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Life Skills Camp for Girls During School Holiday Breaks

A series of structured life-skills camps held during school holiday breaks in Uganda that help girls avoid exploitation, build self-confidence, and explore their dreams for the future. [Summary by the Amplify Team]

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
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Provide a short description of your idea

My idea is a holiday outreach program for 170 girls; 120 girls from the slum community of Namwongo and 50 girls from the rural Tororo and Buteleja districts. It tackles the problem of lost opportunity among young Ugandan women due to poverty, lack of peer support, early marriage, and dangerous relationships - a problem that is highlighted during girls’ holiday breaks from school, when they face enticing offers from “sugar daddies” or drug-abusing peers and minimal support for their educational goals. It addresses the problem by providing girls with structured enrichment and a sense of community during holiday breaks, training them to brainstorm and implement solutions to community problems, assisting them in naming and pursuing their dreams, and reducing exposure to unsafe influences and temptations to leave school. ***** The girls of Uganda’s slums and rural areas have one thing in common: they live in impoverished environments. Namuwongo slums in Bukasa, Makindye Division, Kampala are characterized by water pollution, drug abuse, rape, and poor living conditions. Likewise, villages in Tororo and Buteleja are crippled by HIV impact, lack of running water or electricity, domestic violence, and child abuse. Many girls enter early marriages or make risky choices because their prospects seem bleak. Timely intervention can make a difference for them in these communities. My idea is to organize joint holiday outreaches for these girls to help them work toward their dreams, create community solutions, protective friendships and reduce temptation of unsafe choices.

Get a user's perspective on your idea.

Check out our experience map in the visual gallery

Show us what implementation might look like.

Check out our scanned copy of our implementation outline named "Timeframe.jpg" in the visual gallery
In my neighborhood there is a slum called "Soweto" in Namuwongo, Bukasa Parish, Makindye Division , Kampala - Uganda. It is divided into 7 zones namely:
1. Industrial Area View
2. Go-Down
3. Kasanvu
4. Namuwongo B
5. Namuwongo A
6. Kanyogoga/Masengere
7. Yoweri Kaguta (YOKA).
These zones have over 20,000 people that are living in very confined spaces, averaging 2 rooms for a family of at least 4 -8 members.  Many of these slum residents migrated from the rural areas in hopes of attaining a better life, but only found increased hardship and extremely deplorable living conditions. 

Reaching out to these girls through Holiday Outreach programs such as mentoring workshops, academic seminars, life skills and leadership training, communication skills, entrepreneurship, talent promotion, and community activities would not only help them avoid temptations and dangerous situations, but would also help them identify their personal dreams and goals, develop support networks, and create solutions to problems in their communities.

The questions I would have for the community (especially to each of the girls) would include:
 
1. What is your vision for your community? 
2. What do you like about your community? 
3. What don't you like about your community? 
4. What would you hope to achieve through the Holiday Outreach programs, and how would developing a connection to girls living in similar situations in rural/urban areas be of benefit?
5. What support do you receive from the local leadership and or the government? 
 
I did further research to determine how such a program would be received, both in the slums and in poor rural communities. Here is what one family had to say:
 
Francis Kaweesa, a father of 5 girls and 3 boys and a resident of Go-down, agrees with the idea of training the girls during the holidays.  He stated that he always worries about his daughters during holidays because there are so many temptations to make life-altering decisions.  He feels that the Holiday Outreach program would help girls be more knowledgeable about risks and better able to make wise life decisions.  His wife, Rachel, agreed, saying that the program would save the girls from bad behavior and help them avoid bad peer groups. 
 
One of their daughters, Pamela, age 16, said that she is not happy living in the slum.  "I just have no choice of where to go because my parents brought us up here. When I grow up and become independent, I'd rather live in the village than a slum, and I will never introduce my children to the slum because it is not safe for children at all,” she said.  "Acquiring skills and networking with girls living in the villages is a good idea. It will help us connect with the rural girls, make new friends, and build solutions together."
 
Here are Pamela's responses to my five questions:
 
1.   Her vision for her community is to create associations where the girls come together and start small projects such as making crafts to generate their own income,  She also feels they could team up to promote hygiene in their community. 
 
2.  She likes the availability of cheap things in their community.
 
3.  She does not like the congestion and pollution in her community.
 
4.  She will make new friends from the rural communities, and will also get new ideas from them so that they can work out solutions for their communities together.
 
5.  She says that the local leadership mainly comes in for security reasons, such as when there is a criminal offense.
 
In the just concluded Open Circle (http://www.open-circle.org) Life Skills training conducted with 32 rural youths [27 girls and 5 boys] from Tororo district, we realized that most youths need additional training to help them find solutions to issues in their personal lives, as well as their communities.  Training can also help them clarify their dreams and identify realistic methods of achieving them.
 
