The Canon Eric and Faith Bugaari Community Centre
When visiting Kebisoni during Christmas time in 2014, Jolly Bugari and members of OTYO were conducting a needs-assessment regarding youth programs in rural Kebisoni. The community expressed concern with the idleness of the youth, both during school and holiday time. We were often struck, as well, by the lack of youth access to books or to a library, and by the many children home for Christmas without books to read, or study materials. The closest library is in Kampala 300 miles away. We thought and reflected deeply, and decided that one of the best ways to help the youth of this and similar communities most effectively is to create a library and community centre that can offer access to books, tutoring, computers, health education, craft classes, and arts programs. We began looking at options for obtaining a site for the library/community centre. Fortunately, the local church was willing to donate land.
Archdeacon Kirebete, and the board of the North Kigezi Diocese in Kebisoni, have donated the land for the library/community centre enthusiastically, agreeing with the findings of our needs assessment. The church has also requested that we name the library/community center after Jolly’s late parents Faith and Canon Eric Bugaari. Canon Bugaari and his wife Faith were both prominent community leaders. Canon Bugaari was first and foremost an educator who taught at the Kakinga Primary School in Kebisoni for many years, who was also Canonized in the church. Faith was a leader of Mother’s Union for the Kebisoni Chapter. Naming the centre after Faith and Canon Bugaari, would reflect and honor their roles as community leaders and educators, and is a gesture of recognition and appreciation to their community service.
We have already met with the local community to decide that the community centre will include a library, a computer room, a music room, a medical clinic, a meeting room for community business. There is also space for a community garden as well as a sports field.
In addition to serving the local community in Kebisoni, one of the main ideas of the Community Centre is to allow OTYO! to connect closely with local community based organizations to provide a space for these organizations to work to achieve their goals. As one of the main missions of OTYO! is to provide technical and financial assistance to local community based organizations who work with women, adolescents and vulnerable children, we felt this would be a perfect opportunity to strengthen these relationships with the community.
The next steps that are needed to make the Community Centre a reality require support from you. We have support from local community members in Uganda as well as in kind donations for the library from contacts in the San Francisco Bay area. However, what is really needed this time is your financial help.
We recognized that the Community Centre is a very large undertaking for a small non-profit.
The Centre will have approximately 3000 square feet of enclosed building space. A donation of $50 dollars will translate to paying for about 1 square foot of construction. We look to our friends and previous donors to help us make the Community Centre a reality. You can also donate directly via our PayPal account through the links on our website.
We have included pictures below of the land where the Centre will be built as well as a rough sketch of what it will look like. Because we believe in contributing to the local economy, the construction of the Centre will be done by local community members and will be managed by OTYO! based in Kebisoni locally.
We are in the process of setting up a fundraising event to be held locally in the San Francisco Bay Area. Details on that event will be posted on our website as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages as soon as they become available. OTYO! always welcomes outside donations via our Paypal account on our webpage (www.otyo.org) and Facebook page.