BUTI goes to Uganda


The place of traffic, lazy mosquitoes and inspirational people, place of limited internet and unlimited opportunities.

On the 24th of January two representatives from Open Space Foundation left the cold Sofia for a week and took a long journey to Uganda. It was exhausting, but totally worthy, not only for the endless summer, but also for the incredible people we found there.

In the beginning of 2017 Open Space Foundation(Bulgaria) Started a big project called “Art and Culture for Unity”, with the support of Erasmus+ program, in collaboration with different organizations from Europe and Africa: Soul Xpressions (Uganda),  Chamwino Arts Centre (Tanzania) , Mine Vaganti (Italy); Forming BUTI all together.

Among the activities conducted, BUTI shuffled volunteers, hosted study visits, organized youth exchange and finally the time arrived for us to move to Uganda for a training course.

The aim of the training course was to create in details twenty project ideas, linked with resolving the real problems in our environment, and the same time the participants to received knowledge and skills, that will allowed them to planning and writing their personal project ideas.

Twenty-five youth workers took part in the project as participants and facilitators.

The training is based on a model of the Open Space Foundation, which has been applied for 4 years in its work with young people from Bulgaria. We used the methods of non-formal education, through self-assessment activities, using the model of “Tree of Problems” and “Tree of Solutions”, S.W.O.T. analysis and S.M.A.R.T modeling of results and objectives. Very useful were the feedback sessions of project ideas with the opportunity for participants to develop their critical thinking and sensitivity regarding the risks in the implementation of personal plans. Finally, we reached the moment of filling in the project application forms, budgeting and signing contracts for small grants.

At the end we have twenty projects in different areas: social and environmental education, environmental clean-up actions, sexual education, promotion of cultural awareness, entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyle, expanding the influence of local NGOs, working with refugees, popularizing literature and setting up a club for self-support, developing new media, and providing support for profession orientation among young people.

The course was so intense (we could not even find time to see the beauty of Kampala – the pearl of Africa). For the short time we had, we achieved our goals.
Participants described the training as extremely productive and applicable. The knowledge and skills they have learned will certainly help their personal development and the development of their organizations. But the hard part is just beginning: every personal project will be funded with the sum of one hundred euros, and it will have three months to be implemented.

We, as BUTI, can not wait to see the end result of Uganda training and the small changes they will bring. We hope for one more thing: these are the first steps in a longer-term work of the youth leaders involved.

See you soon, friends from Uganda, Tanzania and Italy!




The project “Art and Culture for Unity” held with financial support of European program “Erasmus+”, Key Action 2: Capacity building in the field of youth