Field Report! Team meeting in Kampala, Uganda

When Kampala’s five Connectors met at a beer garden a few weeks ago, one of their first thoughts was: What materials, skills, and tactics could we employ to better connect people to local resources?

Being that so far all of the Connectors in the Team work with youth in some capacity—from running an orphanage to empowering girls to global education—the first idea that came to mind was targeting young people, in addition to adults, who are interested in community development.

“We believe that today’s youths are tomorrow’s flag bearers—the ‘Gen-Next’ who shall manage and lead our country,” says Ibrahim Bahati, a trainer at a marketing agency with a background in economics and library management. “Development is a process. We need youths to start working to secure the future.”

Kampala

Kampala’s Connectors from left to right: Tony Mawejj, Namisango Juliet, Robbinah Hakiza, Ibrahim Bahati, and Tony Kabuye.

Kampala is a major center for nonprofits and social enterprises: there are a lot of them, and many are well-funded and supported. But in Ibrahim’s opinion, corruption, nepotism, and poor resource management plague these organizations, too, and can cancel out the good.

The Team thinks the best way for them to combat this problem is not through the elders—who may be set in their ways—but through mobilizing youth to become Connectors and training them to identify the resources around them.

How will they find these young people? Their plan is to tap into social media and the city’s cultural centers. The Team thinks the big challenge will be getting youth to see that money isn’t the only resource worth cultivating—there are also ideas, people, and information, to name just a few.

“When people here talk about effective resources, all ears go to the money. But that’s not all,” Ibrahim says.

Besides their initial focus on youth, the Team agreed on three core values of compassion, integrity, and empowerment, and also set up a Team structure with clearly delineated roles.

Their next steps include collectively encouraging 20 Connectors to come to their follow-up meeting on May 17, which will also be broadcast live.

For Ibrahim, being part of the Team is nothing short of inspiring.

“It’s a big world right now. You have to be able to address the issues within your society with your own work plan and your own means, little by little impacting society,” he says. “I think that’s what’s great about the Idealist Network. It enables you to do this.”

Live in Kampla? Join the Team! Live elsewhere? Look for a Connector Team near you or start one of your own.

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