Batwa Development Program

This Entry has been submitted.

Batwa Development Program

Uganda
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Having evicted the Batwa Pygmies from their centuries-old homeland in the Bwindi forest in south western Uganda and being one of the marginalized and impoverished people in the world, Batwa Development Program shall strive to build a new life for the Batwa through provision of basic education and agriculture.

 

About You
Location
Project Street Address

Buhoma, Bwindi

Project City

Kanungu

Project Province/State
Project Postal/Zip Code
Project Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on:

Uganda

What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1-5 years

YouTube Upload

Batwa video, Scott Kellermann

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

<$10

Innovation
Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

Having evicted the Batwa Pygmies from their centuries-old homeland in the Bwindi forest in south western Uganda and being one of the marginalized and impoverished people in the world, Batwa Development Program shall strive to build a new life for the Batwa through provision of basic education and agriculture.

What makes your idea unique?

The Batwa being the original ancient dwellers of the forest who survived only by hunting small game and gathering various plants and fruit that the forest naturally supplied, the Batwa lost their natural habitat in 1991 when Bwindi forest was gazzated a national park. The Batwa then became homeless with no title and no compensation. They started dying of diseases and hunger in 2000 a medical needs survey ascertained that the Batwa had an under five mortality of 38% compared a Uganda average of 18% and USA statistics of 0.8%. Four in ten Batwa would not live to see their fifth birthday, with a life expecting of only 28 an annual income of $50, their very existence was threatened. It was recognized that in order to address their grinding poverty, multiple areas of intervention were necessary. In 2005 Dr Scott and Carol Kellermann formed BDP and they have worked to buy land, build homes, construct a hospital and several clinics, build and encouraged indigenous rights. All these activities are now being assumed by the Batwa themselves under this organization (BDP). The BDP is a not for profit corporate organization that is run entirely by the Batwa Pygmies. The BDP is now responsible for over 200 Batwa students, home building at a rate of 1to 2 houses monthly, oversight of over 250 acres of land and numerous agricultural water and sanitation projects.

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

Education , Education reform , Adult education , Community development , Economic development , Food security , Fundraising , Housing , Income generation , Poverty alleviation , Scholarships and grants , Sustainable development , Environment & Sustainability , Conservation , Sustainable agriculture , Health care , Health education , Sanitation , Food security , Indigenous cultures , Land rights , Racial equality , Vulnerable populations , Public Participation & Engagement , Cultural preservation , Spirituality .

What impact have you had?

BDP has sponsored more than 200 students to primary of these four students are in high school and 2 students will join University education next year 2010. They will be the 1st Batwa to join University education in the history of Uganda. BDP has employed a trained teacher responsible to take care of students’ sponsorship and to ensure that Batwa students are encouraged to stay in school, to promote adult literacy and village based trainers at Batwa settlements, and to provide spiritual guidance and counseling to all Batwa communities.
BDP has initiated vocational programs within Batwa communities. Adult literacy have been encouraged and made easily accessible. The Batwa children who are given access to educational opportunities have performed well. The Bishops Primary School at Kanungu where BDP is sponsoring 40 children has been a centre of excellence proving quality education to the Batwa. BDP have built 44 homes for the Batwa and secured over 280 acres of land. BDP have set up a Batwa craft Banda and now hand crafts are being exported to America. BDP has put up a Batwa cultural preservation centre where the Batwa will be able to demonstrate to their children how they used to live in the forest. It will also act as education centre.

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

BDP is addressing the problem of poverty among the Batwa communities by supporting Batwa Pygmy education to all their children in Kanungu district. BDP also resettles the landless Batwa by buying them land and build houses such that they could have permanent settlement unlike before when they just lived in the forest hunting small game and gathering various plants and fruits that the forest naturally supplied. BDP also addresses the problem of diseases and malnutrition by providing medical care and meals to Batwa patients when they are hospitalized at Bwindi Community Hospital.

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

BDP has trained the Batwa in handcraft making and Batwa craft Banda has been put up. Batwa are selling their handcrafts to visitors who come to Bwindi National Park and some are shipped to America. Funds got from these handcrafts are used to pay school fees and other scholastic materials to Batwa students, and pay medical bills. BDP is also building a Batwa cultural preservation centre adjacent to the Bwindi National park. Batwa will be able to demonstrate to their children how they used to live in the forest, treat diseases with medicinal plants and make fire with sticks. They will also pass on their legends and songs to their children. Tourists will be coming to visit this cultural centre and pay money which will be used to pay school fees, buy land for resettling land less Batwa and pay medical bills and food for patients.

Impact
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

In year 1, BDP will start reaping profits got from sell of Batwa hand crafts. However, there is need for a stable market for these handcrafts locally and internationally. Money got from sell of handcrafts will pay for medical care.

Success in Year 2:

In year 2, Batwa cultural preservation centre will be fully sponsoring students at all levels of education.

Success in Year 3:

In year 3, Poultry and rabbit project will be in take off stage. All Batwa families will be provided with chicken and rabbits as source of food thus solving the problem of malnutrition among the Batwa children.

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)

Yes.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:

Batwa Development Program shall provide spiritual guidance and counseling to all Batwa students and Batwa communities at large.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

Batwa Development Program shall take care of all Batwa students’ sponsorships and ensure that students are encouraged to stay in school.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

BDP shall promote adult literacy, train more Village Based Trainers; and support at least 20 Batwa in vocational training.

