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Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities

An Edutainment approach to address language barriers faced by refugees: a means to financial security and lasting solution

Photo of Stella Akiteng
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Supply of edutainment off-line & on-line language learning tools where learners educate themselves prior to the one-week Annual Festival & Fair, a forum for facilitating learning through transfer of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits among refugees, nationals of the host country, general publics. Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational (Wikipedia). Overcoming language barriers enhances community cohesion. The more effort put in the language learning process, the more effective the networking and participation at the Annual Festival & Fair. This idea recognises existing language learning efforts and aims to further boost and excite the process. Each meaningful contact is a learning and socio-economic empowerment opportunity. This event, expected to be an on-going annual activity targets the private sector, government, embassies, Development agencies, different general Publics. Different general Publics need to gesture value for abilities/skills possessed by refugees; so we anticipate to also raise funds through the event to support refugee business ventures initiated and implemented at group level.

WHO BENEFITS?

Refugees in Uganda are the main direct beneficiaries; Refugees, communities outside Uganda & Uganda as a nation would also benefit. This idea is to boost/build on existent efforts by refugees plus the different Operating Agencies/Implementing Partners already serving refugees in the area of Language learning, Adult Education/Literacy mindful of Refugees' Routine Domestic & Community Services etc .

PROTOTYPE

The prototype was tested in two settlements and one urban training centre in Uganda; it recognises that refugees at different levels engage in routine domestic and community service activities like language learning through private studies & self exploration, games & sports, exchange visits, inspirational talks. Operating Agencies at the settlements and urban refugee community co-facilitated the engagement of refugees for required feedback. The refugee community expressed strengths and recommendations regarding the idea also signing against their write-ups while indicating their names, nationality and age-group. On one occasion, to further inform the prototype process was sit-in at another different urban refugee gathering organised by UNHCR-Kampala office to listen and observe; it was at this session that one refugee strongly stood up emphasising “we need our voice to be heard!”, a similar need highlighted by a staff from one of the Operating Agencies at one of the prototype sessions

FEEDBACK

Refugees value the fact that the annual festival & fair provides a platform for meaningful contact towards socio-economic empowerment and promotes unity among not only refugees but also nationals. Refugees are convinced that engaging different stakeholders creates resourceful linkages & opportunities; they were also excited about the strategy of involving refugees in the direct monitoring & management of resources/funds raised as business start-up towards job creation & self reliance. Refugees were excited about access to the computer. Observation was that it is possible to be so taken up meeting set refugee programme targets and yet miss out on projecting the refugee’s voice and/or listening to the refugee’s voice. Refugees recognise they are traumatised & the usefulness of advocacy activities, friendly/ competitive activities involving Music, Dance, Drama, Sports, writing, Processions, debates, comedy, exhibitions. The idea changed from one day to one week Annual Festival & Fair.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

We need help with Marketing, Business Plans Development, Development of off-line and on-line language learning tools, Filming & documentaries. While this programme intervention can take off without the ICT programme component, having ICT incorporated is an added advantage and value.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

My name is Stella Akiteng, I currently work in Uganda as a social worker passionate about Programme Development/Development Communication. For more about me please visit http://ug.linkedin.com/in/sakiteng ; sakiteng.wordpress.com ; www.idauganda.com

IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?

  • Yes, and I am looking for a partner working with refugee communities to implement this idea.
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Team (13)

Richard's profile
Richard Zulu

Role added on team:

"In-Country Manager, Amplify Uganda; and Lead- Outbox Tech Hub"

Stella's profile
Alfred's profile
Alfred Kilama

Role added on team:

"Alfred Kilama, Technology (ICT) Specialist. Founder of Maptel Solutions . Alfred has for over five years been contracted to manage the technology programme for BOSCO-Uganda."