At the end of the training period, we asked the participants what additional topics they would like to see in future training sessions. Their responses included academic seminars, and classes on HIV, friendship, talent promotion, behavior/character building, early pregnancy and early marriages, the role of youth in community development, practical science skills, self-awareness, communication skills, how to become successful, leadership, how to fight poverty, and more.  They would also like to share experiences with others, and learn about and from other communities.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

I want to launch a holiday outreach program that will help lift young Ugandan women out of dangerous situations and empower them to connect, grow, learn, and create sustainable solutions in their communities.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

The immediate need is for safety. The girls of Soweto, Tororo, and Buteleja face dangerous conditions when they are unsupervised at home during school holidays, including physical dangers (such as rape, disease, early pregnancy, drug abuse) and personal dangers (like the temptation to abandon education in favor of a relationship with a “sugar daddy”). On a broader level, young women in Uganda’s poorest areas need opportunities for empowerment and advancement, and connections with peers working on similar goals. Their communities need young women who are prepared to make a difference.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

The project would have a direct impact on 120 girls living in the slum of Soweto and 50 girls from various villages in the rural communities of Tororo and Buteleja, the latter of which are currently receiving academic support through the Rural Girl Child Mentorship Project (http://pce-foundation.org/rgcm-project). Empowered, educated women tend to bring positive social and economic changes to their communities, so while the immediate benefit of the project would be to its 300 participants, it would have long-lasting positive implications that extend well beyond individual girls (for example the girls would help in identifying and supporting other girls within there communities who dropped out of school, those suffering with the effect drugs, or are in abusive situations who would be helped out of these situations, would also lead to future partnership with similar Organizations that support boys and men). We will monitor the program’s success by routinely interviewing the beneficiaries and conducting “before and after” assessments in areas such as persistence in school, goal achievement, early marriage and pregnancy rates, and/or self-rated levels of confidence. We will also progressively evaluate the content of our programming via consultation with experts, trainers, and mentors. Eventually, the alumni girls of the Holiday Outreach Program will be recruited as trainers when they become older and have gained personal experience with the program.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

If given required resources and funding, my organization - the Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE Foundation) - would be best equipped to implement this idea with support and partnership with individuals and organizations who have expertise in youth education, facilitation and mentorship, both locally and internationally. We have already established many of these connections.

Where should this idea be implemented?

1. The Soweto slums in Namuwongo, Bukasa Parish, Makindye Division , Kampala - Uganda. Soweto is divided into seven zones, all of which would be served by our project: Industrial Area View, Go-Down, Kasanvu, Namuwongo A, Namuwongo, B, Kanyogoga/Masengere, and Yoweri Kaguta (YOKA). 2. The sub-counties and rural communities of the Tororo and Buteleja Districts in Eastern Uganda (Iyolwa, Kirewa, Kisoko, Mulanda, Paya, and Rubongi). 3. Most of the training will be carried out in hired venues such as hotels/conference rooms within Kampala, as well as Tororo town. The community activities will be carried out within the above listed communities.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

1. First we will convene a meeting with the local leaders in Soweto community and the sub-county chiefs of Buteleja, Iyolwa, Kirewa, Kisoko, Mulanda, Paya, and Rubongi, highlighting to them our intentions and areas of interest while seeking their views and support. 2. If the response is positive (and we are confident that it will be), we will identify twenty to thirty girls between the ages of 12 and 22 from each setting, share our idea with them, and seek their opinions. We will work with these girls, their parents, and community leaders to establish contacts with additional girls in both the slum and the rural villages. We will also use my NGO’s active network to begin to recruit trainers/mentors. We have already had success recruiting leaders for workshops and peer-to-peer mentorship experiences for the girls served by our organization, and we are confident that we will be able to recruit talented leaders for our initial workshop and the Holiday Outreach program. 3. We will conduct a 5-day prototype workshop in an appropriate setting outside of the girls’ communities, inviting pre-identified trainers and mentors to participate in the event. Afterward we will solicit feedback from the girls, their families, and the trainers. The purpose of this workshop will be to connect with the girls, evaluate interest and potential benefits, and solidify the optimal format and content of our outreach program. With the help of our initial list from the Open Circle training in Tororo and the feedback of the girls in the prototype workshop, we will select three training topics and one community activity for each of the school year’s three holidays. At least two months before the holidays begin, we will share these topics on our website and social media feeds, and volunteers in our network will have the opportunity to participate as trainers or mentors.

What might a day in the life of a community member interacting with your idea look like?

Check out our experience map in the visual gallery. In general; during School breaks, the Holiday Mentoring Outreach Program work with 170 girls from the slums of Bukasa, Kampala and the rural communities of Tororo and Buteleja districts of Uganda. These girls will be grouped by age groups; 12 -15, 16 – 18 and 19 – 22 in groups of 100 for each training/mentoring session and age group. Each group will be sub divided into two groups (56 each) in separate rooms during the trainings/mentoring sessions but offered the same content. Each of these trainings will last for 7 days. This is how the one week program will run; one day of traveling to the venue, two days of training/mentoring, one day of traveling closer/into to the given project community, settling and drawing plans and assigning activities for the project, two days of community projects and the last day for evaluation, certificates issued to each of the participants and then girls travel back to their homes. The girls will receive mentorship from supportive adults and each other, gain new skills and confidence, engage in cultural exchanges, make new friends, and develop new solutions for their communities. Holiday outreach will also offer protection against some of the serious dangers of holiday breaks in impoverished areas, including bad influences from peers, drug abuse, early pregnancy or marriage, and temptation to abandon educational goals.

