The Butterfly Project - Developing Rural Young Social Entrepreneurs
The Butterfly Project trains up young people from remote rural Uganda to become young social entrepreneurs, with the ability and drive to raise up the living standards of those they live amongst.
The Butterfly Project is a unique project, that develops children aged 12-18 to become agents of change in their communities. We achieve this in a number of ways:
1. The Chrysalis School, an empowering school, that follows the national curriculum, but works with teachers to ensure that pupils are treated with respect and encouraged to reach their potential
2. A Supplementary curriculum for the school, which includes Ethics and Empathy, International Citizenship, Problem-solving, Practical Mathematics and Activism.
3. Activity sessions, which are designed to stimulate intellectually. For example, we have thinking skills sessions, art and music appreciation, strategic games, internet research, films and drama
4. Self-selected social projects. Every member is encouraged to devise their own social project, which they then implement in the local slum community (they are schooled in Kampala). By doing this, they become role models for local children, but also learn leadership skills and recruitment and project management skills, such as planning and good preparation. These projects could be ICT training, athletics, art, drama - the members choose themselves, what they believe they can offer to others.
5. Special policies. Members of the project are rewarded for certain types of behaviour, such as showing initiative, being sympathetic to the problems of another, thinking ahead of problems that might occur, good communication and tackling of corruption. In contrast they are punished for negative behaviours, such as lack of productivity, lateness, boys bullying girls etc.
6. Poverty alleviation. Each member while on the project develops his or her relationship with their family and elders in their village. The idea is to encourage more receptiveness over time, in order that a village can adopt poverty alleviation strategies that are known to work in remote rural invironments. We encourage them to discuss these methods with their elders and support them financially in piloting them. An example would be the off-season planting project we have been piloting. This year we aim to implement drip irrigation techniques with them.
7. Co-operative development. We see the members, young as they are, to be a catalyst for change in their communities and each member will, with their parents evolve a co-operative. We will train up the co-operative leaders to be able to handle this prospect.
8. Human rights. Part of our curriculum is in the tackling of women's rights in our International Citizenship sessions in Term 1. However, to tackle children's rights, we train members to run children's activities during their holidays, so that they can engage with local children and discuss their rights with them.
9. VIsion Development. All members are given a chance to experience life more fully than their peers. This might mean visiting new places, tasting international food, trying new sports, trying out new activities etc. The objective is to give them a chance to develop a vision for their village and each year the members will draw up their vision into a document, with development priorities that they have discussed with their family and friends and this is discussed with local elders and adapted to the local situation.
The project members live at the Chrysalis Centre, a good quality living space that gives them access to internet and each has an overseas mentor that they can keep in contact with. The Chrysalis Centre is also a resource and activity centre for local slum-based children, who can come to learn computing or a whole range of other things.
Members school at the Chrysalis School for Young Social Entrepreneurs (we hope to build for 2013) in Kampala.
The off-season planting agricultural projects are intended to help support the sustainability of the project, as the produce that is grown can be sold in national markets profitably. In addition, this process provides a demonstration to project members of how their produce can make higher prices for their village.
Lastly, the project is a corruption-free zone. Teachers and trainers are carefully monitored to ensure that they operate transparently and project members are encouraged to speak up, if they see any corruption or if they feel that they have not been treated with respect.
Got a suggestion on how to make this idea even better?REMIX IT!