Building “Humanity and Brotherhood”: Strengthening Economic Empowerment in East Africa

by | Aug 25, 2019 | Seeds: Our Blog

A part of the East Africa Leadership Program Series

This year, TPP entered a new stage of its East Africa programming. Focusing specifically on grantmaking to burgeoning community leaders in Kenya and Uganda who have the potential to make real, lasting change, TPP and its East African Leadership team—all TPP grantees themselves—mentor and support these early-stage changemakers to help ensure their success.

Here are four grantees of the program who are working to expand education, job training, and peace in East Africa. With more than 7 million people unemployed in Kenya alone with crime on the rise, this work could not be more relevant or urgent. TPP thanks the grantees for their vision for a better East Africa!

Lamek Odero – Kisumu, Kenya
Reading for Success

Across Kenya, literacy rates in primary schools are significantly lower than expected despite increased access and enrollment. The Kenyan education system is seeking to improve learning outcomes by installing better instructional practices, expanding resources for teacher training, and developing learning materials that support multilingual literacy.

Through TPP funds, Reading For Success addresses this challenge by working with volunteers to provide extra-literacy classes to struggling early-grade readers in under-resourced public schools in Kisumu County. It is a long-term project that provides students with the proven, individualized reading support they need to read at grade level by fourth grade. The project works in partnership with school teachers and engages volunteer reading tutors to work one-on-one with students in grades 1 through 4 to complement classroom studies and help these students increase their reading speed, comprehension, and attention span in English and Kiswahili.

The objective of the project is that by the end of six months, the students will have at least doubled their reading speed and will have improved their reading skills by one to two grade levels.


William Otieno Rayola – Kisumu, Kenya
The Builders School

The Builders School seeks to build on the continuous training, seminars, and workshops organized for local builders to improve and sharpen their skills in technology. The participants are trained on site planning, architectural drawings, and interpretations, including how to set up and lay out of foundations and mix designs as well as better understand the causes of building defects, government regulations in the construction industry, and site safety procedures.

This grant from The Pollination Project will have a long-term impact of improving the skills and competencies in the construction field and make home ownership affordable for citizens.

Vianna McGugan – Arua, Uganda
Teammates for Life – Sporting Community Outreach Project

Resurfacing the Nyaravur basketball court in Northern Uganda will restore hope and continue to nurture opportunities for boys and girls to identify their talents in a location where most go unnoticed.

Together, Vianna McGugan, president of Teammates for Life USA, and Ochan Moses, coordinator of start-up basketball teams in Northern Uganda, oversee the reconditioning of this community outreach project. In 2016, Teammates for Life started sponsoring a basketball instructions program on the Nyaravur court for young children during after school hours and on the weekends.

This program has produced educational scholarships for 10 girls now studying in the Teammates for Life program in Arua and put forward 2 girls currently playing on the Uganda, Under 16 National Basketball Team. Restoring the court will continue to keep young people involved in healthy activities, helping them to avoid negative social behaviors such as drugs, alcohol, and early pregnancy.


Hussein Ali – Mombasa, Kenya
Peace and Security

In Mombasa County, Kenya, the need for peace and security is vital due to the rise of criminal cases in the region. The Peace and Security project is an initiative created by Hussein Ali and Tarzan Mkomah, both of whom are change agents and active members of the Kenya Tanzania group which aims to promote peace in the region. The group focuses on youth education, capacity building, and youth empowerment.

There is a need to ensure people in the region that it is possible to peacefully coexist and carry out economic activities without fear of crime, both among the locals and together with foreigners. Hussein and Tarzan were inspired by the need to bring back humanity and brotherhood to the communities residing in Mombasa.

The grant from TPP will help them organize events, hire halls and public address systems, purchase stationery, and cover transportation costs.

Written by Carolyn Ashworth