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Does this idea have the potential to impact the lives of low-income women and girls living in urban areas?

Yes, the idea clearly targets low-income women and girls living in urban areas. - 66.7%

The idea targets women and girls but isn’t necessarily focused on those living in low-income urban areas. - 33.3%

The idea targets people living in low-income urban areas but doesn’t seem to benefit women and girls specifically. - 0%

2. Does this idea describe a set of next steps and a timeline to accomplish them?

The idea clearly outlines next steps, the resources and team needed to execute them and a timeline to accomplish this. - 100%

The idea gives a broad explanation of what it hopes to accomplish but there is no clear timeline or activities to reach its desired goal. - 0%

The idea has not clearly articulated what the next steps are. - 0%

3. How feasible would it be to implement a pilot of this idea in the next 12-18 months?

Very feasible – the next steps described in the contribution seem achievable in this time period. - 66.7%

A pilot appears feasible but more work needs to be done to figure out how it would be executed. - 33.3%

The idea is not ready to be piloted yet – the concept needs several more months of user feedback and prototyping to be ready for a pilot. - 0%

4. Does this idea bring a new and fresh approach to the city or region in which it’s set?

Yes, this idea appears to be new and innovative! I’m not aware of other ideas in this city or region that address this need using a similar approach. - 66.7%

There are other initiatives doing similar work in this area – but this idea targets a new group or has an updated approach. - 33.3%

I can think of many initiatives addressing the same need using a similar approach in the same region. - 0%

5. How scalable is this idea across regions and cultures?

This is an idea that could help women and girls in many different cities. I can see it being implemented across multiple regions and cultures. - 33.3%

Maybe but I’d imagine it would need very significant changes. - 66.7%

The idea is really only suited for one specific region / population. - 0%

6. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

I love this idea! - 100%

I liked it but preferred others. - 0%

It didn't get me so excited. - 0%

68 comments

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Photo of Kairen P
Team

Hello Nas... It is a good idea, what type of skills people will be taught , can you please give an example ? Thanks

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Beatrice, great job you are doing in Uganda. Bettina introduced I, Leigh and team to you over OpenIDEO. We are among the winners of the CGI challenge are moving on to implementing the idea here in Uganda: https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/ideas/pop-up-bus-and-boat-mobile-workshops-that-pop-up-in-communities-around-the-globe-building-pathways-and-employment-opportunities

I am interested in connecting with you and chat about your experience with the girls and also talk through our idea to see how we might engage together.

My email: alexkmokori@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you Beatrice
Thanks, Alex

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Beatrice. Congratulations! How is the program planning going? When do you plan to run the first holiday camp? When you have some free time write a note to update us!
All the best,
Bettina

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Bettina!
Long time! Thank you for your support this far. We are very excited! We are currently working on our final implementation framework, I am happy sharing with you!
2 of the Amplify staffs will visit with us two weeks from now, all exciting!
We identified the project manager too, seems like a very experienced passionate person fit for the work. The job description is designed as well, let me know if you would like to throw some thoughts therein.
Next week, we will be site mapping the slum community plus get on touch with local leaders and schools and see if we can. identify some girls already ahead of this visit.
The camp is proposed to start this December 2014 to January 2015. Preparations will begin as soon as we have concluded our due diligence with Amplify.
Would be nice to have your email Bettina, just in case we need to share/ exchange information before posting updates.
Thank you so much for keeping in touch. Looking forward to working more with you!
Beatrice

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Wow! Great to hear the progress Beatrice. My email is:
Please write and share whatever you want. I would be happy share/exchange information and help in anyway! Exciting that Amplify will be making a visit soon.
Who will be site mapping the slum community? Will that be you and the project manager, or will you include some of the girls?
I have a few ideas, based on some learnings from the current Youth Mentor Challenge, that might be interesting to think about doing with the girls as you build the program.
Let's start to "talk." Looking forward to it!
Bettina

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Bettina,
Thank you so much for your contact!
Tomorrow's program is just linking up with the zonal leaders and the schools leaders of the urban community we are beginning to be working with. We are likely to connect with some of the girls in holidays but we will be basically making contacts with the community while seeking their ideas of how effective we could successfully recruit and select the girls . We think these people will be of great help to us.
I will be traveling with the project manager - David Kaggwa. We did this in Tororo with David the past week.
Check your inbox, just sent you something related.
Will keep you updated.
Many thanks!
Beatrice

Photo of Ayla Schlosser
Team

Hi Beatrice,

I'm so excited that your project has been selected - congratulations!! If you are still interested in having Resonate's training program be part of your life skills camp, please let me know! I'd love to talk through what your plans are so far and see if there are any other ways we can be of help. My email is ayla@resonateworkshops.org.

