The people of Kyebando – a ghetto on the outskirts of Uganda’s capital of Kampala – have long confronted poverty, scarce housing, and inadequate sanitation. In a country where almost 80 percent of the population is under 30, many younger kids can’t afford public school fees. Older ones who can’t find jobs often resort to petty crime.
YourSpace – An Open Space For All
And yet, every day, Kyebando’s residents show their resilience. Bushman Papashante and other members of the You & I Foundation (YAIF) have collaborated with Shadowman to build YourSpace, a safe place where people can talk, perform, learn, and earn.
Bushman, founder of You&I Foundation
YourSpace Community Center
Trash flooding the walkways outside Kyebando
A mother and her child inside Kyebando
Outside YourSpace in Kyebando
Local Innovation Addressing Local Issues
One YourSpace meeting produced an idea that’s helping to solve several problems. With support from Shadowman, You & I is paying residents – most of them single mothers — to pick up discarded plastic bags and pack them tightly into reclaimed plastic bottles.
“Bottle Brick Building has given me a chance to make some money for the entire family.”
The result is the “bottle brick.” Inspired by the Ugandan constructions of the Social Innovation Academy (SINA) and Opportunigee, You & I is using about 10,000 bottle bricks to build a desperately needed community latrine.
Rita walking through the Kyebando neighborhood
The Bottle Brick
Making Bottle Bricks in Kyebando
Inspiration for Bottle Brick Building from Opportunigee
Bottle Brick Collection Center in front of YourSpace
Bottle Brick station outside Kyebando, Uganda
Community Space for Training and Learning
Shadowman and You & I are also collaborating on a multitude of other initiatives within YourSpace, including:
* Production and distribution of stylish sandals and clothes.
* Computer training.
* Entrepreneurship guidance for residents dreaming of a start-up.
* Hands-on lessons in sustainable agriculture.
* Instruction in music production.
* Creation of The Airport — a vegetable garden/ tea lounge/ art gallery where new ideas cans take flight.
My purpose is not to sell our urban organic produce to get money, but to encourage those in the community to do this in their home. We really sit down and think about our brothers and sisters that are suffering.
Children learning about SDGs
Watching the World Cup 2018 inside YourSpace
Sewing class at YourSpace
Urban farming outside Kyebando