B E   B E L O N G   B E C O M E

After recognizing the lack of safe after school activities for kids in the village and the requests of parents to have adult education lessons, we decided to explore the possibility of opening a community center. In 2014 we officially opened “The Center,” a community facility that serves as a place for people in Nakuwadde to Be, Belong, and Become. The Center offers daily after school, creativity-based programming for kids in the village as well as weekly programs for adults.

OUR GARDEN

In July 2015, a new garden project began to take place at The Center. Behind the main building, there is a half acre plot of land where we planted corn, beans, tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and a variety of other vegetables. Our house mom, and now gardener, Mama Harriet, has taken this on as her project and spends two mornings a week working in the garden. Not only does she take so much pride in all of her work, but also uses the vegetables to prepare a daily lunch for our staff. Additionally, schools and community members utilize the garden as an example of small-scale farming opportunities in rural villages. 

COMMUNITY LIBRARY

One year after construction began in 2008, Aspen’s Action in Africa Community Library was officially opened. Today it stands as one of the few public libraries in the Kampala area. Aspen’s AIA Community Library offers a variety of books, ranging from novels and cartoons to encyclopedias and school textbooks.  It is open to the public Monday through Friday and hosts programs to help foster a culture of reading within the village.

WORKSHOP

The students we work with in Uganda are exceptional, and we hope to cultivate their talent with our guidance and resources. This must take place both inside and outside of the classroom. We offer a variety of after school creative workshops at The Center, including music, dance, storytelling, creative writing, painting, and craft making. These programs are designed to enhance the education of our students while tapping into their creativity and inspiring them to believe in themselves and their futures.

“Here’s to good women. May we know them!

May we be them! May we raise them!”

Every Friday morning, we have the pleasure of hosting a women’s support group called “Women to Women,” that now includes over 40 women from the Nakuwadde community.  We meet at The Center to take breakfast, share our highs and lows from the week, and provide support and encouragement for one another. In the past year, we have partnered with a number of other
organizations to host various workshops for the women designed to equip them with better health knowledge as well as business tools to become agents of change in their communities. 

SPECIAL NEEDS

Meet my handsome friend, neighbor and Valentine, Shakil. He lives a stones throw away, literally so close that we can hear his mom talking to him or yelling for him to come bathe. He is one of three siblings, the middle child to be precise.

Shakil is funny. He is smart. He loves to play jokes and pinch my cheeks. His smile is contagious and speaks more than words ever would and his eagerness to walk just melts my heart every time we strap on those braces. And every time he attempts to say “Auntie

E N G L I S H   L E S S O N S

While Action in Africa wasoriginally established to work with children in Uganda, we soon realized that the kids we worked with were going home to parents that also had the desire to learn and empower themselves. For years, many of the families in Nakuwadde requested that we offer adult English lessons. After completing various trial runs with a handful of students and teachers, we hired an instructor and have begun offering introductory classes. We are excited about the progress and are hoping to increase the number of classes and students in the coming months.

M E D I C A L   O U T R E A C H

Since the development of our no-handouts policy, we have worked tirelessly to implement programs and projects that can greatly benefit the community at large without perpetuating the cycle of dependency. A few months back, a community member suggested we offer free medical services. We loved the idea and decided to give it a shot. On February 20th we hosted the very first Free HIV Testing and Counseling clinic and it went remarkably well. We tested 68 people, all of which were negative. It went so well that is it now a program that will be offered monthly at The Center.

HOLIDAY