This beautiful soul will amaze you. She has rolled up her sleeves to distribute books to the Kids in most need. While her age-mates spend a lot of time on Instagram taking photos of themselves and their food, this 23-year-old is preoccupied with where she can get the next set of books to take to the children of her country. Here is her story.
How to do you describe yourself?
I am a hard working and passionate individual who believes in the love of humanity. In Primary school, I studied at Greenhill Academy then Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga for O’ level and finally Nabisunsa Girl’s school for A’level. I come from a family of 5, I am the second born in the family. My father is Christopher Ebal , and my mother is Joyce Ebal.
You are the World at School Global Youth Ambassador, how did that happen?
I applied for the UN Advocacy Group and failed to get it, they then recommended me to apply for the Global Youth Ambassadors programme, so I did and got it.
What inspired you to start the Kitabu-Buk Project?
When I attended the youth assembly at the United Nations conference, in New York, I was amazed by what other youth were doing. Many of them were from developed countries helping people in developing countries. This made me think of a way in which, us as fellow Ugandans could help our own. We, as Africans know our countries better so, it was only proper that we could help our own. I love reading and realized that most children though in school do not have access to textbooks. When i returned, i went home collected all the books in our house and told my friends about it and we organised our first donation event.
So what activities do you engage in while fundraising?
In fundraising, we sell various items like Kitenge clothes, bracelets and shoes. We believe that we should not only just ask people for money but give them value for their money. We plan to hold a car wash fundraiser. We also plan to hold a book drive whereby as a team we read stories to the young children, teach them simple Maths, English and art and in return, the entrance fee is a book for them to come for the event. We also are partnering with UNITED an NGO that helps campus students to be able to take part in charity works. We also got a donation from MK publishers of books worth one million Uganda shillings. We want to work with the local companies to create an impact in our society.
At your age, most youth are more concerned about personal happiness and caring less. What makes you different?
I love challenges and going an extra mile.My first international voluntary experience in Ethiopia, opened my eyes to what makes us happy. The children i taught were HIV orphans and they were the happiest people i had ever met. this inspires me to create happiness in the lives of others.
You are a Law student at University of Dar El Salaam and your project is in Uganda, how do you balance the two?
I have a team that helps a lot. I acknowledge the great work of Ameso Angela, who is the co-founder and is running the organisation as i am not around. I thank my family, my mother Joyce Ebal, who is our patron and is helping give advice. I also acknowledge the work of Chris Agira, Kironde Hilda,Nakanjako Margaret, Brenda Ajok ,Opio David and Brian Ebal, who believed in my idea when most did not.
Is your family supportive of what you do outside law school?
Yes, my family is very supportive,they believe that education entails the whole package. it involves doing well in and outside school.
Your project deals with children which the society often neglects, tell us one particular story that touched you?
The story that touched me was in Aliwang Primary school, where we asked the children what they want to become and many of them wanted to be presidents of Uganda so that they can change the country. This made me realize that we have all the potential in the world to make Uganda a better country.
Considering the fact that your project is still relatively young, what have you achieved so far?
We started in August 2014. We have donated books to five schools across the country, three in central and two in Northern Uganda. We are officially a fully registered NGO and have so far donated over five hundred (500) textbooks, two hundred (200) newspapers and over a thousand (1000) stationery items like for example one thousand (1000) mathematical sets, twelve (12) dozens of chalk, two hundred (200) pencils and two hundred (200) pens together with rubbers.
Wow that is awesome! What has been your best experience so far ever since you started the project?
The donation in Aliwang primary school was the best experience ever because I saw students who literally had no shoes, walk about two miles to school barefooted, study in over crowded classrooms and still manage to be so happy and have big aspirations of being presidents of Uganda.
Any worst moments?
The application process to become a registered NGO, when we were told we had to repeat the process because we had missed a crucial signature. me and Angela were so tired that we wanted to give up, but Ronald Ssekandi, who runs Writers for Development gave us hope to not give up. I am forever grateful.
What challenges do you face while doing activities related to your project?
Getting media coverage is so hard and yet it is crucial to be able to showcase impact and raise awareness.
We know challenges are trying moments. When such challenges come up, do you feel like you want to quit and regret having started your project?
Haha, yes, that has happened a lot, but now am getting used to the challenges, if you have a vision, these are just stepping stones and the makings of a great story.
Do you plan to continue with Kitabu-Buk Project when you are done with school?
Yes, i want to continue with it.The first step of making Kitabu a registered as NGO has already been covered. Now, we trying to get it to donate to all regions in Uganda so it is known nationwide.I also hope to expand it to cover the East African region.
You and your team go to schools in Lira, Kampala suburbs and mostly upcountry. Do you follow up these activities after a successful campaign?
Yes, we do,we get in touch with the head teachers of the school and yearly, we want to go and conduct interviews on the impact of the books donated or the materials given towards the children’s lives.
Any reward or accolades ever since you begun?
Inspiring confidence in young children’s lives. That is the best reward i can get as a person who is seeking to instill confidence in someone who almost gives up school and society seems not to be paying attention.
If someone wants to contribute to your project, where and how do they contribute?
Oh yes. They can drop old and new textbooks or materials at our offices located at Apple Kid’s Nursery school P.O.Box 6215, Bukoto, Plot 261 on the Bukoto Northern By-pass road next to Kampala International School of Uganda. By telephone, they can reach out to us through the numbers 0783109264/ 0773842222/ 070464757. Our Mobile money account is 0783109264, Facebook The Kitabu-Buk Project and on our Website- www.thekitabubukproject2014.wordpress.com
Which people do you admire? And Why?
I admire my mother and father because through education they have come from humble backgrounds to become successful. I also admire Koffi Annan, because i believe he has made a great impact on the lives of others during his time as United Nations Secretary General. I also admire Malala fellow Global Youth Ambassador and Chernor Bah,for their efforts to get very child in school.
If you were given an opportunity to change Uganda, what would be that one thing you would change in Uganda?
I would make a proper survey of how people want to be taught in class and change the education system,to suit our societies’ needs because i believe so many people have talents that are not being exploited by our current system. I also am looking for a away to inspire confidence among the youth because that is something that is affecting youth.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who inspired confidence among the youth to be better than themselves.
What advice could you give to youth of Uganda today?
We are a blessed group of people who should spend our knowledge finding solutions to our everyday problems.
Any last words?
Thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity, to share my experience. Am deeply honoured and may God guide you in everything that you do.