Over the last year or so, the Chrysalis Centre has become a hub for youth activity in the Acholi Quarter, Kampala, the area in which the project operates. Some of the youth were coming in with news which they wanted to communicate – maybe it had caused a worry or simply they were just wanting to talk. So we decided to capture this news and turn it into a newspaper, where all of the news was produced by local young people, many of whom were unable to write or in some cases speak English.
Akena Peter, one of the Butterfly Project members, volunteered to be the editor of the newspaper and he published three paper issues, which were circulated through the Acholi Quarter in 2011. The reaction to these was very positive – local Police complimented Peter on the choice and content of articles, as many were focused around child protection issues, local parents read the document avidly, some even volunteering to pay money for the newspaper and people around the world found out about Peter’s abilities and initiative on this project. He was written about in The Razor newspaper in Kampala and even had some of his poems published there.
Unfortunately we had to relocate Peter to a cheaper school in another part of Uganda in 2012 and thus he is unable to continue this work. However, the kids at the Chrysalis Centre were still bringing in news, so we decided to appoint a new editorial team, republish the 2011 work on the web and start to bring in new articles on a regular basis. Also, the new blog, known as Acholi Quarter News can now be reached from this page – just look for the tabs on the top menu.
The Acholi Quarter News is an important window to the issues that children face living in the slum districts and, perhaps for the first time, the articles come from the young people directly. Though we correct their English to help readers engage with the material, the content is exclusively theirs. So, if you are interested in understanding the lives of young people living in slums, here is a good place to start.
You can support the next issue here