Soft Power Education is a British registered charity and Ugandan NGO working with communities in Uganda to improve quality of life through education.
Soft Power Education funds and runs two pre-schools for 180 of the most vulnerable children living in Buwenda and Kyabirwa villages. Attending pre-school gives the children the chance to just be children for a few hours each morning. They learn how to behave in a learning environment, develop their social skills, make friends and begin speaking basic English language. We work to ensure that our pre-schoolers are able to pass the required exam to enter primary school, but the key focus of our pre-schools is that children learn best through having fun!
Our Special Educational Needs programme offers free education, physiotherapy and occupational therapy to more than 140 children across the Jinja district. Children with disabilities are often ostracised from society and so we work with communities and families to break down some of the traditional misconceptions about disability, and educate and empower them to realise the individual potential that all children have.
Following on from the highly successful P6 Pupils’ Project, Soft Power Education (SPE) have launched their new alternative education programme, LEAP, which focuses on three core areas – “bellies, bodies and brains” – through sessions focused on food security and skills & empowerment.
Through the People & Parks programme, Soft Power Education's expert programme staff provide the tools and know-how that empower communities bordering Murchison Falls Conservation Area to design, develop and implement their own income-generating projects.
We train community members to develop and maintain sustainable and environmentally friendly projects such as bee keeping, goat rearing and tree planting. Through viable alternative livelihood options, communities can build themselves and their children a sustainable future while at the same time helping to conserve environmentally threatened habitats.
One of the country’s official languages, English is a vital skill to learn in Uganda. TEFL lessons enable women in rural communities, some of whom have never been to school, to learn in an environment of fun and inclusion and to achieve a feeling of self worth and confidence. It boosts employability and has been shown to increase the educational attainment of their children.
Soft Power Education’s small-scale women’s knitting cooperative is based in rural Bujagali, the heart of the Jinja district’s tourism industry. Each afternoon, the group meet with needles in hand to work on a range of beautiful, hand-knitted items which are sold to ensure our ladies can provide themselves a sustainable livelihood and brighter future for their families.
SPE’s School Infrastructure programme works with the Ministry of Education and local governments to achieve SDG4. We work to transform government primary schools into safe, creative and inspiring learning environments with the aims of reducing (both students and teachers) and drop-out rates, and raising performance levels.
*All stats taken from the UN and the World Bank 2013
One of Soft Power’s draw cards for me was the opportunity to live in the community that they work with.
I don’t know if I would have met as many people or had as many wonderful conversations if I hadn’t been staying
amongst the very people that make the charity worthwhile.
I spent a week seeing what Soft Power did and was mightily impressed. This was not a top heavy organisation beset with red tape, jargon and over-regulation. They got stuff done and had a good time doing it.
Have just returned to the UK after two months working as a volunteer for Soft Power and it was AMAZING. You only have to speak to the teachers and children at the schools (and the local community) to understand the massive difference it has made to their lives.
Uganda is beautiful – its scenery, the people and the culture all contributed to my return (not forgetting the fantastic parties and all the great volunteers, travellers and residents that you will meet)!