How Village Boardgamers in Uganda can be Gamechangers

In 2007, I visited rural Nigeria with Ashoka Fellow, Emmanuel Nehemiah, a then young man of great influence in village areas, through his incredible work developing co-operatives that made soap, vaseline and many other products.  Emmanuel was a brilliant student, who grew up in the village and one of few Ashoka Fellows in Nigeria, whose work focused on village development.

He took me to a tiny village area in a remote part of Kaduna State, where I met by chance a young 14 year old boy, who could neither read nor write, yet he had a vision for his village.  “Every day life is the same” he said.  “I know things can be different, but I don’t know how to change them.  Can you help me?”

I thought about this for a while.  In my previous role as CEO for a social enterprise in Birmingham working for the long-term unemployed, I had become a catalyst for change there.  With my leadership, our team had established significant influence in Birmingham, enabling local employment strategies to work with the hardest to reach, through our own unique methods.  At the same time we had expanded our work to include other new target groups, like drug addicts and ex-offenders.  It wasn’t that I had done these things, but that I had been a conduit for others to achieve change, because I had believed it could happen.

I will never forget this young man’s belief in himself and passion for change, though unfortunately our project was never able to be implemented in Nigeria.  Nor could we ever have predicted exactly how his vision would be translated into action in Uganda.  I cannot give much in the way of detail of what we have achieved over the last nine years in a short blog – we started in Uganda in 2009 – but I can say that it is the disadvantaged youth of Uganda that are the stars. Their enthusiasm and devotion to being changemakers has encouraged me to continue our work and so The Butterfly Project is still here and thriving.  My vision for a small project, that could be developed from the grass roots and was cost effective, that however, like the butterfly effect, could create waves of influence, where there had been little change for centuries, is starting to be realised.

Our first ever boardgame session – Alhambra

Board games were part of our training programme from the outset.  Our early Pioneer members still remember Alhambra with fondness.  It was a game that everyone could learn quite quickly, yet was not without some skills and planning.  I noticed that the winners of the game immediately developed a confidence (even if it was luck) and so we tried to include a few more games from my meagre collection into the training, games like Citadels were also a huge success and later Power Grid and Ravenloft

One of the first games we played – Power Grid

We included the same games with our second cohort in 2010 but it was not until 2014, when we were able to recruit our third cohort, that the boardgames started to become more significant in our programme.  Some of these members showed great enthusiasm to learn and play the games, initially focusing on roleplaying games and I’d like to thank Paizo inc. for their generosity in supporting us in the early days.  Without their care package of Core Rulebooks and other materials, we would not have been able to inspire them past a few months.  These early gamers are now running and DMing their own campaigns.

Some of the 100+ games received from Perfect Information Podcast

By early 2017, we had received quite a few boardgame donations from well-wishers, enough for us to decide to run the first Uganda Village Boardgame Convention, an idea that came from one of our Butterfly members, who said he wanted to do sometthing interesting in the Easter holidays!  We talked to local community leaders and invited about 80 children to the first Uganda Village Boardgame Convention, held at our centre in Koro.  By the end of the Convention we had 130 children, some of whom were walking 4-5 miles to attend, so we knew we were onto something and so Gamechangers was launched later in the year

In September 2017, we received an amazing donation of boardgames from the listeners of the Perfect Information Podcast, a hundred or more games of varying complexities, which we then started to teach not just to our trainees, but also to local children coming to our centre in Kampala.  It became clear that we needed to expand what we were doing and we moved some of these games to our rural centre, 350km away near Gulu town and this is when we discovered that boardgames are not only welcomed in these village areas by children, but they thrive on them, gaining self confidence and a connection to the outside world, which often they crave.  In early 2018, we opened  games clubs in Nwoya, Agago, Koro, Atiang and two in Gulu town itself. 

 Gamechangers has gone from strength to strength, a second large Convention in 2018 with 200 children and youth and then later a Boardgame Bootcamp to teach harder games, which allowed some children to shine. At both events, we were able to give out games for the club members to play at home – mainly the ones they had learnt at the Convention 

It is from this Bootcamp event, that we began to realise that boardgames had highlighted some of the most capable children in these village areas and so we decided to include the club members at the centre of our new Butterfly Project recruitment for 2019 and we believe we have found some of the most talented young people from these village areas, who can become the ones to enact the vision originally inspired by the young boy in Nigeria.

