OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Using the Power of Film to Empower Young Women and Children in Uganda.

Changing lives of young women and children in IDP Camps and host communities by harnessing the power of film and other media created by IDPs

Photo of mutambi samuel
3 1

Written by

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Uganda hosts approximately 1.3 million refugees making it Africa’s largest refugee hosting country and the third in the world with 82 per cent being women and children under the age of 18. Majority of these refugees are experiencing a life of uncertainty and fear. Although most of humanitarian aid agencies are involved in delivering aid in form of key necessities of life like food, medicine, and shelter; the big unresolved problem facing the hundreds of thousands of refugees in Uganda is boredom and hopelessness which is crippling dreams of children for a bright future. Building Legends of Tomorrow is working with IDPs to harness the power of film and other media to inform, educate and inspire children in refugee communities in Uganda. Media channels like videos, radio, print, SMS, and digital media campaigns created and distributed by IDPs will reach over 500,000 children in Uganda every year with actionable information about their rights, their safety, their health and their future. Building Legends of Tomorrow also trains children in Media to empower the next generation of storytellers with the skills they need to advocate for themselves, their community and their right to a future filled with hope. Between 2016 and 2018,Building Legends of Tomorrow designed, tested and improved its model of delivering emotional and psychological relief to children in IDPs camps. During this time, three films were projected to reach over 3,500 children living Kampala refugee urban slums with messages of love,hope and encouragement. In 2019 Building Legends of Tomorrow was officially incorporated in Uganda as company limited by guarantee and launched its second phase of pilot activities to reach 9,000 more children living in three refugee settlements of Bidi Bidi,Kiryandongo and Nakivale. Building Legends of Tomorrow needs Bridge builder as a design and launch partner to test and adapt its model to Ugandan refugee settlements environment.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Refugee Settlements in Uganda.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Film and other media developed by Building Legends of Tomorrow in collaboration with IDPs will inform, educate and inspire children in both IDP camps and host communities of Uganda. We are dedicated to make it possible to serve IDP camps and host communities in desperate need of actionable information about their rights, their safety,their health and their future while providing displaced youth with the skills and confidence they need to speak for themselves,and advocate for their communities.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

The Ugandan refugee crisis includes a large population of children who simply do not understand why they had to leave and where they are going. It's a life of boredom, hopelessness and fear. They left behind friends, family, homes and schools. They've experienced great loss of stability and safety. The parents share in that fear. In Uganda, there are over 1.3 million refugees living in uncertainty. Although physical needs are sometimes met, who takes care of the emotional impact on the children?

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

This project will intensively impact 13 Ugandan refugee settlements and their neighboring communities reaching to up to approximately 50.000 children within the project period and up to 500.000 additional youth by 2025. Over 700 children will be involved in creating and distributing motivational video, radio, print, SMS, and digital media materials which will bring joy and motivate up to 50.000 children. With motivational materials, a memory will be built to be shared by both children and parents. Building Legends of Tomorrow’s team of youths who understand the loss of home, stability and family will provide messages of solidarity and team traveling to deliver these motivational messages will also feel the impact.This project will revolutionize the social and educational treatment refugee children in Uganda. More children will be encouraged to stay in schools and graduates of our media trainings will receive the skills to change their own lives and trajectories of their communities.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

In 2014, as an undergraduate student I was offered an internship position to work in the office of Prime Minister on refugee verification program in Kyangwari refugee settlement. While there I observed that most of humanitarian aid agencies were involved in delivering aid in form of key necessities of life like food, medicine, and shelter but a big, unresolved problem facing the hundreds of thousands of Kyangwari refugees was boredom and hopelessness which was crippling all their dreams for a bright future more especially among the children. Being a student of drama and film studies, this sparked in me an idea of bringing movies to the refugee settlements hence the start of Building Legends of Tomorrow with the mission of harnessing the power of motivational film to entertain, inform, educate and inspire children in refugee communities to study or work hard for a bright future.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Over 1.2 million people are living in refugee settlements in Northern and South-Western Uganda with the majority coming from South Sudan. 82 per cent are women and children under the age of 18 with the majority illiterate and traumatized. These host communities are structurally disadvantaged due to the consequences of the civil war; underdeveloped private sector development; few people work in the formal sector and the investment climate is unfavorable. The main source of income is agriculture, which employs over 70 per cent of the labor force and poverty rate is significantly higher than the national average(Ugandan poverty report of 2016). The local governments have made little headway in establishing a dialogue between regional economic stakeholders, providers of training courses, refugees and the local population in order to create jobs and promote inclusive socioeconomic development. Despite Uganda's progressive refugee policy,there are numerous weaknesses in its implementation.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

In 2016 Building Legends of Tomorrow began her first piloting project by projecting motivational movies to IDPs living in urban slams of Kampala. We were working in close collaboration with village councils and Uganda police to provide security at the venue. At the beginning of 2019,we entered into agreement with Wakaliwood, also known as Ramon Film Productions; a film studio based in Wakaliga, a slum in Kampala to launch our second phase of piloting in Refugee settlements by attracting, training and engaging refugee children in film making and marketing. We are now in preparations to sign MoU with Prime Minister’s office to officially get permission to carryout filming activities in all refugee settlements. Building Legends of Tomorrow also needs Open Ideo (Bridge builder ) as a design and launch partner to test and adapt its model to Ugandan refugee settlements context.

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

Building Legends of Tomorrow

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Building Legends of Tomorrow was started in 2016 as a community child support organisation and officially registered in 2019. The mandate of Building Legends of Tomorrow is to protect and support children and young people in Uganda through projects designed to improve their psychosocial wellbeing. Our approach is coupled with our education activities which enables children to develop coping skills, build their resilience and recover from the consequences of conflict. Improved psychosocial wellbeing allows children and young people to better engage in education - and enjoy increased livelihood opportunities as a result.

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

Kampala, Uganda.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Uchenna Okafor

Hi mutambi samuel! Great design, if you ask me. Training vulnerable persons with skills to advocate for themselves is very key to their survival. Meanwhile, is there any provision for disabled persons in this solution? You may agree with me that the blind, deaf, dumb, lame, etc are the most vulnerable of all times.

View all comments