Kyebando, Uganda

Collaborating with You & I Foundation

Empowering locals to spark creativity throughout the community

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.

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.  

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.


“This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in each experience. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. Therefore nil desperandum. March forward, hero!”

You & I credo