Best,
Ayla

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Ayla,
Thank you for the kind note and for following up. We will be discussing about the international training programs with Amplify team, especially for those that have full cost implications. There shouldn't be any problems collaborating with international trainers and partners who have less or no cost implications our end.
I will be in touch as soon we get a valid information.
Let's stay in touch!
Kind regards,
Beatrice

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Dancing right now Beatrice! Congratulations! I am thrilled for you and the communities in Uganda that will benefit from your work!!
Great news. Great idea. Great work!!!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Bettina!
I am very excited here. You Bettina inspired me in many ways especially during the refinement stage.
I would love to have you support us to the end!
Thank you so much for your insight and the constructive feedback.
Great week!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Beatrice.
I am happy to offer support in any way that I can! Looking forward to seeing the images and hearing the stories as the project moves forward!
Keep in touch!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Bettina!
Will keep you informed.

Photo of Karolle Rabarison
Team

Exciting stuff, Beatrice! Way to go!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Karolle!
Looking forward to networking with you further.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Karolle!

Photo of Cansu Akarsu
Team

Dear Beatrice,

So great to see the experience map and the implementation plan you developed. I have live in Nkokonjeru in Biukwe District for several months in 2013, so I can imagine so many young girls in Namuwongo benefiting from your idea :) It is especially nice to hear father’s support on this mission.

In some years, a way to financially support the program could be to open it for international students also. Possibly a foreigner student can cover the expenses of herself and provide scholarship for 3-4 students in the program. This would also bring girls from different cultures together and build friendships.

Do you see it as a girls-only holiday program?

Another idea is that alumni girls of the holiday program could be recruited as trainers when they become older.

As the community prototyper, I would be happy to support the prototyping process of your idea.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Dear Cansu,
Good to know you have been to Nkokonjeru. My late Aunt got married there, the villages there are not different from rural Tororo and Buteleja districts.
Thank you very much for the brilliant ideas!
Our NGO - the Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation is open to international students who are supporting girls in schools and those who show interest in volunteering, so would be great to host them to support these workshops, also the idea of alumni recruited as trainers is a great, both are helpful for sustainability and building leadership skills among these girls.
By experience, mixing boys and girls in such workshops can sometimes turn out to be challenging as the boys will be looking out to "new girlfriends", it is much harder combining the slum boys with the girls. But we can not avoid supporting boys, this would be possible after gaining more experience, knowledge and expertize with the girls.
I will add these ideas to the project!.
I appreciate your interest to help me and my team develop and bring forth a better concept. My ears are open to new ideas!
Thank you so much!!!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Beatrice,

really nice idea and great experience map.
I can see why having boys involved at least in the first phase can be difficult, but it might be interesting to keep that idea in mind in the long term. Maybe there might be a way to partner with an organization working with boys.

I agree with Cansu than thinking of having the girls becoming trainers in the long term would be great. It reminds me of the model of the magic bus https://openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/refinement/play-to-defeat-danger.
See in particular this video which illustrates very well the empowerment that these girls might gain by then becoming trainer: http://theirproblemisours.blogspot.com/2014/04/how-sports-can-empower-girls-and-make.html

Peer training is also powerful as illustrated by Pushpa's idea: https://openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-srhr-for-all

Good luck with the development of this idea.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Anne,
Thank you for the comment and the examples. After a few years of experience with this project and the girls, we will look into partnering with Organizations working with boys.
Our Organization - the Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation supports the sponsorship and mentorship of 103 girls and 5 boys. In future we would involve these boys and a few more and see how it goes as we walk towards involving boys too in creating the community solutions.
Should you have more questions or concerns, please help respond. I am learning a lot more through your comments.
Thank you again.
Warm regards.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Beatrice, congratulations for being shortlisted.

I'm looking forward to see your idea evolve further and being implemented.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Anne,
I very much appreciate your contributions in the refinement stage, looking forward to your continuous support and insight.
Great week.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Beatrice,
Congratulations on making it to the 15 Shortlisted ideas. You have done an incredible job and we look forward to seeing this idea impact the lives of women and girls.

Great work!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Luisa,
I am extremely excited right now!
This is a great opportunity for us to create such a huge impact in the lives of over 300, communities and generations!
Will keep fingers crossed for the final decision.

Photo of Damon
Team

I think deeply address this question, is to develope industry rather than education, because when people have enough money to survive, and then they will to pay attention for education. because before I live in a very poor village, so much crime. when company develop the local economy, everything is improve

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hello Damon,
Thank you for your response. I agree that industrialization can make a difference. Perhaps these girls will collectively be a driving force to the government and or the global community to create change in their communities in the near future (build an industry (ies)) in their respective communities. Knowledge is power; power to change issues, thoughts and actions.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Beatrice,
Great job at adding the implementation timeline. It gives a clear sense of the phases for the pilot of your program. I am still a little unsure I understand what girls will do during the program. It might help you to do a user experience map
https://s3.amazonaws.com/oi2-openideo-rwd-prod/attachments/a26a14b6-21cb-4497-bcfe-7ba6f75ed1fc.pdf
to visualize how does a girl hear about the program, what happens during the first day she attends, what does she learn after a few weeks, and how does her life change after completing it. What does success look like for this idea at the end of the first year? What would you have liked to achieve and learn?

