Ghettos

Alternative Social Services

Creating opportunities for people to attain skills, unleash talent, develop their own sources of income, and improve quality of life.

In Kampala’s Kyebando ghetto, people are forced to confront many of humanity’s toughest challenges. Many people here don’t have jobs, despite their desire to work, and turn instead to the informal economy. A huge number of children are orphans and many adults have no access to housing. In a country of 45 million, where 75% of the population is under 30, and 46% under the age of 15, vast amounts of skill and talent are going to waste.

 

Approach:

Creating a circular economy around waste, and developing an environment grounded in culture and innovation are two key pillars in helping communities find a path to prosperity and a higher quality of life.

We helped set up the You&I Foundation to launch local community projects. With offices in Kyebando and critical support from the government of Uganda, the You&I Foundation is a central hub for our Ugandan initiatives. 

It all starts with space.

You&I Foundation Community

To.org has supported the creation of YourSpace by renting six properties, including a community centre which hosts classes, meetings and events including the Women’s Circle, boxing classes, local government meetings, arts and crafts classes, and community parties and film screenings. This was established in collaboration with Bushman Papashante and other members of the You&I Foundation, for the purpose of helping people connect, learn, talk, perform and earn.

YourLab

In the parking lot of YourSpace is YourLab, in which to.org has helped to create a series of further community spaces:

  • Hack Shack – a workshop with tools for metalwork and woodwork projects, where ghetto youth come to create and build.
  • Fab Lab – a shipping container with 3D printers and a computer lab, where young and old from the community come for free classes on basic computing, coding, and 3D printing.
  • Two compost toilets for the use of anyone in the community.
  • A ‘Mushroom House’ & vegetable growing area.
  • Composting beds for compost collected from the YourLab community toilets and well as from composting toilets installed around other Kyebando.

Caribbean Records

To.org helped You&I Foundation and Bushman Papashante establish a recording studio for Caribbean Records. Here, talented musicians and performers from Kyebando receive support, mentorship and the resources to create professionally produced tracks.

Bottle Brick

Bottle Bricks are made from packing hundreds of discarded plastic bags into used plastic bottles, these bricks are then used to build structures such as toilets for local residents. To.org has supported the production and use of Bottle Bricks at various locations throughout Kyebando. This initiative creates jobs and clears waste from the district, which in turn helps to reduce disease. Go behind the scenes for the full backstory of Bottle Brick.

COMPOSTING

The lack of toilets creates a public health challenge in areas such as Kyebando, where providing access to toilets is critical in the battle against poor hygiene and disease. We have worked with the local community and the non-profit organization Give Love, founded by Patricia Arquette, to build composting toilets in private homes and businesses, as well as community toilets housed in Bottle Brick structures. Composting toilets have also been installed in the homes of residents at the Lisa Care Association in Kyebando, an NGO that provides housing for polio-affected adults and their children. 

Happy Hammy

Established with the support of Creative Activist Shrine, a Los Angeles based artist and to.org Creative Activist, Happy Hammy is a school for 185 children in Kyebando.