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Shule Shwari (School is cool)

Motivate youths to stay in school because then they are more likely to prosper and are therefore less vulnerable to violent ideologies.

Photo of chris
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

8 in 10 youths in Kasese District; of at least 15 years of age whose highest level of completed education is below O'level, are not in school. Poor education attainment and a lack of skills makes youths in Kasese vulnerable to poverty and are susceptible to anti social behaviour. This part of Uganda has been plagued by conflict for the last 50 years which has ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic roots. This flared up most recently during the 2016 elections, pitting local militia against the Ugandan police and army and led to bloodshed. The local militia are largely comprised of youths recruited from local communities who are primed for recruitment by a lack of productive economic opportunities and these options are constrained due to poor education attainment. Shule Shwari will therefore seek to motivate youths to stay in school as it increases the opportunities for prosperity available to them and so they are less susceptible to violent ideologies. Shule Shwari will give vulnerable youths in school an opportunity to produce a radio show consisting of drama, debate and essays that will be broadcast in their communities. The broadcasts will encourage peers to stay in school, to shun violence in pursuit of their dreams. 5 schools will be chosen as partners and will compete for prizes in a number of categories i.e best actor, best debater, best essayist. The awards galas will be held at partner schools and parents, local and cultural leaders will be invited to attend the galas. It will be the role of the teachers in the partner schools to identify students who are most vulnerable to dropping out of school and involve them in the production of the radio show. The student production team will propose talking points and shape the editorial agenda of the radio show and rehearse while at school before traveling to Kampala to record the show. Throughout the students will receive practical training in radio production , community leadership and mentoring from role models.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Shule Shwari will primarily partner with both male and female students between the ages of 15 and 24 going to school in Kasese district. These young people will acquire basic radio production skills and benefit from mentoring in community leadership from role models. These role models will be identified to inspire our partners to pursue their aspirations by staying in school. Through interactions with mentors our partners will be challenged to aspire for better for themselves and their community and to actively pursue these aspirations.Additionally in the process of producing the radio show our partners will share their aspirations and be encouraged to pursue them. The partners subsequently return to their communities where their peers can benefit from experiences and education. Our partners will themselves become role models where once their voices were ignored by the community. This elevated status will hopefully motivate our partners to stay in school and complete their education.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Wizarts Foundation implements a program known as Super Woman in the districts of Gulu and Gomba in North and Central Uganda respectively. This approach addresses the high rate of girls dropping out of secondary school and is informed by evidence that as a result of keeping girls in school, girls are at a reduced risk of getting infected with HIV AIDS. Super Woman partners with girls from schools in Gomba and Gulu to produce a radio magazine show that is broadcast by radio stations in Gomba and Gulu. A number of girls partnering on the Super Woman programme and who were on the verge of dropping out of school have since stayed and completed their education. Shule Shwari is an opportunity to build on these gains by refining the approach to include school boys who also face pressure to drop out of school. Wizarts Foundation's experience implementing the Super Woman intervention will inform the Shule Shwari, secondly Wizarts Foundation has a partnership with radio stations in Kasese.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Wizarts Foundation is a non profit media organization that aims to transform the media to impact communities.
http://www.superwoman.ug/index.php

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The story of Susan Adokorach a student of Paicho Secondary School in Gulu, Northern Uganda is inspiring. Susan was on the verge of dropping out of school before participating in Super Woman; following a trip to Kampala to record the show which afforded her a rare opportunity to see the world however, she broadened her horizons and decided to stay in school to pursue her dream to become a secondary school teacher. This character transformation inspires the Foundation's approach to Shule Shwari.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The 2017 Census profile of Kasese District revealed that 8 in 10 youths of at least 15 years of age and whose highest level of completed education is below O'level, are not in school. Poor education attainment and a lack of skills makes youths in Kasese vulnerable to poverty and are susceptible to anti social behavior that includes crime. This is happening in a part of the country that has been plagued by conflict for the last 50 years and the most recent episode coming in the aftermath of the 2016 general elections where local militia loyal to King Mumbere, a cultural leader, clashed with the police and army resulting in blood shed. This local militia largely consists of youths recruited from local communities. The current success of the superwoman project in keeping young people in school and positioning them for a brighter future is instructive and greatly influenced the development of this idea.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Partner radio stations in Kasese to broadcast the shows.
School Inspectors who will ensure the students are staying in school.
Schools where the project shall be implemented.
The ministry of education whose permission has to be sought in order to have any activities in schools.
We shall work with mentors who the students shall look up to and aspire to be more in life.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The community like the rest of Uganda has a high number of young people. These young people are energetic and ready to be taught.
The Kasese community has suffered conflicts for many years and is eager to have interventions that can help them rebuild and aspire for a better and brighter future and the young people are a key part of this future.

Geographic Focus

This project will be implemented in Kasese found in South Western Uganda in East Africa.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Since the project focuses on students in school, the project will require more than 24 months in order to have the intended impact. Many students usually drop out of the school at the end of the year and so this will have to be monitored at the close of each calendar/academic year.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

3 comments

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Photo of Angi Yoder Maina
Team

Hi Chris,

I think it is important to start working with programs that promote both boys and girls to stay in school in E. Africa. In the last few years as i look to recruit young people to work for us, the only viable candidates are the girls. I do not know what this is, but the African boy is starting to become marginalized. I think this type of initiate if important for the holistic health of our region.

All the best,

Angi.

Photo of chris
Team

Hello Angi, thank you for reaching out. You raise a pertinent point about more inclusive development interventions. Currently we are implementing a similar programme in another part of the country that focuses on promoting girl child education because there is sufficient evidence to suggest that girls in Uganda drop out of school at a higher than boys; this leaves them vulnerable to poverty and HIV AIDS. The intervention we are proposing will build on our work with girls and look to include boys in a part of the country rife with violence and conflict. This is because keeping both boys and girls in school fosters peace and helps fight poverty. The decision to include boys is informed by our experiences promoting girl child education which revealed the latent demand for similar interventions for boys.

Thank you Angi, for your insightful observation.

Chris

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