Beacon of Hope Uganda is improving the life of vulnerable and marginalized communities through a number of grassroots development programs that are focusing on capacity empowerment, economic empowerment and social development projects.
When Beacon of Hope Uganda opens its doors to the rural communities of Uganda, we talk to the community members about what they think are the issues that affect their lives and about the problems they face in daily life. We carry out needs – assessments which help us identify the challenges the community has. The next step is to make sure the community itself takes a vital role in tackling its challenges.
Our understanding of ‘Sustainable Development’ is development which focuses on the social, environmental and economic factors play a determining role in tackling poverty. We do such in a way that ensures a development for the existing community that does not affect the ability of future generations to enjoy the same opportunities.
Our strategy focuses on change within the community. We do this in three ways.
- Investing capital in infrastructure and different resources in schools and agricultural project;.
- Promoting small business development through micro-finance/loans;
- Building skills and knowledge of (rural) community members;
Together with the communities we serve we have identified 5 key areas where change needs to have a positive impact if poverty is to become a challenge of the past.
- Human Rights & Peace
The method by which change is brought about is as important as the change itself. If change is inflicted on a person or community then it is likely to fail. The process of change must therefore be both be desired and inclusive. Active participation and ownership of the local communities in all our programs is key.
Our approach is to work in partnership with the community based on equality. Collaborating with different communities, ensuring their full and active participation in the process from beginning to end, aiming at increasing their independence every step of the way. This reduces our role to the one of facilitator, mentor and assessor.
Our Work and Approach
Our role in the partnerships we build with the communities is to bring external knowledge, skills, know-how and funds to the table to complement, enhance and build upon the existing skills, knowledge and intrinsic motivation, passion and dreams of every individual. In this way we help turn their words and aspirations into projects that can help deliver what is needed to assist in the holistic process of change.
The communities understand that no single project is going to alleviate their poverty at once but that a number of projects focused on the 5 key areas (Education, Agriculture, Health, Environment and Human Rights) will have a lasting positive impact and ought to provide them with the tools to defeat poverty.
It is important therefore for our donors to understand that each project is but one spoke in the wheel of success and that the strength of the wheel/success comes from the combined efforts of all participants. We are all world citizens which can utilize our unique talents and passions to defeat poverty together as one. – yet all different.
The process of monitoring that we have both adopted and adapted is called ‘Outcome Mapping’ and is a participatory process. The project participants in identifying what success looks like highlight the obstacles that they envisage as are preventing them from achieving that success. We then develop the program around developing the skills, knowledge and opportunities that will facilitate success.
Progress is then measured against the obstacles and the impact is determined through surveys, interviews and group discussions.