Project Uganda

Em[POWER] Energy Group (referred to as em[POWER]) and ChangeALife Uganda  (referred to as CALU) share a single, common goal of creating sustainable communities by giving them the resources they need to be self-sufficient. To achieve this objective, em[POWER] and CALU agree that the two organizations will work together by sharing resources, networks, and educational information, as enumerated below, to further each organization’s goals. With a common mission and passion, em[POWER] has agreed to become their formal partner in the works in Uganda. It is different form of site and relationship than what is traditionally em[POWER] site. However, it is a great way for em[POWER] to expand its portfolio in a country and continent they do not have experience in. As part of all relationship, em[POWER] needed to truly assess the condition of the project in person. For that reason, Nasir Uddin, Co-Founder and VP of em[POWER], visited the site December 2013 for 1-week.


Goal: to assess the variety of projects of CALU as well as see the overall function and structure on-ground.


There are two sites that CALU works in are Nabbingo and Migyera.


On Monday, December 16th, Nasir had a chance to meet some of the Staff of CALU as well as a team that was hired to look at Capacity Building along with Planning and Monitoring. This is as part of the Segal Foundation grant that they received. Em[POWER] intends to look at that report in order to have a better perspective on the challenges of CAL in Uganda.

The staff and leads of the program discussed the variety of programs of CALU: Child Sponsorship Program, Microenterprise Project, and Arts and Crafts program.


–          Some of the challenges mentioned

  • Find a way to drive more patients to the health unit
  • Portable water to community (w/ storage)
  • Hygiene and Sanitation programs
  • Food and Nutrition programs
  • Child Sponsorship Program (needs sustainability)
  • Loan Project Expansion
  • Additional activities that generate revenue

Meeting with Eva’s Family (A Sponsored Child of CALU):

–          Father is not supporting the family of 5

–          Mother has not been active in working until the Child Sponsorship Program

  • Currently:
    • Mother has been doing fair-trade baskets, craft classes


  • Each basket with cover: 1.5 days to make
  • Also maintains a chicken farm that is sold to the market

Meeting with Milay’s Family (A Sponsored Child of CALU):

  • Father passed away at an young age with a family of 2
  • Great idea: drum system in household to store water
    • Benefit: to travel into town to get water every day by the kids rather than studying for school


  • Milay’s mom works on basket making that takes her sometimes 2-3 days
  • Also attends sewing classes and loan program
  • Also attends adult literacy program
  • Milay and her mom runs a pig farm as well

Nabbingo Health Center Facility (a clinic partially supported by CALU):


Services provided in the clinic:

  1. Curative/Clinic Services
  2. Preventive Services
  3. Surveillance For Special Diseases
  4. Maternal and Child Health
  5. Inpatient Services

Process of patient admission:

Patient comes in –> Waits for Doctors/Nurses –> Doctors/Nurses Utilizes Government Issued Form to Collect Information –> either have the patient do lab tests AND/OR Get prescription for medicine.

Submission of Reports:

Initial Form Data Collection (this form varies based on patient-level)

–          Name, Age, Address, Sex

–          Date, Diagnosis, Weight

Data is transferred from manual forms:

–          Goes from District to the Ministry Level

  • Monthly Summary Form
  • Limited weekly reports for HIV/AIDS related counts




A briquette (or briquette) is a block of flammable matter used as fuel to start and maintain a fire. Common types of briquettes are charcoal briquettes and biomass briquettes. Charcoal contributes to 6% of total energy consumption in Uganda. Up to 10KG of wood is needed to produce 1 KG of charcoal. CALU is interested in a situation that is not meant to totally wipe out the current use of wood as fuel but creating an environment where government’s policy to protect environment.

Meeting with Samuel Asiimwe (Consultant that CALU is working with)

Technique that he proposes:



Meeting with a Youth Group that Samuel helped train:

–          They started training others as well for free! It is great to see youth working together to do this rather than alternative negative business opportunities that other at their age are doing. It was very inspiring to hear them speak.


Nasir with Rhoda (CALU) and Kaye and John (Youth Group) Showing Off Their Honeycomb Briquette Outputs

Meeting with Women Group that Samuel also trained:


Meeting with Our Lady of Charity Women Group (

“Our Lady of Charity Women group was started in 2008 by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. The project is located at Mulago-Nsooba slum area, 5 kilometers from Kampala City Centre. The group has another branch in Bukoto Catholic sub-parish with 45 members. The purpose of starting the project was in response to the needs of marginalized girls, women within the surrounding area.”

This is a great group of people! They are doing fantastic work in variety of areas: hand craft, recycling of plastic materials, paper beads, tie-dye tailoring, gardening, mushroom growing, and briquette making, human rights awareness, and counseling. It is great group to support and learn from! They can train others with the amazing products that they make.


Meeting with St Francis Migyera Health Centre

St. Francis Health Clinic, in Migyera is a Level 3 Health Center. It opened July 4, 2012 and provides basic health and maternity services to the community of Migyera and to all St. Lawrence School students. An overall a great infrastructure and set-up done by CALU team! The doctor on staff seems very knowledgeable with 10 other nurses available on staff. The facility followed the same structure as the Nabbingo Health Centre. The prescription looks well stocked. There are no unique codes for patients except Clinic generated numbers (just sequential order). There are very minimal government subsidies: malaria and vaccine. Patient going from one office to another with data being recorded in separate forms can result in missing historical trending as well as typographical errors. When old patient comes in, the patient records are manually dug through the paper to find old records. This can be very difficult and time consuming once there large amounts of patient. Short term: it may be good to establish a patient record system (a manual process) and cards.



Meeting with another CALU Sponsored Family:

This was an inspiring sponsored family to hear from. The key reasons are the drive of the family! See below:


John and his brother spend before and after school getting water for the family. They spend hours each week doing this rather than being in school, doing school work or other after school activities. The condition of the water was something unexpected for everyone. The source of this water during rainy season showed the amount of different inputs that came into the water system: animal and people feces, chemicals, and other toxic materials. Throughout the town the only clean system is the rain water capture system that runs out of clean water as the dry season progresses.

CALU Water System:

Creating a commercial water system is the best approach to sustainable clean water system! It allows for community to be involved as well as income generation method for the village. Water is foundation of life and will be direct solution to all the nutrition and health concerns in the community.




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