For 2016, The Pollination Project is launching 4 new grantmaking hubs which are run by 17 successful grantees. These hubs help us support local leadership, make better grants, and mentor and develop start-up social change projects. Who better to introduce you to our hub members than their team mates?!
In this post, Vincent Atitwa interviewed and wrote about the East Africa Hub Team Leader for Uganda, Jimmy Amone.
In 1994, when Jimmy Amone was about 7 years old, he and his parents left the village to settle in the City of Kampala due to the civil war in Northern Uganda. While living in the city, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Technology from Nkumba University. Upon completing his degree course, and with the spirit of volunteerism and compassion that he possessed towards life, he wanted to use his new acquired knowledge, skills and experiences gained in Information Communication Technology, leadership, debate, and sports to help his community. So, in 2010, he returned to Northern Uganda and settled in Kitgum village.
The decision to leave the city is an unusual one, and reflects what a daring and enthusiastic young man Jimmy is. Many youth decide to remain in town after school to enjoy luxurious life in the city. However, Jimmy had a mission, and knew that he wanted to go back to the village to help other youth, who like himself, are recovering from the trauma of almost twenty-three years of civil war in northern Uganda which has left thousands of children without parents, stable homes and no access to quality education. Thus promoting weak safety nets for most families around this community.
Jimmy could not sit back and watch his community members including youth being ravaged by chronic poverty, poor living conditions, and complicated diseases including Hiv/Aids and Malaria. He decided to give these youth a safe space to gather, connect and congregate together, and so he championed the construction of a basketball court in the Kitgum district of Northern Uganda.
Since then, Jimmy has been on the forefront in fighting and helping his community recover from the destruction caused by the 23 years of civil war unrest in Northern and Uganda as a whole. This is specifically being done through his Non-Profit Community Based Organizations such as Northern Uganda Debate Society, Acholi Youths for Sustainable Development, and Kitgum Basketball Association – a basketball project for which he received a TPP seed and impact grants again in 2015.
Through his basketball project, Jimmy is providing a platform to encourage youth to develop their talents and constructively use their leisure time well. His project has already opened doors to over 20 youths through sports scholarships in good schools within just two years, and two youth have already featured in the under 18 national basketball team. Jimmy says he is so proud of these youth, and he promises more to come.
Jimmy also sees opportunities to provide health and community education by using games that organize and unite people coming from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. His work has created a vibrant community hub where kids from different backgrounds can come together to play, but also get timely information about community health like HIV/AIDs and Malaria prevention. The community has already come together for a basketball tournament educating the local community on malaria prevention and handed out mosquito nets.
In addition to his work with these organizations, Jimmy is also a Pollination Project grantee, grant reviewer, ambassador and the team leader for the Ugandan hub. In this role, he will be guiding and mentoring groups and individuals to make good use of the available resources in their communities, and to bridge the information gap between them and the world by promoting ICT,
Jimmy considers himself as one of the next generation of change makers and leaders that will help make the world a better place to live in. He hopes to make good use of the TPP Hub program by identifying and mentoring individuals and groups who have the true hearts of change makers, that will think, talk and act compassion towards all forms of life, and bring development to their communities.