A New Type of Business in Lugala
Arise has invested in Africa for a number of years now. During this time we have learned a great deal about helping people, families and communities. Our primary tactics for transforming circumstances today are training and business. By providing skills training and work opportunities to those who would take advantage of them, Arise offers people a vehicle to provide for themselves and their families. An opportunity seized not only builds capacity but also builds self respect. These people and their families can begin to thrive and also invest back into their communities.
Lugala is a village located on the outskirts of Kampala Uganda. This little village has some typical Ugandan streets, homes and people. It also has a number of slum areas and there are many residents who struggle to earn $1-a-day. Many slum families consist of a mother and many children who live in a single room with no windows and a dirt floor. These homes are frequently located near drainage ditches and sewage so Mosquitos are a constant menace and families fight Malaria with no funds to provide medical care. Life here is a daily struggle.
Arise is well positioned to make a significant difference in this community. Our organization has placed a family from Canada in Lugala and they are engaging with families there in a transformative way. This couple (Andrew and Terry Banman) have been involved with development work in Africa since 2009 and living in Uganda since 2014. The Banman's have already provided a number of opportunities for locals.
Of significance to their purpose, the Banman's have recently undertaken a founding role in an exciting social business. Not a traditional African crafts business, ERA92 is a media business offering services such as graphics design, video and photography, web design and marketing. With a background in IT and a love for video and photography, Andrew found these services a good technical fit for him. This work has also proved exciting for the young people Andrew is working with and marketable to a Kampala city clientele.
After only a short number of months in business, ERA92 has already trained and employed 5 young people. The team has provided photos and video for several weddings, produced a substantial amount of marketing artwork, shot video episodes for Youtube, provided photo and video for a popular local music band, and designed a number of web sites. The ERA92 leadership team is now planning additional training for new teammates and sees the company providing skills training and employment opportunities for many youth in the community.
A remarkable component of the ERA92 initiative is the mission and vision that all team members share. While each individual expects to benefit financially, each team member is also striving to share their skills and pass on new opportunities to others. They collectively feel a calling to be catalysts in their community through service.
While the Banman's are involved in and spearheading a number of initiative in Kosovo, they strive to place locals at the centre of each opportunity. ERA92 is a good example of this practise with the Banman's providing startup funds, technical skills and training, as well as business leadership while the business is owned and operating completely by motivated and talented young people from the Kosovo community.