Describe the expected results of these actions.

• When basic education is fully provided to all Batwa children their life and pride will be rediscovered and thus they will emerge from a life of poverty with an improved and sustainable status of life.
• More than 50 Batwa will be employed having acquired different educational skills.
• BDP will enroll more 60 Batwa students in school and 2 students will be enrolled to university next year.
• Mukongoro community school would be built and twelve Batwa homes will be set up.
• It is expected that 10 more Batwa students will join high school education next year 2010.
• Adult literacy classes will be supported in all Batwa communities and made easily accessible. And consequently more than 30 batwa will acquire skills such carpentry, weaving and masonry.
• More than 50 Batwa will have learnt how to read and write.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

The Batwa have lived in the forest for centuries. They were driven out of the forest in 1991 when Bwindi was gazzatted as a national park and there was no compensation by the government. BDP is one of the organizations that are resettling the Batwa especially in Kanungu District. Therefore going to school is a new experience for the Batwa. Batwa students are new to their Bakiga classmates, the teachers and even the headmaster. Therefore BDP is making sure that the Batwa are in school with all the school necessities such that they are not discriminated. We hope that in future after they have attained quality education, these people will become leaders in their communities and perhaps the nation at large.
In 2000 a medical needs survey ascertained that the Batwa had an under five mortality of 38% compared with a Uganda average of 18% and USA statistics of 0.8%. Four in ten Batwa would not live to see their fifth birth day. With the life expectancy of only 28 and an annual income of$50, their very existence was threatened. It was recognized that in order to address their grinding poverty, that multiple areas of intervention were necessary. That is why BDP was formed.
BDP shall make sure that Batwa literacy rate is increased from 0% to 70% with in 10 years time. Our goal is to make nursery, primary, secondary and higher education as well as vocational training available at all Batwa. We know that without improving the literacy rate, it will remain difficult for them to conceive the importance of better health and development.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermann the founders of the Batwa ministry and BDP advisory committee have worked hard to see that BDP is in place and operational. Funds are raise through appealing for sponsorships for each individual student.
Their ancestors lived in the forested mountains of southwest Uganda. They used trees for their hunting, nourishment and shelter. The plants, flowers and waters for their medicines. The children are naturally inquisitive because nature germinates the seeds of curiosity. They have honed the tools that God has given them and with the help of good schools, colleges and universities, from caring and involved teachers and professors and with lots of books, paper, pencils and midnight oil these children will become leaders in their communities and perhaps the nation.

Going to school, usually a boarding school, is a new experience for the Batwa and they do not accept it as easily as one would think. I am speaking of both children and parents. The children have been fairly isolated in the settlement. They do not know the children from around the area, the Bakiga, the dominant tribe. Batwa students are new to their Bakiga classmates, the teachers and even, the head master. They all have to learn how to treat each other, their limitations and boundaries. This is never easy.
On the other hand, the parents have not been to school, in most cases, so they do not know the real importance of an education. Their children have been home helping with chores and African children do many chores around the house and in the fields. Now the child is gone at school and this puts more of a strain on Mom and Dad, if both parents are even still alive or around. So I think you can see that sending a Batwa child to school is more than just coming up with the school fees.
If the Batwa are treated too harshly by fellow students, their teachers or the head master, they will run away, back to the settlement. In many instances, teachers may be more malicious to the Batwa students because of their lowly status. Due to the potential unfair treatment of the Batwa by students and teachers alike, combined with the timidness of the Batwa children, education can become a challenge. The good thing is that the Batwa Development Program being made up of only Batwa and their advisory committee, non-Batwa, but who have been sending the children to school and bringing them back to school for over eight years now, know how to handle just about any situation that will and does arise. Love and understanding are critical components in creating a positive, learning experience for the Batwa students, their fellow students and their families.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

BDP heard about change makers through our friend Terry Lowe <[email protected]> Terry Lowe is a potential supporter of BDP. He and his friends intend to support the BDP’s home building program.

Sustainability
What would prevent your project from being a success?

• Lack of funds to sustain tuition fees and other scholastic materials.
• It is difficult to convince parents of Batwa children to allow their children go to school; some demand a lot of money so as to accept their children to be taken to school.

Financing source

Yes.

If yes, provide organization name.

We have a strong partnership with the Diocese of Kinkizi particularly for their continued oversight on the running of Bishops Primary School. BDP supports 39 Batwa students at this school which has been constructed to provide excellent education for the Batwa community.
BDP works in partnership with the Bwindi Community Hospital for purposes of providing medical care to all Batwa communities.

How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)

More than 5 years.

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes. It has both a board of Direcotrs and an Advisory Board.

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)

Yes.

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)

Yes.

The Story
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)

Yes.

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

BDP has a strong partnership with the Diocese of Kinkizi particularly for their continued oversight on the running of Bishops Primary School. BDP supports 39 Batwa students at this school which has been constructed to provide excellent education for the Batwa community.
BDP works in partnership with the Bwindi Community Hospital for purposes of providing medical care to all Batwa communities.

How many people will your project serve annually?

BDP will serve about one thousand five hundred members (1500) of the Batwa in Kanungu District.

What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

Number of employees are:24
Number of volunteers are:3
Total:27

What is your organization's business classification?

Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)

None of the above.