Usanii Village Africa and Soulevement are set to start our Skills Development and Innovation for Impact Program in November 2023. This program aims to strengthen the skills and capacity of these organizations to promote their growth, visibility, and sustainability. Get to know the selected organizations by exploring their profound missions and achievements so far, and learn more about their expectations of participating in our newest program.
Usanii Village Africa: Painting a peaceful future
Since its foundation in 2020, Usanii Village Africa’s mission has been to create a peaceful world for children and youth through art. Bernard Molho, the founder, was inspired by the potential of art during his time in the Leadership Development Programme (Honors College) hosted by Uganda Christian in 2016. While joining the program, he was asked, “What do you want to do for your community, and why?” This got Bernard thinking about how he could make a real difference. He was already a fine arts teacher, so he knew the power of art to make people think and imagine. This became more than just a school program for Bernard; it became a way to help his community. In 2020, there were floods in Kasese district, and as many as 100 thousand people suffered, including Bernard’s family. Girls, especially, faced more challenges, like not being able to afford health kits during their periods and being sexually exploited to acquire sanitary pads. This motivated Bernard to start Usanii Village Africa. First, they made sure girls got what they needed for their periods through organizing a fundraiser with friends and well-wishers. Then, they talked to the community to better understand additional challenges and find ways to help. Now, they use art to change how people think and act, making things better for everyone.
Usanii Village Africa is involved in several impactful initiatives that have contributed significantly to social change:
- Supported by The Pollination Project, Usanii Village Africa actively engages artists to raise awareness about plastic pollution.
- Their distribution of sanitary pads and plans to manufacture reusable ones underscore their commitment to addressing period poverty and stigma.
- Poetry and visual arts serve as powerful mediums to amplify their message.
Usanii Village Africa envisions the Skills Development and Innovation for Impact Program as a gateway to enhancing their needs assessment strategy, governance style, and leadership capabilities. The organization aims to fortify its foundation, fostering sustainability and impactful social change.
Community involvement is integral to Usanii Village Africa. They plan to collaborate with art-focused organizations, envisioning a future where young people are empowered through vocational training, access to information, and environmental advocacy.
The organization plans to perform risk assessments and develop SMART objectives to ensure the longevity of its programs. Usanii Village Africa is committed to continuous learning, offering incentives, follow-up training, mentorship, and regular program evaluations.
Soulevement Kenya: Nurturing minds and transforming lives
Soulevement Kenya, a registered community-based organization, is on a mission to provide holistic mental wellness for children and youth in Kisumu County and Western Kenya. Their individual-centered approach seeks to revolutionize mental health care in the community.
Through programs like Jihimarishe and Tubonge, Soulevement has touched the lives of over 2 000 children and engaged 600 youths and women in skill training. Their Story Yangu initiative continues to inspire hope through online stories, emphasizing the importance of mental wellness.
Soulevement anticipates multifaceted growth through the Skills Development and Innovation for Impact Program, including career advancement, improved performance, and personal development. Technical and soft skills enhancement, along with organizational acumen, are at the forefront of their expectations.
Community engagement is a cornerstone of Soulevement’s approach, sporting collaborations with institutions like Kisumu Children’s Remand Home and Compassion International. Their goal is to significantly increase access to mental health services in rural areas by 2025.
Soulevement’s focus on continuous learning, incentives, follow-up training, mentorship, and program evaluation underscores its commitment to sustaining impactful initiatives.
Usanii Village Africa and Soulevement are scripting stories of change in East Africa, using art and mental wellness as instruments of empowerment. As they embark on the Skills Development and Innovation for Impact Program, the echo of transformation rings loud.