Les's profile
Les LaMotte

Role added on team:

"Has experience and expertise in Marketing, Business Plans Development, Development of on-line language learning tools, Filming & Documentaries and solar/batteries. http://leslamotte2.exploretalent.com <http://leslamotte2.exploretalent.com/>, http://iTunes.com <http://itunes.com/>"

OpenIDEO's profile
robert's profile
robert hakiza

Role added on team:

"Co-facilitated refugee engagement inorder to get feedback regarding the idea "Bridging Cultures; Briding Communities". Mobilised the refugees, did the photography of the session, created the time and did the translation/interpretation from English to Kiswahili"

Elvis's profile
Elvis Wanume

Role added on team:

"Created time and co-facilitated refugee engagement inorder to get feedback regarding the idea "Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities"."

Daniel's profile
Daniel Ameny

Role added on team:

"Together with Bienvenue Byamungu of "Planning for Tomorrow" spearheaded the engagement of refugees at the settlement to be able to get feedback on this idea "Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities"

Keiko's profile
Keiko Odashiro

Role added on team:

"Keiko Odashiro, Associate Community Services Officer, UNHCR- Kampla (Uganda)"

Bob's profile
Bob Buga

Role added on team:

"Head of IT & ICT Teacher Kampala International School interested in working together under this area/idea"

Possiano's profile
Possiano

Role added on team:

"Possiano Robson Teretere assisted with the prototyping and getting feedback at Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in Uganda"

Vestine's profile
Emerimana Daniel's profile

67 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Robby
Team

This is an interesting , viable and practical intervention that will benefit refugees and I highly recommend its funding . Robby Muhumuza

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Robby!

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Photo of David Aliker
Team

Stella, I thought this might be of interest to you http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/670024-uganda-9th-largest-refugee-host-worldwide.html

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Aliker, for sharing this!

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Photo of Komakech Robert
Team

Wao Aliker, this is a rich resource, in pattern of serving refugees with a dignified manner under the theme: “Refugees are regular people, get to know and support them.” Stella's idea of bridging cultures,bridging communities is a fascinating rationale

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Photo of David Aliker
Team

Awesome, simply awesome. My mind had never wondered that one day I could be a Refugee and suffer linguistic barrier.Its a great nich too. Inview of the fact that Uganda is rated highly on hosting Refugees, we need to focus on how language can help their integration and productivity while here.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Aliker, thanks!

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Photo of Gina Marie
Team

Hi Stella, this is a great initiative. I especially admire the idea to encourage people to prepare and learn prior to the Annual Festival & Fair. People can feel proud and accomplished to have informed discussions about these topics when sharing at the Festival after this preparation. Thank you for helping create opportunities for people to share of ideas and skills. I appreciate also that you have designed support for learning of languages, especially after reading some comments below about this. Thank you and good luck!

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Hi Gina, thank you for providing this very informative feedback. Thanks!

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Photo of Daniel Komakech
Team

Thank You so much Stella for the great heart to heart service you extend to others. God will surely bless you for the great work you do since this is a call!. Bravo!

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thanks Daniel for the encouragement. I appreciate!

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Photo of Solom Jomo
Team

Wao Stella that is so kind of you thinking of enhancing a language friendly environment for the refugees in the camps and also for the entire local community to have a common understanding of each other.Thanks

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Solomon for the kind words :-)

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Photo of Les LaMotte
Team

Stella,
Great work... now can you come to W. Ethiopia to help me will the 2 million refugees that were just created by the work of the South Sudanese President with the help of your companies military. Africa a is a strange place in the way it treats its people... I love the people I met from Uganda and my South Sudanese friends, however, they gov. and the UNCEF people did not... they used them to get their funding rather than helping them. They hoarded the food, and now they are keeping 2 mil in what I call death camps where they have a 6x6 place to live including no bathrooms, extreme lack of food and medical and the children we took pictures of in 2014 are already dead. It sounds like your life even though very hard I am sure, is even 100 times better than the South Sudanese who have once again had to leave their country to try to stay alive. I know you are a compassionate person and I am very happy that you are making progress with your people there. Could you help us... I invite you to at least help us to see how you do what you do in a way we can try to implement in our situation... thank you. www.LesLaMotte.com

