Happy Giving Tuesday!
Today is such a special day because we’re reminded about the importance of giving. Our decision to give, however, can come in many forms, such as time, money, advocacy, and much much more.
While you choose how to celebrate, I want to extend my gratitude to you for visiting Travepreneur and reading what I have to share.
And, today, I want to share the extraordinary advocacy and work of someone who is building up his community. If you could read the stories he shares with me, you’ll be astounded by the hope he brings to Ugandan girls and women.
I’m excited to introduce to you the founder of Tusubira Village, Isaac Lufafa.
Tell us: “Who is Isaac?” And, what has been your journey?
I am a husband and father to four daughters, one son, aged 33 years and a Christian by faith.
As a general medical practitioner of clinical medicine and community health with 9 years working experience, I presently practicing in a public hospital. I am a leader with remarkable experience in rallying communities to identify and overcome challenges.
Also, I am the director and founder of a nonprofit: Tusubira Village-Uganda.
I strongly believe that I can only reach high through hard work and that failure. In addition, I am passionate about nature, tough on myself, and I raise the standard for everybody but very caring to allow people to excel at what they do so they can aspire to be more in the future.
Before, I have worked as a member of the board of trustees for two reputable charity organizations; the Jaaja Barb Foundation and Agape Children’s Center. Presently, I am a member of the management committee of two community schools.
Lastly, I have worked as a hospital administrator at Almeca hospital 2011-2013.
You have an impressive resume and a long history of serving others. Can you share more about your background and what it was like growing up in Uganda?
I was born and raised in a polygamous family of 42 children in which I am the second child of my mum.
Growing up in the village, I spent time in town during school days. My mum worked tirelessly on farm fields to support me to stay in school. She sacrificed everything that a loving mother could to secure a future for her child.
In a tiny cooking shed, she sat us at the fireplace every evening and showed us how hard life would be if we didn’t strive to have education, and if we didn’t keep straight along every narrow path to success.
Her words of wisdom amidst poor family social standards of living, in a small house of mud and wattle filled my heart with resilience and the spirit of hard work as the only faithful path to success
As a young boy of 9 years, my mind and understanding was so much aligned with that of my mother. I did all the domestic work expected of an adult from cooking, baby-sitting, fetching water in a 20 liters water tank on head for 2km to carrying sacks of corn from the farm fields all day long.
At 12 years, I would earn a little from washing bicycles, helping people carry luggage, digging foundation trenches etc. the earnings helped me afford basics like scholastic materials, shoes (I put on my first pair of shoes at school at 13 years) etc.
The kind of work was too tough, made me teary but the choice was always clear, to reach high through hard work. I put up a similar spirit of hard work in school and excelled.
So, what inspired you to establish Tusubira Village?
I began my career in 2011 as a practitioner of clinical medicine and community health. In my office, I hardly end a day without attending to at least a case of rape referred by police for medical assessment; 5-8 teenage girls with concerns about their missing cycles only to test positive for pregnancy or HIV.
I received 4-5 critically ill babies with severe malnutrition, worm infestation, diarrhea, malaria, anemia and other poverty associated diseases but for most of them, their mothers were teens aged 14-17 years-old.
The available data from the district department of health at that time indicated 28% of antenatal attendances were teens yet a significant number was not captured.
The department of education indicated that girl child school dropout was at 29% . These and more astonishing facts drew my attention to details in the life of teenage mothers.
Qtn: You are young to be a parent! Right?
Ans: Yes doctor.
Qtn: What didn’t go right?
Their responses were not different. They all pointed to lack of health and life skills, poverty, gender inequality and biased description of gender roles.
I shared about the burden with my wife Sharon, a social worker by training. We appreciated the fact that our diverse skills if put together were adequate to lead our community into recognizing and managing the challenge. It’s on this background that we started Tusubira village nonprofit. The word “Tusubira” means, “ HOPE”.
That’s powerful. Can you share more about Tusubira Village?
Tusubira Village-Uganda is registered with the government of Uganda as a non-governmental organization with a mission and vision to empower people through education and inspiration to give them purpose.
Presently we have 1734 direct beneficiaries that include 1659 girls in schools, 32 women in the microloan scheme, 43 trainees in the skills program.
Our strategy includes:
Women and girls’ empowerment
1. Mentorship and empowerment of girls with health and life skills
2. Keep girls in school by providing sanitary towels, school fees and scholastic materials
3. Empowerment of teenage parents with occupational skills
4. Increasing women access to financial services through microloans
Getting women into action has a long and far-reaching positive impact on the family and is a catalyst for sustainable development.
We support women to start up small businesses, train them to manage small businesses, and expose them to microloan services.
Also, we teach them basic skills about planning, budgeting, saving and creative initiatives to enable them to have socioeconomic involvement because without these skills they would remain marginalized.
We take an active duty to empower the girl child as a cost effective approach to achieve women empowerment and gender equality.
Girls from vulnerable families drop out of school or are forced into early marriage because parents aren’t in the position to provide sanitary pads, school fees, scholastic materials and other essential needs.
Stay tuned to next week’s post that highlights some of the inspiring stories of the women who work with Isaac and the village.
Our backgrounds gave us important lessons to know how it feels not to have and because of that, we stand in the gap to provide girls with knowledge about menstruation, menstrual hygiene provides sanitary pads, scholastic materials, school fees for the eligible, health and life skills mentorship to Give Girls a Voice.
Our occupational skills training include:
1. Business skills
2. Tailoring and embroidery
3. Craft making
4. Baking and cookery
5. Computer skills
6. Carpentry and Joinery
7. Metal fabrication
And, what do you hope to accomplish with your organization?
We hope to accomplish:
- Reduced teenage pregnancy
- Increased number of girls attending and completing school
- Have females in more leadership roles in the mainstream of society.
- Reduced gender-based violence, inequality and have a community that embraces gender equality as a natural and ideal way of life for man and woman
- Reduced unemployment, poverty, and suffering among victims of school dropout and teenage pregnancy
- Community revived from cultural myths and biased attitude against the female gender
- Reduce HIV prevalence among youth
- Self-sustainability of the program
Now, how can we help you?
What we need:
- To acquire more land to expand the occupational skills training facilities
- To build and broaden the skills to include tailoring and embroidery, baking and cookery, computer, craft making, carpentry and joinery, metal fabrication.
- Equipment for the skills training center.
- To build accommodation facilities (hostels) to make it possible for the training facilities to be beneficial to people from all radii.
- Vehicle to easy transport in remote difficult to reach areas for the team and volunteers
- We need an education fund that will be used to support girls to stay in school
- Volunteers to enable us achieve the objectives in desired time frame
- Funds to complete two accommodation facilities in our local income generating project
- We need a fund to support the boys mentorship program necessary to enable them grow up as responsible men of society
In addition, sustainability.
Ensuring that funded projects create a positive lasting impact is foremost in our plan especially that knowledge and skills are valuable instruments worthy to invest in because they guarantee life long impacts.
The skills training facility will be used to produce high quality products and services that meet the market demand to generate revenue. We are establishing accommodation facilities that will be open to guests from all over the world.
The facilities will generate income to advance the agenda of the organization.
Before we end this interview, let the readers know what is a quote you live by and how has it played out in your life now?
The quote I live by:
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”Wayne Dyer.
This keeps me positive in all I do, the people I meet, the situations I go through, keeps my arms wide open to receive people as they are without judging and deliver them to their purpose
Isaac, thank you for your time. Please include your social media handle/s, website, email, etc where a reader can reach you.
You can reach me here:
On Instagram as Tusubira village
Facebook as Tusubira village.
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