Here are the fourteen boys and girls that we are recruiting this year (Left to Right, Top to bottom):

Ronnie is from Layibi in Gulu town and is founder member of the Layibi Club there.  Ronnie has been instrumental in running this club with his older brother and has found nothing too challenging so far in his boardgames career!  His mum is a produce seller, and father died some 2 yrs ago so it’s basically his mum taking care of the four children. He has 2 brothers and 1 sister and he is the youngest in the family. He helps sell pancakes over the holidays to raise funds for his tuition. He is working towards becoming à lawyer so that he can establish à law firm that will have free services for the poor and oppressed to get proper justice, especially working on childrens’rights.

Mercy P is 12 and is also from the remote rural parts of Omoro district.  Not yet a boardgamer, she will be, as she is a very capable mathematician, which will stand her in good stead for games like Power Grid or other maths-focused games. Her father is a caretaker and her mother farms. 
She has 5 siblings and helps the other children with their class work during her free time. She would like to be a teacher and see that more schools and hospitals are built around her village. 

Jovia is 13 and from Opit in Omoro, though she has been schooling in Gulu and thus a member of the Laroo Games Club there and is the only representative from this Club this year.  The Laroo Games Club is entirely self-run by the children and we visit occasionally to encourage and check whether they need new games.  Her mum sells vegetables, and Jovia moves around with her to help during holidays. With her passion of teaching games, she has been helping other kids during her free time.

Jillian is 12 and is very interested in wildlife, an area we spend a lot of time with on our training programme, as we teach the world issues of conservation – her favourite game is Botswana.  Her parents are peasant farmers and she helps alot with the farming and taking care of animals She also makes mats (papyrus), pots and in many cases helps younger girls do that. She would want to be a nurse so that she can help with the many health issues in her remote village.

Jacob is 14 and a member of the Layibi Games Club.  He has been looking after the games for the club himself and enjoys card games and has even been involved in designing a new game.  He wants to be an engineer and makes model aeroplanes from scrap metal he finds in Gulu. His mum sells vegetables and produce. His dad is a builder. He is in a family of 4 kids and he is 3rd born. Jacob hopes to be an engineer, already has started working on that, by making some aeroplanes out of tin cans and connects a battery to it. He hopes to help the elderly in future. Maybe build them a home that they can retire to.

Ivan is 13 and a member at the Koro Abili Boardgames Club founded earlier this year.  He was part of the Koro Abili “Molerats in Space” team, which did well and enjoys Fuse.  He is very interested in reading, which will help him perform well on our training programme. He says his family situation is complicated, with 12 children at home, and too little space to grow enough food for all and would like to see a way that people from different families when brought together could live in harmony. He and his siblings help with gardening when they are not in school. They grow cassava, which is his staple food. He plans on becoming a doctor. 

Elvis is from our centre in Koro and is 12, but has already spent one year in Kampala at our centre.  He is a very kind and thoughtful boy, who has great motivation and organisational skills.  His favourite games are Ravenloft, Manhattan, Stone Age and Totem, though he likes very many.  Elvis is also a young athlete and is part of Chrysalis Athletics Club.

Edmond  is 14 and, like Elvis, is from Koro.  He has been a member of our centre there since its inception and is a big fan of board games.  His favourites include Mombasa and Ingenious.  He prefers “deep games” to short ones and has shown great promise with his understanding of games strategy this year. He is 3rd in a family of 7 children. Father is a driver and mother farms. Edmond has been helping other kids during the holidays at the center to learn the games that he knows well enough. Hé would like to help in the  improvement of towns around him to create more jobs and dévelopment in the whole area, by building hospitals, markets etc as he himself hopes to be a doctor.

Brenda is 13 and a budding entrepreneur.  She has been working on ideas for basket-weaving in her village area, to help ensure girls go to school and thus prevent early marriage, as this small business can be enough to cover the costs of education.  She is new to boardgaming and one of those recruited from our Omoro recruitment programme this year, that was initiated through the Atiang Boardgame Club. Her parents are peasant farmers and she keeps animals whenever she is at home. She also helps parents in the garden, where they plant soya and sesame. Her passion is girl child education. She always gets the young girls together during her free time to talk about education. 

Arron is 14 and also a founder member of the Nwoya Village Boardgames Club with Mercy L.  He also likes Fujian Trader, but has enjoyed the challenge of Terraforming Mars and Signorie.  Arron is also a keen athlete and will perform well at the Chrysalis Athletics Club next year. He also likes playing football when he is free. He lives with his mother who is single and has 3 siblings, he being the oldest. His mother is a farmer and he helps her. They grow groundnuts and cassava and this is also what they sell to earn money for all other necessities. He believes he has a talent in helping other kids résolve conflicts and hopes he might some day become a lawyer and help fight corruption and bring justice for the poor. 