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Les LaMotte, I read your communication and believe that we all have the obligation to trust in the possibility of a common understanding and win-win situations surrounded by optimism. Thank you for getting in touch. Sincerely,

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Photo of Emerimana Daniel Christian
Team

Les LaMotte,
I am glad to see how supportive you can be to Stella's idea. I have read your comments and I was surprised to see how keen you are on what is happening to my fellow refugee out there. For me I am living here in Kakuma refugee camp and as same as you, I have realized that we are here for different NGOs to get funds and use them for their own purposes. It hurts me when I see this happening around but again with none to talk to. Recently, I shared with a friend who works with the UNHCR security council about what is happening in my home country Burundi that led thousands of people to exile; but truly saying I was shocked with the response he gave. I noticed that you have a lot of skills and as a person who is eager to learn whatever it may take to be a change maker; I wish I could learn some of the many skills you have. Briefly, I would like to let you know that you are willing to work in parternership with Stella. I would also invite you to comment on my idea of creating a MOOC LEARNING CENTER HERE IN KAKUMA REFUGEE CAMP.https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/ideas/mooc-learning-center-in-kakuma-refugee-camp

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Photo of Les LaMotte
Team

Daniel,
See my latest letter to you... I think it explains that I am more than willing to come and help you and many other discover the missing parts that you do not know to allow you to move on and become dynamic people in a place of tremendous non-hope and dispair. Oh, and I forgot that I can also teach guitar, singing, songwriting as well.

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Photo of Benjamin Milk
Team

great work Sister stella keep it up and let use our knowledge to educate and share what needed and human keep it up!! bravo.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Benjamin :-)

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Photo of Ketty Adera
Team

Stella, this is a great initiative. Music is a uniting language and I believe this project will do just that. Wish you all best.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you ketty for this insight. Thanks!

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Photo of Martha Apeduno
Team

Hi Stella,
This is brilliant. I am really optimistic about this idea; God richly flourish this and bless you!

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Martha. God bless you too!

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Photo of Alupo Grace
Team

Stella,
your idea is brilliant and i believe it will bring transformation to the communities in Uganda.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Many thanks Grace. Thank you for appreciating. :-)

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Photo of Mary Smith
Team

Hi Stella

This is a great idea!

Anything that will help them to feel more settled, learn things that could lead to employment and greater integration with the wider community (if they are allowed to work and mix with local people) and also change local attitudes towards refugees is a positive step.

It will be good if the refugees themselves are actively involved in providing training/mentoring to each other e.g. language classes, small business skills etc, and in organising the annual event. They will all have different skills and interests so, with a bit of structure in place, it should be possible for them to learn from and help each other as well as getting assistance from outside sources.

Mary

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thanks Mary. Also, during one of the prototype sessions, we asked if they (refugees) had initiated community development initiatives and if they had management committees formed by refugees themselves to manage/monitor their own community initiated program interventions; they said yes with examples. What was observed is that these community structues needed to be strengthened. I also strongly believe that refugees actively engaging in the implementation of this intervention would be a great strategy to enhance hands on learning on different life skills/matters; and strengthen refugee structures at grassroot/community level. Thank you so much for sharing this. Thanks!!

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Photo of Josephine Etima Ocilaje
Team

Hi Stella,

This is really interesting. I have visited a number of refugee settings throughout my carrier and one cannot miss to recognize the pain of being away from home in the eyes of the refugges.

The impact of the edutainment approach you have presented would be huge in terms of strengthing social cohesion and hence in bridging the gap between the refugees and host communities.

In my view resources permitting this is an idea worth exploring further as it would create a more relaxed atmosphere for refugees and host communities of productive age and thus enhance the learning objective.

Thanks and Good Luck.

