom. For what I will tell is only miseries, torture, racism, inequality and endless corruption.
Endless corruption will be my main topic. For it has roots right from top officials to the least common men. Do you know what….?, I will jazz mother Mary, ” In my country……..” I’ll pat her on her shoulder, ” corruption is the tale of the day, if you are not corrupt then you are counted off leadership.”
For those Ugandans and other citizens in their various countries (anti-corrupt citizens) who make allegations and criticize the corrupt officials which often the allegations are true and self evident, become great rivals to corruption die-hards. Such patriots are dismissed when given considerations, persecuted and privately executed. The next day’s news headlines on T.Vs, radios, magazines and newspapers read ” so….and so….who proved to shout for the others forgetting that he’s born alone and will die alone has flee the country after failing to show up in courts of law”. “Investigation of his whereabouts are going on”. Where is this leading to?……..what kind of citizens are we…..?”. I am sometimes puzzled by these queries, do they puzzle you too?.
I hear my country and the whole world has moved from despotism to democracy and republicanism, is this true?… I don’t know but somehow the world has changed but is it to the tipping point?, do we have freedom of speech, equality and citizens’ rights…?. It is all an illusion, a mere fiction and then a day dream. We only possess them in second hand.
I do hear of a six lettered word, it ends with ‘ge‘ and commences with ‘ch‘. Can you guess what it is…?. They say it is either positive or negative and that word is ‘change‘. It is the only word I care about and overwork myself for it and to see that it is implemented and established in the whole world, do you also mind converting your efforts to working for it?. I shall only be happy when I clearly see that corruption and the other problems I mentioned before are going down on their rates till they eventually stop. You should also note that it is only possible if we change our mindsets from corruption and selfishness, also we need reforms in the judicial system to promote peace and harmony and reforms in the entire leadership bodies. The democratic governments/leaders that the world has got also have to work tooth and nail for that ”word” which is termed as vulgar by most of my country’s and the other outside world’s leaders (governments) who have and are falling victims of corruption. You and I are the only ones responsible to renew and revive our bewildered nations otherwise I and you will still be melancholic and sad that we may die in this wicked generation.
I finally pray that God help us overcome the social enemies like corruption, brutality, racism,inequality, human rights’ abuse, child abuse and sacrifice among others by employing peaceful measures against them. Just as God you released the people of Israel from Egypt and led them to the promised land, so shall you release us from the hands of all these problems I’ve mentioned above, grand our leaders with the wisdom and knowledge to lead and put in them the heart to lead and to serve but not be served…….Amen.
Hi, my name is Charles Obuk, aged 17 and a member of Butterfly project. I am from the Up-country Uganda from Lamwo District at the boarder of Sudan.
I am carrying out a cause of Reading project in my rural village, Agoro sub-county. It has been since 2012 and still progressing. I work with children of age bracket 5-15.
Reading is fun but advantageous in a way that it enables one to acquire reading skills, learn how to write, improves on their vocabularies and broadens their mind. It is essential that the children must know how to read and write and that’s why I’m concerned with the village children.
The fact is local children need to learn how to read and write but there is no one to come out and takes the initiative to help them achieve their wishes of knowing reading writing as well as English speaking. This is becoming a global problem since most of the children in the villages are taught using vernacular languages and they end up reaching upper classes without knowing a single word in English and they can’t even respond to a ‘’hi’’.
I’ve tried to analyze the causes of this global enemy (Rural children failing to read, write and speak English) and this acted as a moving force for me to take a step forward to have this project in place.
But before I came up with this cause, my fellow village mates whom I used to play with could not even say their ages when I ask them in English, it wasn’t a big surprise to me coz I also went through the same challenge before I joined the Butterfly project, I remember my first time to speak English for atleast 2mins was when I joined the project and I was for an exclusive interview, guess what, I exploded broken English like a baby learning to call dad and mum, wisely I could wait for other members who knew a bit of English to go first for the video shooting while I heed to the words they say and I could try to imitate the exact words but I would miss some.
But anyway that’s not the main point, the fact is there is no motivations and role model to the rural children, first of all most of our parents never went to school in their days like my mum, she was the last born from the family and she spent all her days looking after animals and weeding, she told me that she attended Primary one for two days and that marked the end of her education. So you can see such a scenario where a child is born by uneducated parents and lived among the uneducated population, the child will automatically have no inspiration. I tell you that it was only through getting exposed to outside environment – Kampala that I got inspired to learn and love English.
So, it is a challenge to us that if we can turn the children population in the rural to be literate by enabling them to read, write and speak English, and then the generation after them will live among literate population and automatically learn easily.
For the last two years of the cause – Reading Project, a number of kids have proved themselves ready to learn and that’s what keeps me going. But still like I said, the parents do not see the philosophy as to why the children need to be trained how to read, write and speak English and so they tend to keep their children busy in the gardens, I believe with time as this cause prospers and progresses with greater achievements, their ears and eyes will open up and more kids will join.