Stephen is also 13 and from a remote area in Omoro, known as Lakwana.  He’s shown real energy and brilliance in our assessment, though he is new to boardgames.  His family grow soya and he has very broad knowledge of agriculture for a youth.  Hé is the first born in a family of 5 children. His parents separated and his mum has been left to fend for all these children on her own. She farms and often finds it difficult to find food to feed the kids. They grow cassava and groundnuts where Stephen helps his mum over the weekends and during holidays. He has identified a lack of qualified doctors in his area and this has inspired him to think of becoming one, because most people dont get proper treatment and this sometimes results into their premature death. So he would like to stop this happening.

Samuel is currently 12 and thus the youngest of our new Butterfly Project members.  He is very bright and very capable in maths and problem-solving.  While he’s not played many games yet, we believe he will be someone who enjoys testing his intellect. He was abandoned by his father when hé was still young and his mother looks after him and his 4 siblings. In his free time he is dancing traditional dance. He would like to be a teacher who could possibly build a school and give free éducation to orphans. He  also wants to work on proper sanitation around his area, to reduce on the diseaseas related to poor sanitation. 

Janet is 14 and comes from Palenga in Omoro District.  She has shown great selfless leadership amongst the girls at our assessment as well as intellectual potential.  In our interviews she had many ideas about the change that she could bring to her village area.  Her parents are peasant farmers and she helps them during holidays. They grow majorly cassava. However, she would like to be a doctor, when she grows up. She has a passion to stop child marriage and work hard to keep girls in school. She also would start group for young people,where they can work together to build their self confidence. 

Mercy L is 13 and was a founder member of the Nwoya Village Boardgames Club last year, who has been mobilising many local children to attend on a regular basis.  She enjoys Fujian Trader, Melee, Ticket to Ride and other of the more technical games, like Railway Revolution. Both of her parents are peasant farmers, growing groundnuts, sesame and millet. She likes poetry and hopes to be a poet in addition to her major thought of becoming à doctor. Through her writings, she will help educate many young people to understand their surrounding. She believes becoming à doctor will help her build more health facilities in her area, that will be cheap to cater for the poor who cant afford the very expensive private clinics.

We need sponsors for each of these children starting in January 2019, approximately £30 per month for school and £30 per month for boarding and training.  We would be happy to have sponsorship for either schooling or boarding/training (or both).  For more information about how to sponsor, then please click on this link.  International supporters should click here

Since we started he project, we have trained around 50 young people.  One has now graduated from Makerere University, seven are at Ugandan universities, two at international universities, one has won a Queen’s award for youth.  Three have started their own businesses and the remainder are still at school.  All have run their own social projects during our training programme and three are prototyping their own boardgames.  You can read more about our older graduates here.

Mercy L and Arron at the Boardgame Bootcamp this year, taught by Mary from our fourth Butterfly cohort (in yellow)

 We train them on how to run a project, world issues, leadership skills, ethics, international issues, computing and communication and many other topics. Our objective is to equip them with practical skills and confidence to create change and the entrepreneurial ability to sustain their social projects.  We help them build on their talents, work in teams, establish partnerships, link them with overseas experts, send them to Uganda’s arts and cultural events, enable them to cook and eat international foods and develop their vision through the use of selected films from around the world.

Barbara’s bar soap training has become a small business for her

As part of their training we also ask them to run boardgaming events throughout the year, so they learn event management, teaching skills and how to play a variety of games.  On Friday nights we also have been running the Kampala boardgames club, a chance for us to work with local children and youth and develop their games-playing ability.

We now have around 200 or more good quality boardgames in Uganda, spread around 6 rural games clubs and two city clubs, one in Gulu and another in Kampala.  We try to play the greatest variety of boardgames, bringing in children in from local boarding schools.

The attendance at the Uganda Village Boardgame Convention 2018
Atiang Village Boardgames Club has many girls
Kampala Games Club tackling one of the more demanding games
The most experienced gamers Playing a 7-hour Twilight Imperium 3

If you want to just support our project, then you can send donations here

If you’d like to support us with boardgame donations, then please send them to CYEN, 31 Prince of Wales Lane, Yardley Wood, Birmingham, B14 4LB or contact me (Ben) on socentafrica@gmail.com to arrange collection.

If you would like to sponsor one of our new trainees, but would like to discuss it first or ask questions, then please contact me on socentafrica@gmail.com.