Spam
Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Hi Joesphine, this experience and feedback is very informative. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Photo of Olive Buga
Team

Hey Stella,
This is a very bright idea and i especially like the working towards overcoming language barrier..this to me is a very positive indicator as this is a sensitive group of people from different cultures and getting to learn each others' language as well as the local languages here, this i think gives them a glimpse of each others' culture and therefore gives them a better appreciation of themselves and each other, the bigger picture could be promoting peace at this level and the world at large.

Olive Buga

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Olive for sharing this feedback. Actually, refugees engaged during the protoype session at one of the settlements in Uganda; also highlighted that the idea promoted Peace Building. Thanks again.

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Photo of ACOM-OKELLO
Team

Hi Stella, this is a great idea!

Iam happy about the approach you are taking in implementing your idea, also the fact that bridging the communication gap is one way of helping refugees reach their full potential and assist them integrate in their new communities. All the very best!

Joy Okello
Student
MA Refugee and Migration Studies
Uganda Martyrs University,Rubaga Campus

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Joy. Thanks. :-)

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Photo of Bob Buga
Team

Hello Stella,
This is an interesting idea. In many ways, it is a direction I would have gone if I had the chance to go. There are 2 things that pop up for. The idea that learners need an environment that allows them to relax and learn freely is not far fetched and secondly that in whatever form and by whatever means, we need to give everyone the opportunity to learn. Being an educationist myself I can relate with what you are doing and I can see that this is something worthy exploring. For long people have thought that your cannot use entertainment to reach out and teach but things have changed. The advent to technology has leveraged the classroom and learning environment and has brought closer opportunities for many who did not have a chance with school to learn within their means and confines.
I am excited and I would like to see how happen and at some point I would like my students to do a CAS project with you in this area.

cheers
Bob Buga
Head of IT & ICT Teacher
Kampala International School

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Bob for these thoughtful remarks :and the kind gesture to collaborate- noted and appeciates and i think it is a great working together. thanks!

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Photo of Kelvin Kinani
Team

Hi Stella Akiteng, i support ur idea, Edu-Tainment is a good idea especially @ this age & time where technology is becoming cheaper by the day. Whatsapp, facebook , google translate & other social platforms can be an added advantage to your idea! good job. Keep it up am with you 100%

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Hi Kelvin. Thank you sharing this perspective. I appreciate!

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Photo of Aiden Kitayimbwa
Team

Awesome initiative Stella. I know it will go a long in improving the plight of refugees. Way to go!!1

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Many thanks Aiden for the encouraging words :-)

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Photo of Samson Gimui
Team

This is a great initiative. I can only imagine the kind of positive impact it could have on refugees and those who work with them to better their lives. Thank you for all you do and best wishes.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Samson, thanks again!

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Photo of Philip Mugisha
Team

Brilliant idea, As a foreigner in another country, I can honestly testify to the necessity of communication in both economic and social integration of any foreigner in a new country. Even with available language classes, learning a new language is a long process consuming both time and focus, consquently the interest to learn diminishes with other necessities arising. I can only imagine how hard it is for a refugee in a new country. However, with the use of edutainment approaches makes leaning a new language both fun and easier to grasp.
well done Stella

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Philip :-)

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Photo of Jackie Anying
Team

Hey,Stella am glad that you are playing a big role in this because I recently had a chat with a friend volunteering in a refugee setting here in the UK and one of the issues raised was communication barriers,which is clearly a part of your prototype,so I believe you are on the right track since this is a major on going issue,that needs attention so please keep it up and best of Luck.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Hi Jackie, thank you for writing these encouraging words and providing this feedback. Thanks again for the time. I really appreciate!!

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Photo of Ocen William
Team

Stella am so proud of you! I am so proud of your initiative to bridge the gap of our cultures and education.

We have been so much challenged in Africa that children are seen not heard. Children cannot express their interest, what they want to be in their future. Our parents or guardians decides for us. How can that gap be reduced. If I even may asked children who have been displaced from their own home how worse it is. Culture and education destroyed. From the Horn of Africa and to the sub Sahara to the Great Lake regions war every where.