Looking forward to learning more about your idea,
Great work so far,
Luisa

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Luisa,
Thank you for the feedback. I added in the experience map, help me know if that brings in a more clear picture of what girls will do during the program.
Success at the end of the first year would mean the girls are more confident of themselves, build protective friendship and relationships, gained new skills, the majority (if not all) out of inappropriate behaviors like using drugs, having sugardaddies...
On the other hand the community projects would be evident for examples more than 2000 youths (especially girls) reached out to by the 300 girls, over 200 trees planted, over 40 wells (water sources) dug or improved upon leaving the environment cleaner and safer for the entire two communities.
I would like to see the lives of these 300 girls changes and living as good examples to their community members and families while bringing tangible solutions to their communities.
Very much appreciated!
Beatrice

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Beatrice,
Great work doing the user experience map it really helps visualize the context. Did doing this exercise change or brought up anything new about your idea?
Thanks for answering my questions with concise numbers and goals.
How is this idea different from work your organization is currently doing?
Will you need to hire new team members for this project?
What do you envision your role to be during the pilot year for this initiative?
Thanks for entertaining my questions this late in the process.

Great work,

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Luisa,
I am sorry for the delayed response. I was in a community with very limited internet access.
This exercise helped me note down the details of my idea, which I think made it more clear and better.
This idea is different from what we are currently running at Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation in a way that this is a mentoring program to groups of girls; rural and slum during holidays.
Our current mentorship project connect rural girls with sponsors who do not only pay for their education but also mentor them through letter exchange, video exchange, Skype calls and mentor visits.
If we get funds for this project, we are likely to hire three more team members; 1) the Community Coordinator, Kampala; someone familiar with the slum community and culture. 2) the Events Coordinator; someone who will be in charge of the managing the venues and logistics involved. 3. the Project Manager; one who will take charge of the project.
My role would be to oversee, guide and support the team; generally working with them to ensure that we achieve the objectives and the goal of this project in transparent, most effective, innovative and cost effective way possible.
Thank you for these questions. I am happy to answer more.

Photo of Melchior Tamisier-Fayard
Team

Hi Beatrice,

thanks for adding me to your team. I read your experience map and I liked the drawings. The whole map really helped me understand the process. I can see how this holiday outreach program can help the girls to avoid negative temptations and also develop themselves and learn new things. I also find interesting the connection you make between the girls in the slums and the girls in the villages.

I was wondering who would pay for the program. Do the families have money to pay for holidays? Will they be subsidized?

The community program made me think of a program my mother shared with me where teenagers from 3 communities worked on developing solutions for their communities: http://kidmob.org/youth-design-summit

One activity they could do during the holiday program could be developing digital narratives on their different experiences: http://theirproblemisours.blogspot.com/2014/04/stories-for-change.html
and of course, it would be great to share it on the online platform! :-)
What do you think?

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Melchior,
Thank you for your comment and examples.
If selected, Amplify grant will fund this Holiday Mentoring Outreach Program.
I am quite sure these girls will come out with innovative solutions for their communities, we will definitely share them online and with you too.
You are already very active in engaging global community online, we will be so honored working with you in publishing stories and projects!
Warm regards,
Beatrice

Photo of Melchior Tamisier-Fayard
Team

Hello Beatrice,
I can't wait to hear the results of the program.
I truly hope you get the funding, as I believe what your are doing is important.
By finding solutions themselves, they will probably be more eager to apply them.

It is me that is honored to be able to work with you! Looking forward to see the two girl's post when they get back!
Best,
Melchior

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hello Melchior,
Thank you for your kind words and wish.
I look forward working with you and helping girls raise their voices through your platform.
Good luck with your project too!

Photo of Melchior Tamisier-Fayard
Team

Very excited to be able to share stories from girls part of your program and start creating a platform where we can all brainstorm ways of changing behaviors.
I just got photos from Nepal: http://theirproblemisours.blogspot.com/2014/05/offline-conversation-from-bhaktapur.html
and I hope to have some soon from Uganda.
I've added you as a contributor: http://theirproblemisours.blogspot.com/p/contributors.html

I also posted about World Pulse which I think is a great model: http://theirproblemisours.blogspot.com/2014/05/world-pulse-giving-voices-to-women.html

