Development & Community Awareness

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Visit the following blogs posts to view updates from our recent visit to the Program in May 2015.
A day. (Original Post from May 20, 2015)
What we thought was far, was near (Original Post from May 20, 2015)

The youth of Nikibasika have the unique challenge of trying to navigate a world that includes both their traditional agricultural villages and Facebook, an emerging economy where you need to know someone to find a job, and an extremely high youth unemployment rate.  In addition, one of the expectations is that the children raised through Nikibasika also see themselves as active citizens, and have the skills to improve and develop their communities. Our program lays a necessary foundation of formal schooling, and includes multiple learning programs that include community development, computer training, health practices, financial management, career planning, sexual health, global awareness and self-awareness and respect.

To develop strength and awareness about community needs, each secondary school student belongs to a team that creates and performs a community improvement project. The focus is on helping the elderly, volunteering in local hospitals, supporting street kids and teaching the children of local villages basic skills.  The projects are initiated by and led by the secondary school students, who are learning about goal setting, teamwork and project management as they act in their communities.

Through a special partnership with the Kibo Foundation, secondary school graduates participate in a three month leadership and career development program before they begin university, diploma programs or vocational training.  This includes opportunities to meet people in diverse occupations, develop individual leadership skills, and gain broader knowledge of global issues. This is a unique program for youth in Uganda, where networking and “knowing people” are a critical part of finding your way into the workforce.  We have also recently co-created a unique program for students in secondary four (grade 11, in Canadian terms) to do a “mini-Kibo” to start setting personal goals and developing a sense of global awareness.

Finally, one of the aims of Nikibasika is to foster awareness of and acceptance of cross-cultural difference. Many of the children are in the project because of violence caused by political and cultural conflicts – but within the project, we have wide diversity of language and culture. The children first develop respect for difference by viewing the other children as their brothers and sisters, and later become more aware of multiple cultures and ways of experiencing the world through different workshops and activities.