Through the Universal Language of Music…  The Ganda Foundation and In Unison’s #TheForgottenPeople Campaign are dedicated to helping make a difference in the lives of the people of Uganda and other disenfranchised populations around the world.

Below are outlined some of the proposed tasks, methods, and outcomes that could occur in the near future.

The first step is empowering people through education. In Unison Education and Communities connect the infrastructure, buildings, and environment in our communities with education through community-based projects. Ugandans who want to create projects in their villages are supported through education, mentoring, and resources.

Community-based education and learning is at the core of In Unison Education. Actually creating and building projects in villages and communities is part of each core course, and students get credit both when they are in the field or in the classroom. The projects will come from the minds of students and the residents of Uganda cities and villages. However, to get started and to focus some students, the following projects are proposed for initial implementation.

1. Gateways to Learning

Create sustainable access to online information and learning

Design, deploy, and maintain an upgraded information technology lab in the Lugazi community. This builds on work already in place from the Ganda Foundation in deploying computers and training students and teachers in the Lugazi Community Primary School. The lab provides additional servers, printers, and connectivity to allow further learning and participation for children and adults in online learning. The technology lab and internet access will be designed to take advantage of the latest wireless, airborne, and satellite technologies.

2. Ugandan Youth News Service

Empower youth by building literacy, computer skills, and communications

Connect and inform villages of news and classes for children and adults

After identifying villages and schools that have students with basic literacy skills and access to online information, students will be recruited to create a Ugandan Youth News Service. Mentored by professors who work with online and offline media and writing, students will be trained in finding information, communicating clearly, and creating print and graphic materials. Students will have specific topics and villages they will focus on to help create a news network of local information and global news and knowledge. Students could also be mentored by local teachers and journalists.

3. Confident Girls, Powerful Future

Ensure girls stay in school and stay proud

In Uganda, because of lack of access to hygiene materials for menstruation, 40% of schoolgirls miss up to 5 schooldays a month or 30% of the school year, leading to lower performance and a high dropout rate (in Kamuli, the drop out rate for girls is 54%). Girls who drop out are more likely to get pregnant, die in childbirth, and be unable to provide basic needs for their children. Partnering with organizations already working in Uganda, In Unison will increase access to information, simple and sustainable materials, and help to decrease and reverse the shame and ridicule that often comes from menstruation.

4. Empowering Girls and Women

Lifting up the dreams of women who want to start a business

Poverty robs Uganda of its vast human potential. As people struggle to survive, they are unable to have the time and resources to get educated, build robust cultural arts programs, or create innovative solutions to help their community. Using micro-financing, In Unison could target women who have a business idea, but lack either the skills and/or the equipment to implement it. Courses can be made available in one of the other programs, and capital can be provided by micro-financing. Best practice shows that having tiers of financing (small grants to larger loans) that can be repaid or forgiven for providing community services and meeting goals for the business. One focus for this program is for the women business owners to provide training, apprenticeships, and jobs to girls.

5. Bringing Water to Hospitals

Providing better access to water for hospitals

Lack of access to clean and close water costs Uganda in productivity and leads to disease, lack of education, hunger, poverty, and death. By focusing first on getting clean water to hospitals, In Unison hopes to provide geo-centric spaces from which to distribute water management information and surplus water. UE uses technologies as varied as bikes that help to transport and filtrate water to water baskets that gather condensation to satellite images that show subterranean near-surface water for drilling wells. Kawolo hospital is an early candidate, but further work with the Ugandan government and hospitals will help to identify the best candidates who can utilize the UE technical insights based on population, infrastructure, and geo-location.

6. A New Generation of Health Workers

Training tomorrow’s Ugandan health care workers

Three issues hamper access to sustainable, high-quality health care: managed facilities and equipment, trust and education of the population, and trained and dedicated health care workers. In Unison, in partnership with UCLA Extension, wants to focus on the last of these issues. Courses will be brought in country and online to hospitals and schools to help educate and train people in basic medical practices and procedures to help create more nursing assistants, midwives, orderlies, and home-based care workers. UCLA Extension has led a similar program in Los Angeles, training workers from low-income and low-education areas to work in hospitals and as health care workers.

In Unison could support one or more of these activities as Peace Projects, provide in-person classes for health care, water management, engineering, and ICT training, and build capacity by establishing a long-term virtual training program and a train-the-trainer program with local schools, colleges, and universities.