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Beatrice. Exciting plan! I enjoyed reading it via the experience map! I particularly like the idea because of the potential network it creates for girls throughout this large slum, and the possibilities for long term friendships between the city and rural girls which can empower them as they grow up and contribute to their communities. As a "camp enthusiast" I am excited so I have some questions about the process.
Can girls return in successive years? You mention that the age range of the girls you plan to enroll is 12 - 22. This is a very wide range with presumably different needs and life experiences. Will they participate in the same activities?
As the girls have worked together during the camp do you foresee them returning and working collaboratively on a project that is spread across their individual neighborhoods, within the larger slum? Is there a mechanism in your plan for the girls to maintain contact, meet between holiday trips, fostering friendship and collaboration? Will they maintain contact with their mentors?
Do you foresee them choosing a project to work on in tandem with their parallel group in the rural area? For example - will they all decide together as a group to work on HIV prevention at home? When they gather during the next holiday is there potential to review, learn from each other's successes and failures, iterate?
You mention that before the camps roll out there will be information on the training topics on your website and twitter feed. Do the girls you anticipate enrolling have internet access?
I look forward to hearing more about your process and stories from the girls as they move through it! Best of luck Beatrice. Great idea!!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Dear Bettina,
Thank you very much for these questions!
These girls would participate in these outreaches for a period of 2 – 3 years.
We will group these girls by age groups; 12 -15, 16 – 18 and 19 – 22 in groups of 100 for each training session, sub divided into two groups (50 each) – separate rooms during the trainings/mentoring sessions. that would last for 7 days each group; one day traveling to the venue, two days of training/mentoring, one day of traveling to the given communities for the community projects, two days of community projects and the last day for evaluation and traveling back to their homes.
The girls will become agents for change in their communities; identifying needs and solutions in their communities, supporting, educating and mentoring their family members, friends and neighbors. They could also to identify the pressing issues/ideas in their respective communities and call on their fellows and or PCEF to give support/collaborative solution(s)
The girls will exchange contacts and, there would be end of year exchange visits for all the 300 girls following up and evaluating the impact of their different community projects.
The mentors, trainers, volunteers and PCEF will keep in contact with these girls and follow up with their community projects and careers whenever possible, as already mentioned, some of them will become mentors and trainers in the long run, some will create jobs for themselves through these community projects.
Each of these 3 groups will have similar trainings/mentoring in these two days of trainings but they will choose what project they would like to run in their communities. This would bring forth 3 different small projects in both communities in one term. Each of the three groups of 100 will implement the community projects in the region(s) where the training/mentoring sessions are taking place (if the training/mentoring sessions venue is in Kampala, the community project will be implemented in the Bukasa slums, if the venue is in Tororo or Mbale, the community project(s) will be implemented in rural Tororo and Buteleja districts ).
As we conclude the first training, we will seek for the evaluation for the week and seek new ideas from the girls, trainers, mentors and the volunteers. Also when the girls gather for the next holiday outreach, we will slot time to review and evaluate the previous holiday’s program, share their experience while at school and share their expectation for the new week/training/mentoring sessions.
The website and social media posts will be targeting potential trainers, mentors and future funders. We will share this project on our website and continuously look out for trainers, mentors and volunteers. We shall also post the success/impact stories from the girls. After evaluating the first training and asking the girls for the type of training they would like during the next school breaks, we will pick from some of their top choices and share such topics on our website for the potential trainers, mentors and volunteers who could be locally available or from across the globe.
Again, thank you so much for your great questions. I welcome further suggestions and feedback from you, Bettina!
Warm regards,
Beatrice

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Beatrice. First I would like to say that your enthusiasm around your project is infectious! It is so exciting so see how excited you are to bring this support to girls in your community. I also work with youth and I understand the energy it takes and the rewards that it brings. Good luck to you and the girls in your community as you develop this work with and for them.
Regarding the description above thank you. It is much clearer now. (I see answers to many of my questions in the text. I apologize if it was there and I just did not read it well.) I did not realize that there would be such a large group of girls involved and that they will return over a period of 2 - 3 years. I think this really strengthens your program. It will really support the girls' development over time. There is one thing that is still unclear. You say 25 girls from one community will work with 25 from another on a small project. Are these girls from neighboring urban communities - two groups of girls that live in different parts of the same slum? I think that is what you mean. That is a great way to approach a shared problem and also a way to continue to build networks between girls, and between communities.
Two other questions - Do you have specific service projects in mind for the holiday camp periods? It sounds like you have a site in mind because you mention traveling for a day to get there. Why is it necessary to go so far away? Are there projects that can be done closer to the camp in an attempt to decrease time spent traveling and increase the project work itself?
When are you going to do your prototype?
Do you have plans or a mechanism to engage girls in the slums that have already dropped out of school, may be experimenting with drugs, or are in abusive situations?
All the best Beatrice!!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Bettina,
Thank you so much again.
No need for apologies, your ideas have been helpful in adding in the missing gaps, whatever you read is actually something I added in after your insightful questions :), thank you!!!
The specific community service projects I have in mind includes tree planting(April -May), and cleaning the environments - could be roads, water sources, painting a hospital or police station..., each girl trains and mentors 10-20 girls in their respective communities about the dangers of teenage pregnancies and early marriages (our current mentees did this in December 2013 and was very successful). These are my thoughts, I am sure the girls will have more ideas of what they would wish to implement in these communities, the mentors and trainers and our supporters too could be having more ideas, you too Bettina...
Please bare in mind that these community projects will be identified and agreed upon at least 2 months earlier before the holidays/school breaks begin so that we could coordinate with the respective communities in order to make the work easier and achievable for the girls.
The traveling to the project community is not a whole day travel as such; the fact that these trainings/mentoring sessions or camping as you termed it will be mostly in hotels (with accommodation) and calm/less noisy environments, it is very unlikely that these venues will be closer to the slums/villages. So after the two days training, there will be need to travel closer, settle down and drawing plans for the activities for the next two days.
Does that make sense? please let me know if it is still confusing so I could amend.
I just added in a few more clarifications in the "What might a day in the life of a community member interacting with your idea look like? "
Given the funding, we could get started this next holidays (August-September)!
As mentioned in the content, these girls will be the agents for change in their communities, they will help us identify and support the girls experimenting with drugs, or are in abusive situations.
My ears are open for your insights Bettina, keep them coming.
One question please; when the evaluations begin, do they give credit to the ideas in the comments or only those in the content?
Would be wise to incorporate some of these new ideas in the content.
Thank you so much again, Bettina!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi! The details you have posted have given me a clear picture of the plan and process. I can visualize the story. (Happy to hear an entire day will not be spent on a bus, although for girls just meeting each other those can be very fun times!) I like the variety of community service projects! Tree planting! (Is there a specific environmental concern?)
Do you speak to people in the local communities where you will do the service projects to find our what their needs are? Maybe that is something the girls can do as they think about upcoming projects. It can offer them the opportunity to learn how to approach community members, interview, and survey as that is part of the plan for when they return home.
Great that the girls will exchange contacts. Is there any plan to formally keep them connected between camps? A monthly club at your NGO for example? After only a week away they might slip back into isolation. It will take time to build empowerment.