Productive Activity during the Lockdown is important to prevent social problems

My name is Suzan Lagum I am a changemaker and social entrepreneur in Uganda  ever since in 2017 I joined the Butterfly Project who empower youth talents so that they can transform the lives of rural people in their home villages.

I live in Pader district which is in the Northern part of Uganda, and l have a project which I call the Ideas Forum, which I am running both in Kampala and in my home village. In Kampala l focus on a slum area called the Acholi Quarter and in neighbouring areas such as Kasenyi and so on. With the ldeas Forum I partner with many Local leaders like the Local Chairman  LC1 and we discuss how youth can be involved in creating change. I started this when I was in form one (S1), and I am now in form four (s4) though since the pandemic, we have not been allowed to attend school.

We all returned home in March this year, but because I am a change maker, l came up with an idea of starting up a dance project for the village kids to keep them busy. We are all in the lock down and most of the kids have nothing to do except going to the garden (farming), eating food, shooting birds, and other negative activities. I want to create change and help tackle some other social problems like early pregnancy in girls, child abuse, drug abuse, etc. All these problems are the impacts of the COVID19 this year 2020 and our aims are to bring all kids together and we try to do something which is proactive and valuable to their life so that we have a better future as we wait for the pandemic to go. Lastly we are focusing to improve on their talents since they have no opportunity to demonstrate them when the schools are closed.

In the dance project we do what we call “creative dance”, teaching messages about early marriage prevention and child abuse through this medium.  Members of the dance group gain self confidence and we believe that this helps them avoid being part of these negative activities.  We do this every day for 45 minutes in the afternoons after everyone has come back from their gardens.

The dance takes place after athletics training, which is another initiative that we have undertaken in Pader town to help make the lives of the village children more productive.  For this we have teamed up with Ogom Telela, a village about 12km from Pader, where two other Butterfly members are based. Our training takes place every day at the Pader Airfield with our local kids ranging from 10 to 14 years of age. Before the first training took place, I went with my friend Genesis (also a Butterfly member) and my brother Ballam to recruit athletes.  We talked to parents explaining the benefits of what we are doing and why we are doing it. We also had a chat with local leaders to grant us permissions to do this while we are all in lock down.

During the training, we have to follow all the protective measures needed like social distancing and washing hands regularly so that we protect the Presidential directives. In Ogom Telela, we have one of our social entrepreneurs called Innocent Rubangakene.  He is taking the leads of the athletes when they are at Ogom Telela Primarywhere they are also training all evenings. We do this, so that our fellow brothers and sisters have something proactive in their lives throughout the situations.

Athletics in Ogom Telela

Our aim is that the Pader team shall participate in the Platinum League Kids Athletics event which is run by Chrysalis Uganda and Coach to Coach, Kapchorwa. And for the Dancers we are hoping to organize a creative dance to teach our village mum and dad and the entire world that, we young people can really do something in this world.

We are planning to print out twenty eight T shirts for our athletes for their training, and this will help motivate them because l know together we can make It. To do this I need to raise about £80.  We cannot just sit and watch our surroundings. We need to do something positive.

Our T shirt design

If you would like to help us print these T shirts, then please click here to donate.

I Want to Encourage Girls to Be What they Want to Be

My name is Nancy Lakot  a social entrepreneur, student of Makerere University Business School and doing a course in International Business  degree program.  At university I am the course leader in our class. My dream to attain a University education was to  be a role model  and change maker of which I was raise from Butterfly Project and to show to my village friend  who are girls whose parents didn’t believe they  can make it in life. And I want to act as example that girls can also make it in life  .  When I formally started my Primary One level in a small village called Lalak in  lokung sub country in Lamwo district .

It was almost impossible to dream at the time given the fact we lived in camp due to LRA (Lords Resistance Army) war in northern Uganda – as a result of the LRA war we had to moved from our home land for safety to camp as refugee. The situations I witnessed in the camp made me not only think about myself but to be a powerful woman to fight for woman and encourage girl to be who they want to be not what their parent want them to be.  Because in the camp girl so many things happen to very people for example girl where sexual abused, forcedly married by rich men, and very many lost their life. I know through Butterfly Project’s training and education  I could become a great force in causing change ,empowering women to change their aspect of thinking girls are the weaker sex and are not bright  in school, and they are meant for house wife. 

My ambition of transforming my community into a better habitat for its people started long ago when I joined the Butterfly project and now I have a project called girl empowerment. I now dream to transform the World and the community around me because little bit of something to someone can mean the world to them before you know it  just as so many people supported  me in so many things it mean the world to me.

