Jude Kakuba, a Rotarian from Uganda had been trying to improve levels of literacy in a school in Kampala for two years, with little success. After attending a Positive Peace workshop, Jude decided to look at his own project through the lens of Positive Peace. He identified a number of ways to address his project in a systemic way and engaged his local Rotary club in supporting a new initiative focusing on activating all the Pillars of Positive Peace.
How Positive Peace was implemented:
The Kakuba Literacy Project implemented an intervention representing each Positive Peace Pillar.
Well-Functioning Government: The involvement of local community leaders in the planning and implementation of the project encouraged community members to participate fully in all activities. Local stakeholders were invited to form a committee to oversee the project.
Equitable Distribution of Resources: School supplies were distributed equally, unrelated to a student’s ability to pay or perform in class. An example of this was the supply of sanitary pads to school girls, which improved attendance rates.
Good Relations with Neighbours: Fruit trees and vegetables were planted to reduce student pilfering from neighbouring orchards and fields because they were hungry. More importantly, this was accompanied by a porridge project, which provided porridge for pupils at lunchtime. This is what mainly contributed to improved academic performance; better nutrients provided the students with the energy to concentrate in the afternoons. It also led to higher attendances as parents knew that the children would get fed and didn’t have to look for their own food.
High Levels of Human Capital: The provision of educational materials served as a driving force to attract more students and also improved creativity and practical learning. The provision of medical services also ensure that members of the community were at a low risk of falling ill. This improved productivity and punctuality amongst pupils in school.
Acceptance of the Rights of Others: After identifying monthly drops in attendance by girls, sanitary pads were provided on a monthly basis. The provision of sanitary products as well as hygiene training further supported higher enrolment rates of girls into school.
Low Levels of Corruption: A separate committee on transparency was formed to monitor funds, donated items, as well as requests for accountability on how funds are used. All donated materials were branded as a gift to the community, increasing the sense of ownership and accountability. This has helped the community keep regular stock of items and improving accessibility to donated items at no cost.
Sound Business Environment: New classrooms were constructed exclusively using local materials and skills. This increased household income in the community.
Free Flow of Information: The project partnered with a local radio station that used the local language to spread news of the project and provide the community with regular updates. This made it easier to disseminate information amongst members of the community concerning projects. It also helped with proper monitoring and supervision of project activities by relaying information in a timely manner
Within two years of running the programme, pupil enrolment more than doubled and literacy levels significantly improved. The number of students attending the school jumped from 327 to 805. Furthermore, the percentage of students earning top grades increased from 30 per cent to 62 per cent.
The original objective of the programme was to improve student conditions, enrolment rates and academic performance. The project was later expanded to include enhancing community resilience by increasing levels of Positive Peace in and around the school system.
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