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. 

A S P E N   C O M M U N I T Y   L I B R A R Y

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.

HOLIDAY

Because Uganda has three academic terms, there are three month-long holiday breaks throughout the school year. These breaks from school have become one of Action in Africa’s busiest times, as The Center fills with over 200 kids each day. To capitalize on all of the traffic The Center receives during this period, AIA offers a variety of programs. In the mornings, we have classes and review sessions that cater to pre-school students, primary students and secondary students. After the academic lessons, students are expected to work on reading or drawing challenges  (provided by AIA), utilize the library or participate in our ongoing book report challenge. The afternoons are filled with spelling bees, debates, writing prompts, art programs and other creative based workshops such as music, drama, and dance.