I am currently in my first year second semester of undergraduate degree. In an attempt to raise part of the required tuition, I worked in my daddy garden and I have been able to raise some money to cover expense like hostel fees for accommodation, food costs, books, transport and other personal requirements.

I have a shortfall of tuition and internship fees of £290 and I am looking for a donation to make this semester  I will be grateful for any kind of support toward my tuition. You can use this link – https://www.justgiving.com/onecheckout/donation/direct/charity/250290

On my way to being a Doctor

My name is Akena Reagan Peter. Ugandan. A butterfly C2 cohort who has been part of the Butterfly Project for close to 10 years now, a project dedicated to training young gifted and talented Uganda youths in disadvantaged part of the country, Northern Uganda a region where I thrived from which has gone through numerous atrocities in  the hands of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) about 25 years ago.

Being with the Butterfly Project has moulded and trained me to be a different version of myself which I don’t think would be possible on my own. To mention but a few are; it has boosted my public speaking ability and confidence, education which has added value to myself, taught me selflessness, sympathy and empathy, exposed me a lot of new things ranging from foods, cultures especially the western, enhance my English speaking ability, network, tours and outreach, mentorship, and so many others

Through the years, I’ve been able to engage in some activities which has impacted on both myself and the people which  I targeted .

My previous achievements was that I was able to start a project of my own, a news letter which was based in a Kampala suburb (slum) where the project was based, here, I was working with a group of young people about my age to report local issues in that community and find possible solutions to them of which were getting some positive feedbacks and there times when concerned individuals would call to appreciate what we were doing. This project did not only enhance our reporting abilities but also our reading and writing skills, boosted our confidence and made us interact with people of various backgrounds (socializing).

A year later, I decided to extend the knowledge of ICT (Information, communication and technology) to the youth out in that community; I realized after some time that the world was changing and so should every one with it. And ICT knowledge is becoming a basic requirement in almost all fields of expertise. We were doing basics. Applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. This helped in enhancing the typing, presentation abilities of the individuals and it also eased their education since they had ideas about most things about computer by the time when they reached secondary where computer studies was a subject of its own and there was a huge difference between other students who were just getting exposed to that idea at that level and these kids who were already used to the idea.

Just as any other endeavor, I had challenges, in the former some local people did not buy the idea and there were cases whether people would be mad about us reporting on them and also some people would think we were using them.

In the later times, a shortage of equipment was the main issue, and the kids were not committed because their parents would not like the idea at times (lack of commitment) plus some others which I can’t mention now.

I’ve also been able to move on with my academics which is something I’m proud of because given the background where I came from, wouldn’t think I was going to come this far

I’m now in my third year, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in clinical medicine and community health (BCM & CH) which is for four and half years (4.5 years) at Kampala International University western campus and I’m getting done with it next year.

I chose this path because I’ve always wanted to serve my people because I come from a country where people lose their lives to diseases that can be prevented.

According to a report by world health organization (WHO), Uganda’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) has consistently been one of the highest in the world with 440 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to Unicef’s latest data. In Uganda, one woman out of every 49 will die of a maternal complication related to pregnancy or delivery.

As of 2016, the five leading causes of death in Uganda included communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, respiratory tract infections, and diarrheal diseases.

Although HIV/AIDS is among the most common diseases in Uganda, malaria is the most fatal — the disease is the leading cause of mortality in Uganda.

Death rates were highest among children under age 1, followed by children ages 15 to 19, 1 to 4, and 5 to 14. In all age groups, males had higher mortality rates than females. In 2017, males ages 15 to 19 were more than twice as likely as females to die (72.7 versus 29.4 deaths per 100,000).

If you are to look at the above data critically, it is clear that the top killer diseases are infectious diseases which can be prevented if people had knowledge about these diseases

A report by the Guardian newspaper also says Uganda has one of the worst healthcare records in the world, but the development of local facilities and training of volunteers will bring life-saving services to thousands of people. Despite record investment over the past five years, Uganda’s healthcare performance is still ranked as one of the worst in the world by the World Health Organisation. The country is ranked 186th out of 191 nations.

This is to greater extent due to shortage of qualified staffs and ignorance by the community,

Looking at this data has inspired to do something about it or at least join the struggle in combating these diseases,

However small the impact will be, it will have created some slight difference that’s why finishing this course would mean a lot to me in enhancing my ability in this fight.