Stella you have made me proud, I saw your leadership from organization to organization, the sky is the limit for you. We believe a forum of search are key to bridge the gap. Am so thankful for a plat form like this.

I do wish you the best endeavors in all you do.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Hello Benson (sorry not so used to the name william), thank you so much for checking in, the compliments, kind words and for sharing these insights. I greatly appreciate. Many thanks again!!

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Photo of Rusberto
Team

Bridging Cultures; Bridging Communities
Definitely for people get access to other and know what their strengths or weakness are or needs and opportunities, we must build bridges and break down barriers. It is with ideas and initiatives such as Estela Akiteng that begins to lay the foundation for building this types of bridges. Language is the means of most complete communication likely to have the man, so why not work with the best tool build? substantiated where communication is effectively between different groups. Groups or individuals separated by this language barrier may not have the extensive tools for their welfare or development, but once they have better communication they can learn and work with other people be strengthened so that together find success. Again I wish you much success in this project and exhorted others to join you and march to build bridges and break down barriers.
Rusberto (Ruby) Melendez

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Ruby. Thank you!

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Photo of Maureen
Team

I think that your emphasis on approaching the language barrier as a means to reach other goals down the line is essential. This has great focus, and knowing Stella's passion for what she does and work ethic to get there, this will be an incredible success. I look forward to seeing the prototype put into action, and believe the benefits will be seen by many in the community. Best of luck with this project!

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thanks Maureen for the kind and inspiring words. I appreciate!

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Photo of Izela Barlow
Team

Perhaps the biggest barrier for refugees is the fact that they are stigmatised in the host country, usually because of the citizen's fear and ignorance because they do not understand the difference in cultures. Communication, which i think your prototype addresses well, helps to iron out differences and forge an understanding between cultures and fosters mutual development.
Another strength of your prototype is the fact that it is informed by actual lifestyle of the beneficiaries. I believe this lends it relevance and flexibility. Well done Stella and good luck.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Izela for these inspiring words. Thank you!

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Photo of Victor
Team

Your concept is wonderful. It strikes right at the hear of the matter; the uprootedness in being a refugee. Since anyone can be a refugee in this changing world, being aware and 'living' the experience provides an ample simulation. May God bless your work and service.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Many thanks Victor for this re-echoe and relevation. Appreciated!

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Photo of Betty Iziku
Team

Stella, your idea gives hope to the hopeless. Usually refugees are resettled in camps and nothing more is done. With your idea they can have a second chance at life. Good luck.

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
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Thank you Betty for the moral support!

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Photo of Richard Zulu
Team

Stella, I would like to agree with Chioma. On my end, I do not see the relation with your tagline "Addressing existing language barriers encountered by refugees and working towards financial security: A means to a lasting solution" to what is within the body of your idea. You could use the "Making your idea real worksheet" to help you think about what your idea is...that few things you want to start with. You can also look into the user experience worksheet as indicated. I believe the effort required is refining your idea and giving it focus. Nice work!

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Richard. This is noted with thanks.

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Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Stella! Thanks for sharing this idea. It would be really helpful for us if you were to upload a user experience map (https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/5c28e26a-ba7f-44f4-859b-e82658264287.pdf ) to give us a sense of how a refugee might participate in the idea you've shared. You're team has shared a lot of great ideas in this post, so an idea maybe a good place to start are the ones you'd like to focus on first!

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Hi Chioma,
Noted with thanks. Thank you for sharing this and for the technical advice.

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Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this post being featured in this week's highlights! https://openideo.com/blog/refugee-education-weekly-highlights-may-8-2015

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you for sharing this feedback. Thank you all!

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Photo of Les LaMotte
Team

Greetings Stella,

Nice to receive this letter from you. I have looked over your materials and I am not sure what we can do together but here are some ideas...