Regarding your question about evaluators giving credit to and looking at the ideas in the comments - For a certain answer reach out to the OpenIDEO team by posting under one of their comments below.
I agree with you that it is wise to incorporate new ideas and update content.
My impression is content is updated with new builds from comments, answers to questions posed by Sponsors, OpenIDEO team members and community members, learnings done during prototyping and from speaking with folks on the ground, clarifications of the idea as one works through it etc. I believe that the content is where you continually build your idea from all these resources. Comments and conversation is where collaboration happens. It is incredibly interesting and thought provoking . The proposal, which incorporates all of these things, is what you present in the content and supporting visuals and documents. This is my observation of the site. I hope that helps!

All the best again Beatrice!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Bettina,
Thank you so much again!
Tree planting is usually recommended between the month of March - May which are usually the rainy seasons.
We have spoken to some locals in the slums about the idea, also with the rural community we support in Tororo and Buteleja; they are both positive about the project.
I agree with your idea that the girls be given the opportunity to approach their community members about their service projects. It gives a sense of ownership to them in their communities doing the interviews and surveys.
In almost every school, there are visitation days
Plans to keep the girls connected while at school would be visiting with them in their respective schools once a month, see how they are fairing in schools. Many of them are in boarding schools so getting out of school within the term more than once would not be recommended.
I also updated my idea with some of the ideas from you.
Great insights you've got!
Thank you very much for your support this far.
Warm regards,
Beatrice

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

I am enjoying the conversation Beatrice. It is interesting to learn so much about the girls in Uganda and their struggles. More programs are needed to improve their futures.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you for this too.
I personally try my very best to improve the lives of girls, supporting 103 in school through individual support from across the globe :)
If this works well, more girls will be transformed.
Let's keep intouch.
Warm regards,
Beatrice

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Definitely! Let me know if I can help more as you update!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great updates, Beatrice! Would be helpful if you can fill out the two additional sections in the submission form: Show Us What Implementation Might Look Like + Get a User's Perspective on Your Idea. We're sure you've got great insights to share for both sections, ahead of our Evaluation phase which starts in a couple of days.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Meena!
I filled out the two sections!
Many thanks again for your help this far..

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Nice one, Beatrice!

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Meena!

Photo of Pâmella Brum
Team

I think that that's a great idea Beatrice!! Encouraging them to keep studying and making them more aware of future opportunities that there might be for them as well as providing them with knowledge that will help them make better life choices is a great idea that will impact their future and possibly the whole future of the community as they move away from sexual abuse, dropping out of school and other issues. Hope to see that working out well! Perhaps an idea would be to partner with NGO's that can assist in getting people to teach in the workshops and seminars.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Pamella,
Thank you so much for your feedback.
You are right, partnering with other NGOs and specialists to help with the mentoring and skills development in this project is one of our immediate steps.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great thinking, Beatrice! During the course of this challenge, it could be good to start the conversation with local leaders and community members to seek their feedback and input – and you can add that to your post by hitting the Update Entry button on the right of your post. We're excited to hear what you find out.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Meena! I will start the conversation with the local leaders next week and post my feedback. Thank you so much for your advise and contribution.