Aside from these, I have passion about many things one of which is climate change, given the current global warming rate, there is need to raise awareness and tell people that climate change is real which is absurd that some people still do not believe in it , the more people know, the more we get concerned and the more we get concerned, the more start acting and reversing these things. I believe it’s all about awareness to a greater extend.

I also want to be seen as a beacon of hope especially for those kids where I come from and will live to see a world any one can become anything they want despite the limitations. I’m left with four semesters to finish my undergraduate degree and will still need your support to make this dream come true.

HOW THE UGANDA VILLAGE BOARD GAME CONVENTION WAS INTERESTING TO KIDS

I am sorting through the games at the Convention

My name is Oloya Elvis, I am one of the C.5 member in the butterfly project who have been train to create change and to be a leader in the community.

on the 21st may morning we pack our board game they includes power grid, Mid night party,Imperium Settles,Java,Mexica and other

for the trip to the convention and we arrive safely on first day of the convention we started with the opening ceremony were the banner of the convention was pull on. We then started teaching the table game to kid this includes sky runner.

am teaching sky runner to kids at the convention

After teaching table game from morning to midday kids went for their lunch and some tested new food like rollex and soda.And kids enjoyed it.

the C-4’s serving the kids soda and rollex for lunch

After lunch some kids went for some of the tournament games like tribes ,Omweso[local game],x-wing ,treasure island .the tournament games were the game which kid were to compete in it in order to go to final and if at the end you are the winner of the tournament you are awarded.

kids at the convention playing x-wing[miniatures game]







.kids playing treasure island . kids at convention also enjoy sport like foot -ball,volleyball,cricket ,Running,which they have never participated before and I hope this may create change in their life and also kids learnt a lot of skill sure as proper planing in imperium settles and other games also they learnt skill from other games and I think they can use the skill in their live to achieve and to create change in their community

And other also it empowered other to know what they are good at[they discovered their skill]

kids running at the convention
this game is called Omweso it is a local in Uganda and it is about moving of beads in the hold

On third day of convention we did some game and also LARP and the theme for the LARP was GLOBAL WARMING were participates were to kill some monster who have build a shield on their planet which allow carbons in but it does not allow it out that increase temperature on their word year by year.

monster


kids enjoyed fighting with monster such as this .

kids also enjoyed playing level 1 game[easy games] like Midnight party ,Villa Palleti .some of the kids were also playing games on their bed includes Citedal.


We also did Twilight Imperium which was the hardest and the longest we did at convention.I also participated on it were i came number 4 on the game of galaxy conquest,politic and trade.

We also did Art arena to empower some of the artists at the convention were the theme was global warming.they also enjoyed painting some of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.This was to tell them about how global is warming from the past generation of life and how negative human activities have affected our planet

they have energy sources according to how they look like yellow is sun shine[ solar energy].
kids who attended the convention were over 132 and all of them holding board game that they enjoyed playing

On the last day of convention all the winner of the board game [tournament] and top sport winner were awarded shirt .

After the awarding the winner of the convention then begun the closing ceremony with goat roasting story telling by the kids and drama and theme was EARLY MARRIAGE.

I n the morning we gave some of the board games to the board game club the one which the found interesting for their club members[the one they like.

They over 10 board game club which attended the convention

And we made it back to Kampala

KORO VILLAGE BOARD GAME CONVENTION-2019

My name is Akena Edmond and i am one of the C5 member recruited in 2018 .

This 2019 convention was the most interesting convention ever ,and this is because we had the heights number of children we have never had before in any convention ,and these convention had the most number of days than any other convention .in addition to that we had a lot of activities that took place eg. athletics ,drama, LARP etc.

We where so happy because most of the pupils participated in all the activities ,although it was there first time to there ,and that shows that the children love board game .

Most of the pupils where very happy because they have learnt how to play very many new games. Inaddition to that we where afraid that it was going to be difficult for them to learn some of the games but they did not had any problems at all and as you can see them below.

But before all those we had a little of transporting some children from their villages to the center and that delayed us from teaching some of the games that day but finaly they reached as shown below ..

but before that we had some drama and goat roasting during the Saturday night as you can see below.

So after they where brought so we started to arrange the place for the next day .so after we have finihed teaching all the game for three days on Sunday morning we decided to give out some to the village club.

we also had a number of tournament at the convention taking place and some of them are TRIBES TOURNAMENT ,TREASURE ISLAND AND X-WING TOURNAMENT. as shown below..

the person shown up there was handling x-wing during the convention as you see him .