Skills possessed by the team include:
Programing
Organizational Development,
Refugee issues

We need help with:

Marketing: I am a great Guerrilla marketer, which means that I can use
the simplest things and I help companies find partners that can work in symbolic ways to enhance each others business. I have worked in graphic design and marketing for over 42 years in my career.

Business Plans Development: I started a business with $10 and grew it to $14 mil USD in 14 years marketed in 35 countries around the world and 800 representatives (which is the book I am about ready to release.
I owned a 5,640 sq. ft. of condo Office/Warehouse, and 7 staff where we did design and assembly, including large format graphic design, printing and laminating into finished graphic displays for trade shows and exhibits for some of the largest companies in the US and around the world. I designed and owned 5 US patents with some internationally such as Australia, Japan, and Europe. I outsourced some parts in China, Korea, India, and Italy.
I have traveled everywhere it seems and have been to Africa 3 times in 2009-2011. I am a master at finding the root of the business and then inspiring people to break it down and accomplish it. I have many motivational visual speeches I can give.

Development of on-line language learning tools (see www.woovly - FREE video making tool rather fun) Not as much in this particular area, but, understand some of the principles.

Filming & documentaries: I have been a film producer for over 30 years and have produced major works for industry and for non-profits with budgets of $500,000 USD as well as my film work in Africa in S. Sudan and Ethiopia. I am an international award winning singer/songwriter/guitarist and have 2 albums out on iTunes.com
and one single.

Solar and Batteries: I have spent the last 4 years in writing and designing curriculum for teaching Solar basics, and developed the iGet, iHold, and iUse concept to teach solar education (The subject of 3 new books I am about to release for children +). I have taught it to 5 graders to Adults in many settings. I also teach several methods of making solar and how to design solar systems for use on accessing and designing specific power systems.

Artist, Graphic Designer, Packaging Designer, Product Designer: I have many skills and conceptual knowledge for international product and packaging design. I have taught studio art and painting, print making, screen printing, drawing, water color, and sculpture.

Here is my website for my Acting and Voice Over:
leslamotte2.exploretalent.com

Drama & Set Design and Construction: I have designed and constructed sets for plays and skits almost all of my life and even more in the last few years working in a school of arts, drama, and music. That worked specifically with adults with learning disabilities, physical
challenges, mental illness, and emotional trauma.

Further Ideas to think about: I would love to come over and teach for a few months. However, you must find a way to gather the funds to bring me over (Air $1,500, + food + shelter) while I am there. I do not require payment for my services.

So, I will leave it at this for the moment and see what your reaction and ideas are concerning what I have revealed to you.

My videos are located:
https://www.youtube.com/my_videos?o=U

https://www.youtube.com/user/Leseagle1

The Great Physician: Como MACS - Echo
https://youtu.be/k8Did0zr1jw
The Great Physician:
https://youtu.be/LyrZrogSxio
https://youtu.be/xnLfKUYVsUU
Sonrise A New Tomorrow:
https://youtu.be/YpVdpZqzcfA
My Testimony For Jesus:
https://youtu.be/OL7l2SMkSFI
In His Rest:
https://youtu.be/i3bTMJ9QOSI
Am I Ashamed of Jesus:
https://youtu.be/gwMukLFu14A
Humbled Before My Lord:
http://youtu.be/l5D9LqVg7H0
Paint & Wall Tiling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smoNvd13B5Q

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Les LaMotte for this kind partnership gesture and for communicating this to us. We shall keep this in mind and; We are honoured to have you as part of our team. Also, if the refugees in western Ethiopia are able, please feel free to have them engaged as it will be great having their thoughts on this idea. Thanks again, Stella

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Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Thanks for sharing this idea Stella! The notion of using an edutainment approach to teach refugees language and soft skills is great. Community-building events can play a great part in strengthening the peer to peer exchange networks of refugees in the camps. Can you explain a bit more about how the daily learning activities will tie into the annual festival? What type of specific activities will take place at the annual fair? And is there a specific refugee camp in Uganda that your team might engage to gain feedback on this idea?

