A and B Learning Center
The A & B Learning Center was set up in 2000 with a mission to improve general literacy and civic engagement in three counties in Mpigi district in Central Uganda, namely Mawokota (ppn 2004: 110,894), Butambala (ppn 2004: 94,312) and Gomba (ppn 2004: 96,578) in Mpigi district. The Center has hosted twenty two seminars ranging from basic computer skills to how to maximize use of a one acre family land in a semi urban area like Mpigi. Also the A & B Learning Center’s 3000 books and magazines have been a resource for over 10,000 children, youth as well as the adults who come to supplement their formal education every day. We strongly believe that every country’s biggest investment should be in its people through health and educational investments. Evidence shows that focused learning is particularly effective in engaging young people’s innate capacity and natural motivation for innovation, creativity and joy as they learn. Like the AJWS, the Learning Center works to empower people so that they take charge of their own lives.
Statement of Need: Since 1986, Mpigi district has not suffered any dramatic calamities as have other parts of the country. No war has raged as it has in the north of the country; HIV/AIDS did not ravage whole villages as it did in the west, and with two rainy seasons, the climate is supposed to be good enough to allow two harvests a year. All this has made it seem that the district is thriving and thus not worth of much attention. The ensuing neglect has left the district very vulnerable if we go by a few statistics. Only two international organizations operate in the district and the local ones are poorly funded and lack capacity to affect any major changes whether in policy or in behaviors.
Principal Objectives, Activities and Outcomes of the Center The Learning Center management is convinced that the best investment any country can make is in its human resources; in its people. Our focus on education and training is a result of long deliberations as to the best way to reactivate long-term, our communities’ hopes and aspirations. A number of organizations have formed to address agricultural and environmental issues but none is focused on literacy and proactive capacity building. In close cooperation with the local government, our coalition works to achieve the following objectives:
Objectives: - Providing children with a safe and supervised place to go during after school hours and non-school days. - Make it possible for the community to learn and share skills. - Help orient emphasis from short term survival to long tern planning and investment. - Improve local, national and international dialogue and cooperation. - Partner with the local government to improve literacy and to build individual as well as societal capacity. - Renew nationalism by promoting volunteerism, civic education and engagement.
Activities: - Recruiting local instructors/tutors in all fields of learning, and matching them with all educational needs of the children, the youth and the adults. - Give patrons free access to the library resources and premises. - Engage youth in positive leadership, character building and Career guidance activities. - Set up subsidized internet, fax and scanning services. - Expand our Skills Institute by teaching relevant course among which are: - Basics of project management to micro loans applicants. - Computer skills (MS Word, Excel, MS Project etc…). - Basic accounting, micro and mega economics for all. -The basics of Market Gardening. Market analysis, Fundraising, Proposal writing, evaluation and reports preparation. - Complete negotiations with the Boston University Project Management Institute and with the Microsoft Corporation.
Expected Outcomes: - Increased access to literature and to the wider world in general. - Improved stewardship of resources; more long-term planning. - Reduction in illiteracy and ignorance; more civic engagement. - Good governance due to an informed population that will make politicians accountable to them. - Making the Center a hub where children, youth as well as adults go for character-building programs; where school dropouts come to learn new skills; learners find tutors; readers find resources and intellectual curiosity finds satisfaction. - Increased cooperation with district officials and a more proactive approach to skills building by the district human resource team.
Population to be served The A & B Learning Center’s priority is to improve the opportunities of the most vulnerable groups of our community although all people regardless of age, gender, culture and social background will benefit from the center’s literacy and other programs.