I think that the ext coming convention will be more and more interesting than this one..because I had that there will be very many new village board game clubs next year .

A Future in Computing – Samuel Lubangakene

My name is Lubangakene Samuel, a Pioneer member of the Butterfly Project. Working with young gifted and talented Ugandan youth to become social entrepreneurs and change makers. Through the Butterfly Project  and training like computer, ethics, problem solving, ten tenets, social entrepreneurship among others and I became more interested in computers as a way of solving problems in the community.

The trainings that I acquired, I was able to start up my project which is Children Mind Development Project and this project deals in providing young youths with basic computer skills and computer games which help to develop the mind of the children to help them solve problems in their areas mostly the problem solving games like Sudoku and puzzles of which this skills can be used to solves social problems in the community. This project works with young children from the slum areas of Acholi Quarter, Banda. This project has helped many children from the Slums to prevent them from collecting scraps and using drugs like alcohol, cigarette among others as young youth participate in the project which does not give them time to be taken up by the wrong mind set and being idle. It has also provided employment opportunity to young youths as they participate in doing some small work in an internet café helping with typing document using the basic skills they have acquired. Due to the need to improve the project which I was carrying out, I decided to take computer as something which I can use to solve most of the problems so I studied computer in High school.

I sat for Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education last year where I was doing MEG/ICT (Mathematics, Economics, Geography and Computer) and I got 8 points with a distinction one in computer. And with the need to increase on the knowledge and understanding of way of solving problems through computer and help the children in the local areas, I wanted to do a bachelor of Information technology and computing in the University. With the help of a friend, Nick Jewitt, I was able to get a laptop which has helped me to learn more skills and other software like Adobe Photoshop and am hoping to starting software designing very soon and game designing as well as Computer Aided Design.

At the beginning of this year on 6th-January-2019, I lost my mother due to heart disease that she was suffering from until it led to her death and so the responsibility of all the family is on my father. My mother used to live in Kitgum with my other brothers, my young brother (Otim Joseph) and I live with my father in Kampala and due to the loss of my mother, my father has to take responsibility of looking after the family in both side that is children in Kampala and Kitgum. Due to need to look after the land in the village, he is planning to leave Kampala at the end of this year. I am not the only one who has lost the mother but there are others who have also gone through this challenge and they still succeed in life and I have hope that I will also still succeed. I am hoping to stay in Kampala and continue to study in case I have your support to take me to university and hoping to continue with my project and help other children who are going through all kind of challenges.

When I pursue a Bachelor in Information Technology and Computing, I shall be able to design software and games, computer maintenance and repair which will help my project to provide online jobs for the young youths in the slums who are going through hardship and challenges due to lack of guidance and people to support them and encourage them to be positive about their life because some times when challenges comes, young people think that life is meaningless due to loss of what is precious in their life. I will never lose hope because I know that many are going through the same challenge like me or much more than I am but I will be there to stand in for them and help them go through those challenges. But still even if I fail to pursue the course in University, I will still continue with the project with what will be available and hoping to expand the project by 2020. As per now, we are having two computers but by 2020 we hope to get more computers for the project.

I need support for my university tuition starting in August 2019 – about £350 for the first semester and £200 for the following one. If you can help, then please donate here or write to Ben at the Butterfly Project on socentafrica@gmail.com.

Thank you.

Using accountancy to change the lives of rural girls in Uganda

My name is Nancy Lakot, a Buttefly Cohort 2 member, from Northern Uganda. I joined Makerere University in August and am doing BA (Hons) in BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (FINANCE) and want to specialize in Accounting.

When I was 14 I noticed that the community I was living in needed people who were capable and could help them.  I also realized that those people are not going to come from heaven but we had to work for ourselves and for that reason I decided to start up a girl’s empowerment project which I have been working on for many years now because most girls from remote area are not given the same opportunity as boys. This project helped to build up confidence in most girls to stand up for what they feel is right and for positive living.

In my area girls as young as 12 are traded by their parents for money and cows this is because the community I was living in is filled with poverty, which forces many parents to trade their girls for money to buy food and to support the family.  Many girls become pregnant and marry and are living as teenage mothers and are unable to support themselves and their children. Due to this situation I felt compelled to stand up and fight for other girls in my village following my training from the Butterfly project and the experience it gave me.

I see myself as someone who has the courage to stand up for the rights of communities, especially girls and I can use my expanding knowledge of accounting, to help quantify the work done by local organisations, not just in accounting income and expenditure but in social impact.  I would also like to learn more about social accounting, to help businesses in Uganda understand the importance of the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.  Lastly I see myself as a role model and want to be a person that can inspire young women from village areas to think differently and aim higher.

