2012 has been a year of exciting developments so far and, thanks to Start Some Good and a number of new sponsors, we have been once again able to run the Butterfly North Programme, a project that takes children from remote rural Kitgum and Lamwo districts in Uganda to day school in Kampala, so that they can utilise their after school time and holidays to train as a social entrepreneur.
The unique programme teaches Ethics, Problem-solving, International Ciizenship and Activism, alongside specialist skills rarely taught in schools – practical ICT, leadership and project management, entrepreneurship, transparency in accountability, farming to alleviate poverty and how to tackle corruption, through integrity and social enterprise. We are interested in practical teaching, so members learn by actually implementing social projects, not just on the blackboard.
We aim for our members to be catalysts of change in their home communities, galvanising local people to take action to create change, by showing them ways that this has happened around the world. At the same time, we insist that they are, as children, empowered, not subjugated, developing their capabilities during school and at the same time developing friends where they school that they can empower similarly.
While in Kampala, the Butterfly North members live at the Chrysalis Centre, a building, which is the Centre for activities for children in the nearby Acholi Quarter slum district. Children come to do drama, art, sports, ICT and much more. These slum-based children generally have little to do either in holidays or after school, so the Butterfly North members can learn to lead them, while at the same time the children can raise their aspirations from their lives as rubbish-pickers and paraffin-sellers.
Entrepreneurship is also key to what we offer and this year we are running businesses in poultry-rearing with local children. The money earned will go to those participating children, so they can buy their requirements for school.
During their holidays, the members have been working with their local rural children and last year we supported a programme in Namokora sub-county in Kitgum district, where our members run the same programmes that they have been running under the auspices of the Chrysalis Centre.
This year, I hope blog readers will become familiar with the remote rural Butterfly members at the Chrysalis Centre – Morrish (16), Nancy (15), Nyeko (14) and Francis (16) – and if you have ideas for them, or even would like to Skype with them to discuss their lives and how they might elicit positive change in their communities, then the opportunity is there, while they are at the Chrysalis Centre. They all speak and understand good English, so language should not be a barrier.