I am Byamugisha Gilbert, a Ugandan of 16 years of age and I am a member of the Butterfly Project Uganda, actually the Butterfly Pioneers as of the present. I have been on the Butterfly Project since 2009 and with in all that time up to day I have been receiving training and I have learnt a lot of things and seen a lot that I would have missed if I wasn’t on this project.
The Butterfly Project is a project empowering gifted and talented young youth to become change makers and social entrepreneurs. On this project I have gained a lot of experience and been given training which has also enabled me to start up my own projects. As helping children achieve their potential and capabilities is my passion I am taking on projects for young people.
I am talented in Music, Dance and Drama, Art, script writing and I can cook. All of these areas of capability have been developed in me during this project, by centering activities around the same areas, especially Art, where there have been art projects like IMAGINE US HERE and OUR PORTRAITS OUR PEOPLE (OPOP), where we learned first to paint our environment, then people and their portraits. We have also given show performances where we have a chance to dance sing and act and I have been the one to manage our link with the National Theatre of Uganda were we have performed many times, sometimes on their main stage. For cooking there have been a number of occasions where I have learnt recipes from the internet and cooked the food for everyone on the Butterfly Project and also the local slum kids. We support international food here and over time I have become a chef.
I am Ugandan and I know how Uganda is really one of those countries that needs change because of the poor leadership, corruption, dishonesty, unemployment and all those kind of things but passionate social entrepreneurs can bring an end to this leading to an improved standard of living.
I do believe that through empowering the young talented boys and girls of this nation we can bring about change. Through singing, acting people can heal and change both physically and emotionally because of the information and advice given to them through the songs and films or dramas and I have been developing projects myself to make this happen and will set up more!
I started up a music project in a remote rural area called Nambere in Luwero where my mum lives. The Butterfly Music Project consists of 24 members and with an equal number of 12 boys and 12 girls, the project was set up with a main objective of bringing about change in this village area. We held shows singing and acting inspirational songs and dramas, enabling the young people in the community to develop their skills and talents. It’s not just about music but also about developing self confidence in the children. Art helps their creativity, story telling and reading helps them to improve on their English language. Since I live in Kampala I left the project in the hands of adults in the village and from there it moved from strength to strength. Without the self confidence from the Butterfly Project I would not have been able to approach those adults.
In Kireka, Kampala I also set up another project – the Chrysalis Music Club. This is the one that I have taken to the National Theatre, performing both traditional and modern dances on stage there. I hope during also this holiday to start a cookery project which is to raise the issue of diet for the people of both the Acholi Quarter and Nambere. It is going to train people on how to cook good delicious food which they and their children rightfully deserve and is good for their nutrition. People in Uganda eat one type of food day by day and normally their complaints are that it is the cheapest. and this cookery project is planned to train the people on how to use the same money which they use daily to buy much nicer and new food like eng rice, vegetable biriani and also meat biriani, if they can afford it.
I will also be implementing a film project and this project will be run in every district of Uganda. The project will move in to villages, communities and towns showing both educational and inspirational films like Narnia, Freedom Writers and “We need Your Attention”, a film I directed myself, to try to put across the needs of children who are neglected by their parents. The movies will be shown with an intention of inspiring people and educating them and I hope this will lead to change in people’s hopes and aspirations.