Photo of Damon
Team

I think deeply address this question, is to develope industry rather than education, because when people have enough money to survive, and then they will to pay attention for education. because before I live in a very poor village, so much crime. when company develop the local economy, everything is improve

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Here's a friendly tip: add more details to your OpenIDEO profile so folks can see who they're collaborating with here. Think skills, experience, passions & more!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Thanks for the updates, Beatrice. Loving the official stamp on your Implementation Plan! :^)

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

:) That's a seal. Fingers crossed Meena! Thank you.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great to see the photo from your recent Open Circle Life Skills training session, Beatrice. Would be great if you can add it to your image gallery on the submission form, rather than as an image download. That way others here, including our Expert Panel, will be likely to see it :^),Great to see the photo from your Open Circle Life Skills training session, Beatrice. Would be good if you could add that to your image gallery in the submission form, rather than as a download. That way more people, including our Expert Panel, will be likely to see it :^)

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you for this comment Neema. How do I do this dear. Seems I can't figure out how yet.
Thank you for your help Meena

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

If you hit the Update Entry button on the right of your post – you can edit your submission. Scroll down to the Make it Visual section and hit the Upload Image button – and re-upload the photo from your session there. Hope that helps. If you have any problems, feel free to contact our helpdesk by using the Feedback button at the bottom of this page.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Meena, when I do so, it looks like the photos are in the right place :)

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Yes – great!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making it to the Women's Safety Challenge Refinement list, Beatrice! We like the fact that you have spoken to young girls in the community about this project and reflected their feedback in your idea submission. You have demonstrated that there is a clear need for young women in these areas to feel more empowered and to find employment opportunities. We also like the idea of women and girls articulating their likes and dislikes within the community and coming up with potential solutions for themselves. As we go into the refinement phase, we would love to hear more about the steps that you will be taking forward to test and further design this idea: for example, how will you select the type of training that girls might want? How will you identify and attract the right kind of mentor for the holiday programme? We would also be interested in what other initiatives could support this project by addressing the root causes of the problem (ie. the boys who are seducing the girls, the fact that so many girls feel isolated once they migrate to urban areas despite the density of the population living in the same physical space). We look forward to reading more about your idea in the coming weeks – thanks! For more tips for this Refinement phase, check out http://ideo.pn/ws-refine-tips and catch our Tools for Refinement at http://openideo.com/content/tools-for-the-womens-safety-challenge-refinement-phase.

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you very much!
In the just concluded Open Circle - http://www.open-circle.org Life Skills training with 32 rural youths [27 girls and 5 boys] of Tororo district, we realized that most youths need further trainings that will bring solutions to their personal lives and dreams as well as solutions for their communities.

At the end of the two days’ training, we went further to ask these youths what sort of further trainings they need, most of them noted down trainings around academic seminars, HIV, Friendship, Talent promotion, behavior/character building, early pregnancy and early marriages, youth in community development, sharing experiences, practical science skills, self awareness, learning about and from other communities, communication skills, how to become successful, leadership, how to fight poverty among others.

We will select three training topics and one community activity per holiday based on their feedback on the type/choice of trainings listed above and share the idea on our website and social media for people from across the globe and within Uganda who could be interested to offer these skills to sign up, we will do this at least 2 months before the holidays start.

We will promote rural community projects and innovations so that girls can create and or find jobs within their own communities rather than migrating to the slums. We will also follow up with the families of the girls in the slums seeking the advice on what we could do to reduce the challenges faced by the slum girls.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Fantastic! We hope with all that good work you're doing on the ground, you'll find time to refine your post (see instructions on the links in the comment from OpenIDEO above) We're excited to see what you come up with...

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Meena, I will refine my post this week. The fact that we trained with the rural youths lately helps us think deeper about what to do, the outcome and the impact.
I appreciate your follow -on. Thank you!

Photo of Jamie Beck Alexander
Team

Great idea, Beatrice. I really love the mentoring aspect too. Do you have in mind a group of women who might serve as the mentors? If so, it would also be interesting to start talking with them about what kind of knowledge, experiences, empowerment goals they'd like to impart to the young women.

Lastly, is there a local NGO that you know of in your community that you could talk to to potentially help you implement this idea?

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Hi Jamie,
Thank you for the comment. There are a number of women, girls and men who would offer mentoring trainings to these girls. There are those who are professional consultants and those running NGOs that we would collaborate with.
I founded an NGO, Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE Foundation) which offers mentorship project - http://pce-foundation.org .
Recently the 67 girls whom we support through sponsorship conducted peer to peer mentorship about early pregnancy and early marriage education. Each of these girls reached out to 20 girls in their respective villages. It was more of dialogues /discussions.
Given the funds, our organization PCE Foundation will successfully implement this project.

Photo of Natasha Freidus
Team

I love this idea. Do you have other ideas for the curriculum you'd implement or potential venues?

Photo of Beatrice Achieng Nas
Team

Thank you Natasha. At the moment we have ideas on building the girls egos and leadership skills, communication skills, talent discoveries and exploitation, community outreaches. Potential venues are Hotels, recreation centers, the Zoo,..
We would also do community exchange visits, the girls we currently support in Eastern Uganda - a rural set-up (http://pce-foundation.org/mentorship.jsp.htm) being visited and sharing ideas by and with the girls living in Soweto slums and vice versa.
The community outreach activities involves these girls in cleaning and or carrying out activities that improve the living conditions in their communities and the exchange communities.
I welcome your ideas as well.
Kind regards,
Beatrice