The Butterfly Project
Posted to: The Butterfly Project by Ben Parkinson (72), Sat, 14 Aug 2010 21:09:09 PDT
Edited: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 00:07:53 PDT
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Comments: 31 by 14 members
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We are nearing the end of year one and likely the end of the project, as I cannot extend the project past the middle of September, without some resource from somewhere and so I have been starting to think at some of the achievements of the project, some of which could be regarded as quite surprising or unlikely.
I will try to draw these up over time and maybe encourage the Butterflies to post individually what they believe that they have achieved as a result of the project and possible what they believe that they can achieve next.
I also encourage mentors to post anything they feel to be of significance, with regard to outputs.
- Four schools that the Butterflies attend now offers something other than posho and beans for lunchtime (and one other that other youth affiliated to the Butterfly project attend)
- There is now a running route around the Acholi Quarter that children regularly run for their own fitness
- Five of the Butterflies can now swim, when they could not beforehand. Some were previously scared of water
- Two Butterflies and one other are now sponsored for their schooling permanently. Indirectly, two others from members of Butterfly families are being sponsored
- Thirty children that are talented artists have learnt how to paint and have had chance to use oil pastels. Some will be exhibited in September
- There are two permanent music, dance and drama projects, with over a hundred participating children, one in a village, one in a slum district, Kisenyi
- In the Acholi Quarter, a new arts organisation - The Arts - has been founded, as a result of our intervention
- Many have improved academically this year - Eunice, Debra, Martin and Francis especially. Martin now tops his whole school in performance, which is signiicant, as it is the best senior school in his district
- The Caterpillar Club has been formed at the Chrysalis Centre, which is now well known locally as a place where children can come to read, learn computing and play games, though probably only about 30 are supported in this way locally, due to issues of theft
- The Chrysalis School concept has been researched and developed and at least one international supporter for it has been located, though not yet sufficient for us to proceed with the project
- From the Games Day, Makerere University are planning to utilise board games as part of their Sports Science curriculum. Also, Bridge has been introduced to the Uganda Mindgames Society. Also, Kampala has had its first "Games Day"
- Several of the Butterflies - Manisuli, Gilbert, Martin, Debra, Judith, Samuel - are now proficient computer users. Others are still improving, though
- Judith has been featured in a book
- Eunice can now play the flute and Gilbert the guitar, though, as yet, they have no instruments.
*STOP PRESS* Eunice received a flute for her birthday tonight
- Five young girls, who have been pinned to a life of housework, have been released through Debra's project
- Several disadvantaged children in rural areas have had a chance to travel to Kampala, including previous Butterflies Stella, Dora and Rachel, but also Sharon, Kjembo, Henry and Oscar
- A new business has been designed by the Caterpillar Club to generate income for their school fees. It is known as "Chicken for Change"
- The project has been responsible for delivering 4 concerts - 2 choir concerts and 2 dance and rap concerts for local children in the Acholi Quarter
- A Youth conference was organised at Life in Africa, with young people across Kampala with the Butterfly members, which highlighted many significant issues for youth in Uganda
- One boy removed from risk of physical abuse and three others supported through significant ill-health
- Over 100 children have been given services at the Chrysalis Centre this year, using the books, educational and film DVDs and XO laptops almost constantly during centre opening hours
- Following a visit to the government Department representing youth, Butterflies have been asked to help organise and speak in a youth conference in December. They have also been requested to meet with the same department again, if they have more issues to raise
- Many of the children in the "Imagine Us Here" project have benefited greatly from working with Gilbert and Samuel. Inspiration they have gained from the project has been passed to the previously talented but uninspired group. Though this project is almost over, somehow we need to keep it going, as the leaps in ability have been incredibly fast.
- Philip has been running a local football skills project in his local area in Kampala. It has been running without his presence
- In two weeks we will have a "Posho and Beans" Calendar completed, which can be sold to raise the profile of this misery-making issue in Uganda
- Prototypes will soon be available for a new cardgame, known as Poverty Fluxx (based on the Fluxx concept). The game is still a way off, but it will feature artwork produced during the Imagine Us Here Project.
- Samuel developed a local flavoured ice business
- In terms of outputs we have upwards of 100 pieces of art produced during the year by Butterflies and others. So far five of these have been sold and for the Primary school members, will pay for a term's fees.
- Nicky, friend of the Butterflies, has developed an "art therapy" project for children not at school
- Philip has been waging a campaign at his school against early morning preps. His justification is that it unfairly deprives pupils of sleep and were thus counterproductive to the performance of students. This week he advised me that he had managed to reduce these by one day a week and he is pressing for more.
- One thing that I think is particularly important here in Uganda is "orientation". Whenever you start something new "against the grain", then you are achieving an outcome. It became clear this morning that Brian, who is just 11 and on the Caterpillar Project, has been thinking about "his projects", as he reeled off a few ideas. Whatever these projects are is less relevant than the fact that he is thinking about delivering projects. He then proceeded to say that his friend wants a project too. Not all are thinking this way, but those exposed to the work that the Butterflies do, are clearly starting to consider modelling themselves on these young people. It's measurable in that I can name the many that are now orientated towards delivering positive change.
- I found out yesterday that Uganda mind Games have set up a Contract Bridge Association on the strength of my teaching the game to them at the Kampala Games Day
- Gilbert advises me that his village has started fundraising for some drums for his music project. They have raised 30,000 shillings so far and need around 200,000 shillings.
- Gilbert also says that the school have stopped teaching on Saturdays post a campaign by him to scrap Saturday teaching
- The Running Club has developed into a "General Purposes" Club and the kids have done further cleanup sessions and will continue to do so.
- Gilbert's Music Project, Kireka has been founded and they performed a short piece at the National theatre on Sunday 26th September. This seems to be becoming more permanent, as the group have now been asked to perform a play at Hotel Afrikana.
More to come...
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