For the first time I arrived in Kampala in 2011, I thought it was only the village children who had this problem but to my surprise, I realized that there are local kids within slum areas in Kampala who also suffer from the same problem and I decided to have them benefit from the same training.
It was marvellous over the Easter Period here in Kampala where I had enough time to interact with some of the local children in the slum community of Acholi Quarter, I organised an Easter Readathon where an individual enjoyed reading more than 5 different books of small volume – story books.
”It is really fun” said this young girl. Nothing was more fun than to have the children reading story books.
I have made it a priority that every holidays when I am at home in the village, I have to get the children into reading and besides there are mobs activities for fun that we have with the children like Drama and other fun events.
The real issue is I’d like to see other people around the globe coming in to join hands for the greater success and achievements of this cause, I mean supporters and mentors. There’re lots we need for this project but the little you have matters a lot for the betterment of this world. Like I said there are always holiday activities that need supports
Please can you help??
“You’ve really helped me, Ben”, Brian says. Brian is one of the newest members of the Butterfly Project recruited this
year to be trained as a social entrepreneur. “Since my older brother lost his job, he’s only been able to afford to pay for my sister’s school fees and that meant I was at school but with no way to pay for the fees.”
“Actually, I had to hide in the school, as they frequently caned non-paying pupils,” he added. “I found places they wouldn’t look for me and most of the time, I was able to avoid the punishment.”
I remembered the discussion I’d had with Brian earlier, when he told me that when he was younger his mother used to listen to the radio to hear about when the Rebels were nearby, how she told him to “Run, Run, Run” until dusk, when children had to hide under long grass at night, rather than sleep in their beds, because they risked being found and pressganged into the Lord’s Resistance Army. Brian knew many that had joined that army and had seen many beaten up by it. His mother used to run alongside him, with his small brother in her arms to save themselves, time after time.
Eventually, they were moved into a Displacement Camp, which were defended by local militia. Even these camps were attacked by Rebels and the children inside would pray that the camp defence would be strong enough.
He told me that teachers were recruited into these camps and that he used to go into these schools knowing nothing at all and with little enthusiasm to learn. The thinnest exercise books were then cut into pieces, so that most children could have some semblance of a book on which to write their class notes. Maybe they would share pens too – I don’t know. Brian knew just two words of English and he smiled as he said he used to answer all the questions using just these two words – his age and his class.
When the war in Northern Uganda came to an end, Brian was able to move back to his home from the camp and moved to a new school, near where our new Centre has been built in Gulu district. The trauma of the previous years was still a problem and his education had hardly progressed and he found himself doing not very well and thinking he was not very good, even repeating a year. Gradually his performance improved and he started to realise that he was learning and shocked himself with a brilliant First Grade result early in his last Primary School year, then translated into a First Grade in the final examination to qualify for secondary too. Brian explains that his young mind was immature and had not understood the importance of being educated beforehand, but I sense that there was more to it than that.
While his father was alive, his education also consisted of learning how to trap and kill animals for food, how to create snares and how to avoid angering dangerous creatures, risking injury. But Brian has a special affinity to animals and above all he loves dogs. He says he can sense things in animals and they will often respond well to him. He hopes to be a vet in future and he plans his animal rearing projects with a finesse well beyond his years. He recounts stories of going hunting with his sister and smaller brother, but in the end preferring to hunt on his own.
Brian’s father was killed by a hit and run driver, a woman driving to Sudan, Brian thinks, as they tried to trace the number plate in vain. It was a few years back, but the impact is still being felt, as the family struggles with adversity. His father used to lead a construction team and was a very skilled builder. He died a few weeks after being hit by the car from his injuries.
We try to encourage our members to be thinkers and in fact we teach “Thinking Skills” as part of the Butterfly Curriculum, using de Bono’s six thinking hats. It’s one of those sessions where you teach and you hope, but later you realise how exciting it is for children to be thinking and expected to come up with solutions themselves. Brian has had a long-term idea to bring water to his village. In fact it is really dreadful in Koro, as most children are walking or, in some cases cycling, 2-3 miles to the nearest borehole. So I asked him how serious he was about his water project. “Very serious”, he said. “How many piglets would I have to sell to create a borehole?”
And this is the essence of the Butterfly Project. Children exposed to hardship wanting to create a better life for others around them, using the education that they have been given, but their parents and most of their community have lacked.
Brian is also amongst those we have in our project who don’t yet have a sponsor. £45 per month creates a new social entrepreneur for Uganda. Please contact me at email@example.com for details, if you’d like to sponsor him or any other member of our project.
Written by Ben Parkinson, Director, Butterfly Project, Uganda