However, I have a serious problem right now.  I have started my univeristy course, having qualified for MUBS (Makerere University Business School) but due to unforeseen circumstances, my sponsor has had to temporarily pull out of support for my university fees for this first semester, leaving me the responsibility of finding all of the £330 before the end of September, or I will lose my place.  If you can help in any way towards this figure, then please contact the Butterfly Project on socentafrica@gmail.com (Ben) or donate at their Justgiving page.

Batalo Dance Festival

Hi guys, this is an interesting blog about the Batalo dance festival 2018 which took last mouth August in Ntinda Kampala Uganda. So, the festival was organized by the project called THE BREAKDANCE PROJECT UGANDA. And people were quite many there, mostly white people from different countries, and also the dancers were from different countries and in my opinion the organizers should organize more and more festivals every year because the dance inspired us a lot especially young people like us. I got many friends from the festival and one of my friend I get from their was Esther from Congo, whom she was also very happy to meet with us from the Butterfly  Project Uganda, this is the project which is empowering youth talent in Uganda today, they are found in Kireka Kampala Uganda . And through the batalo dance I and my friend we are going to improve and introduce new style which we saw from the Batalo dance because I knew that, through (MDD) we can change this world a lot .And one thing I admired a lot from the festival was cooperation of people especially the dancers and the way they were dancing the hip pop music please the only worse thing in the festival was, there were no proper place to people stay when raining because there was a lot of rain and some people they were suffering from like my friend Esther from Congo because she is not have both Leg and fingers/hands so I hope the next festival will be well prepared so that’s is all I can say about the festival. Thanks

 

LONG LIVE THE BREAKDANCE PROJECT KAMPALA UGANDA.

 

                                                      By Suzan Lagum

WRITIVISM FESTIVAL 2018 AT THE SQUARE.

 

writivism.jpg

Writivism Festival is mainly organised to bring together  all the authors, writers, speakers, and teachers of African literature from different countries so as to share their writings and poems with  people so that everyone can understand why they did their writings. It took place this year in Uganda at the SQUARE.

The theme for this year is “LEGACY” which only talked more about justice and freedom of people whether among families, leaders, countries etc. It started on the 17th and ended on the 19th of August 2018 which was addressed at the beginning by Prof. Taban lo Liyong.

taban.jpgProf. Taban lo Liyong.

 

He is a prolific poet, critic, novelist, and short story writer of South Sudanese and Uganda heritage. An Alumna of National teacher’s college, Kampala, Howard University, Washington and the Lowa writer’s workshop. He wrote quite a number of books based on African literature. Examples; Kajokeji strategic development plan, and a poem called Words that melts the mountain which was very interesting too. He also translated the last page of “Song of Lawino” to English which was written by Okot p’Bitek in Luo because did not translate the whole book from Luo to English before he passed away.

Dani Ajayi, a poet, essayist, music critic, digital publisher, and medical doctor launched a book called “A woman’s body is a country”. It contains “poems of life turned inside out,where time cheats on writers, and the people and the things at the brunt end of oppressive pleasures come back to haunt. It was “Work of artistry”.

Dami_Ajayi.jpgDani Ajayi.

The panelists talked about singing and writing freedom. Their conversation sought to explore the Legacy of writing, performing, circulating and consuming music in Uganda. Those panelists were Harriet Anena who is a writer and a poet, Dr. Jama Musse, an author of novels, Kampire, a DJ and writer, and Edwa Siima, a communication expert and an author. They performed scenes as they interrogate issues such as how recording and performing artists imagine freedom in their work, how their work contributes to a Legacy of collective freedom for Ugandans, what the relationship between music and activism is whether music is a vehicle for activism.

Dr. Jama Musse wrote his books regarding social justice e.g. Pandagari, meaning get in a car, Freedom for one, freedom for fear. He said his last word to people that, “You can only become afraid when you are afraid”. Harriet also wrote her books in which she demanded total freedom of people.

 

 

jama.jpganena.jpgDr. Jama musse and Harriet Anena.

So what I liked and inspired from the Writivism Festival are such that, I came to know many African writers, authors, poets all coming from different countries doing different activities to create change in every part of Africa through writing poems, books and short stories  which all concerns justice and freedom of people. They all started by reading other people’s books, poems and short stories and they develop their reading abilities making them the best African literature writers of all because writing is an act of activism so it could enable everybody to find his or her voice in the contemporary literature.