Also, it'd be helpful to include an image under the Explain Your Idea section of your post. This way, we'll have an image to go along with the thumbnail preview of this contribution from the Ideas Phase page. Looking forward to hearing more!

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Photo of Stella Akiteng
Team

Thank you Shane for the remarks and for asking.

These annual events shall be accompanied by daily routine activities as:-

• Language learning lessons. While mindful of the different dialects, refugees proficient in English, Kiswahili, Arabic and other native languages spoken in Congo, Sudan and Somalia are expected to support as translators, interpreters and; facilitators during the language learning process.

• Awareness creation and sensitisation on the rights and obligations of refugees

• While this programme intervention can take off without the ICT programme component, having ICT incorporated is an added advantage and value. UNICEF has got a Technology innovation Lab in Kampala-Uganda, we hope to successfully negotiate with UNICEF to have these innovations (Digital drums, Mobistations etc) popularised in refugee communities for purposes of promoting and enhancing a collaborative approach to Development through Information and Communication Technology. The UNICEF innovation technologies/digital kiosks have been deployed in rural and urban communities in Uganda including Acholi and Lango sub regions that suffered the long two decades war. Like refugees, these communities were also affected by conflict so we believe that the innovation is equally important for the refugee community. The Technologies have been piloted and testimonies documented as reflected by the links below:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K5pgwzUieg ; http://youtu.be/nTadXFhrwAA

• Refugees need to be involved not only with other fellow survivors but also with communities in their respective host countries and the international community. By getting more into routine and doing some normal things with other people, we shall be collectively contributing to enabling refugees overcome trauma; and attracting non-refugees to be more supportive/engaged in issues and activities concerning refugees. We need to empower the refugee community to sustainably hold and determine their own destiny in a collaborative sustainable manner.

Specific activities during the Annual Festival & Fair include:-
1) A Role play (5 minutes at most) coupled with interactive session between actors and audience on how to overcome the refugee challenge depicted
2) Music & Dance (Traditional-cultural) representative of the different nationalities/refugees
3) A Short documentary depicting refugee (s) life as a core fundraising instrument/tool
4) Guest Speaker (Role Model as Social Change Agent)
5) The Fair through display of goods, services, social change efforts by refugees for possible trade (instant or in the future)

NB: Please note that the Annual Festival & Fair is a merged activity to be held on one day. The Annual Festival shall not be held independent of the Fair (Annual Fair). Local artists (Uganda Cultural-traditional MDD artists) will be expected to do the curtain raising before refugees perform/present.

How will the daily learning activities tie into the Annual Festival and Fair?
• The more effort put in the language learning process (especially English and Kiswahili), the more effective the networking by refugees during the Annual Festivals & Fairs. Through the unity bred, this learning process is also expected to be enhanced by the occasional sharing e.g. through story telling around a fire (like camp fire) and exchange visits within a refugee camp and across different refugee camps; Learning about others’ experience (s) and coping mechanisms including ideas on creative ways to attain economic empowerment.

• As more Annual festivals & fairs are held, it is expected that funds will also be raised to support refugee community initiatives and more fruitful linkages initiated/established thus more success stories in terms of refugee challenges overcome and improved livelihoods at individual, household and community level. This progress over time will be communicated to the different general publics through the short documentaries shown at the Annual Festivals & Fairs held from time to time. Therefore, irrespective of ethnic backgrounds etc, refugees shall continue to co-exist, and creatively ensure sustainable development is earned collaboratively. Along side proceedings at the Annual Festival & Fair, the accountability highlighted at the time shall also be shared on different social media channels like twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, wordpress, Youtube.

We are happy to further provide feedback on this idea. We shall keep you all posted on the outcomes of our engagement with the refugee community here. We appreciate further thoughts shared.

Thanks again!