Hope Center Uganda launched its first House of Hope in Gulu, Uganda in 2018. With the mission of empowering marginalized post-conflict communities with the technical skills and creative mindsets required to succeed in a developing world, the organization soon realized the need for a safe space for education, collaboration and innovation.
The House of Hope strives to provide the fundamental freedom of space. As well as programs from Hope Center Uganda, we provide space for local groups and organizations to use, so long as it benefits the surrounding community. Our partnerships with local arts and dance have given international exposure to local artists and dance companies, and we look forward to growing local partnerships to give rise to even more artists.
Hope Center Uganda’s also provides their own services in the center, to ensure that the community’s basic needs are met. This includes Girl Power Gulu, our women’s health program which teaches local women how to make, sell, and educate their peers on maintenance and use of environmentally-friendly reusable sanitary pads. Meanwhile, Uplift provides microfinance loans and business training to female business leaders, while our Vocational Education program allows local teachers to lead classes in computer science, literacy, music and practical arts.
These activities generate revenue which cover the center’s operating costs. Selling reusable sanitary pads (Girl Power), interest collected from microfinance loans (Uplift), and fees for Vocational Education classes are currently the main streams of income. However, in 2019, the House of Hope will launch a coworking initiative allowing local community members to use the space and facilities for a small fee, so long as the work they are doing has a beneficial social impact.
Uganda is one of many countries with quickly-developing post-conflict communities in need of a safe space for basic education and social rights services. With proper support, these centers can be replaced in similar communities around the globe, allowing creative people the coworking abilities and education access they need to uplift their entire communities, countries, and world from poverty.