Thursday, October 22, 2009


Uganda SPACE Organization - Kampala
P.O Box 8438 Kampala, Uganda
Telephone: +256782304817 or +256773423060


Solar Lantern Microfinance project

In many parts of Uganda, people do not have access to electricity, and many impoverished rural families must rely on kerosene lamps and candles as their only source of light. The cost of of kerosene is increasing every year and families in the Kabonera sub-country typically spend an average of $2 per month for parafin. Recognizing the health, safety and environmental hazards created by kerosene lamps and parafin candles, we are committed to offer communities a safer, more sustainable lighting source for their homes and enterprises.

Uganda SPACE has adopted a holistic approach to improve the lives of the impoverished rural people through the use of renewable energy to power their agricultural projects like poultry, piggery etc. The avoided cost of kerosene and the ability to extend productive working hours in the agricultural project, more so the poultry microfinance project would produce income to pay for the lighting solar lantern systems.

In April 2009, Uganda SPACE began working with volunteers from The Cooper Union, Center for Sustainable Engineering, Art and Architecture, Materials Manufacturing and Minimalism program on a plan to pilot their a solar lighting system called Socialite that they have had in development and field testing since 200X. Field tests of the system are currently in place in Kenya, Burundi, Ghana and Rwanda. More information about the program can be found at:

To pilot this program, we will be fundraising raising money to purchase 2-3 kits at cost through The Cooper Union at $1,500 each. The system consists of a package of components containing all materials and supplies needed for villagers to construct and maintain their own home grown solar lighting system. Each kit contains the materials to build 50 lanterns and a solar recharge station. The first kit will provide lighting for the Poultry Project and participating women's homes. Remaining lanterns will be built and marketed to neighbors as a means to pilot as a possible microenterprise. Pre and post sales consumer research will be conducted to evaluate the project for future expansion. Students from The Cooper Union will partner with engineering students from Makerere University to design and deliver training to participating women. Five students from Makerere are being recruited by Kasinja to deliver training to participating women in Kyamuyimbwa Village. Professor Toby Cumberbatch from The Cooper Union will be meeting with the management of Uganda Space in Kampala and will be visiting the village site in June 2009 to finalize plans for the pilot, which is slated for December 2009.

Uganda SPACE will distribute the lanterns to rural villages. The villagers will pay an initial amount of the lantern and the rest will be paid in monthly installments for 3 years.

Ecostove Project

The Microfinance Ecostove Project seeks to reduce deforrestration in the rural areas, as well as the amount of time rural women spend collecting fire wood and the unhealthy effects of cooking in smoke filled kitchens. Improved stoves can make cooking with fire easier, faster and safer. Improving the combustion efficiency is necessary to reduce unhealthy smoke and harmful emissions and better heat transfer efficiency can significantly reduce fuel use. To remedy this problem, Uganda SPACE and students from Makerere University have designed an Ecostove suitable for use in rural homes. It includes an enclosed firebox, with insultated walls and a chimney, which increases fuel efficiency and takes smoke out of the kitchen. The wood stoves which can be constructed within the home using earth and bricks at a cost of $10-$40 each and paid for in installments.
Besides offering concrete solutions to the environmental, health and safety concerns of home stoves, Uganda SPACE's Ecostove Project will involve community members in stove production, installation, and advocacy. The program will be promoted by demonstrating the ecostoves in villages and public fairs. We will consult with local community groups to identify women to be trained as a stove technicians and conduct classes in stove construction, repair and maintenance in Uganda SPACE offices. Trained technicians will be contacted by Uganda SPACE to build stoves in the families of rural areas.

The project is presently in the planning and budgeting stage and we are targeting a start date of mid 2010. Engineers from Makerere University have drawn up plans for the ecostoves and we are conducting consumer research on design and affordability. We plan to partner with established manufacturers, such as Ugastove, to train about 20 women to build and maintain stoves for others in their communities by March 2010. With each of the 20 woman building three stoves per month, We aim to built 1,500 ecostoves by the end of 2012 and 2,500 ecostoves by the end of 2015.


Poultry Microfinance Project

Uganda SPACE's first economic empowerment initiative is to implement a sustainable Poultry Microfinance Project for rural women. We believe that the microfinance model will help move away from the donation style of just giving products away for free and will give women a sense of ownership and dignity. By partnering with a reputable Microfinance organization (MFI) and establishing credit among the villagers, we will overcome the hurdle of covering upfront startup costs and create a program, which is both sustainable and scalable. FINCA Uganda and various other MFIs are being considered as possible partners. Volunteers are engaged in discussions with FINCA both in Uganda and the United States. We are being advised by the staff of Arcfinance ( as to the best funding alternatives for our organization.


In March 2008, we initiated a pilot in order to valid our model for the poultry project. Thorough a local women's group called “Tweyambe”, we identified a needy 65 year old woman named Divina from Kyamuyimbwa Village to test the program in her home. Divina is a single mother of three and grandmother of two whose husband passed away 10 years ago. Prior to the project, Divina earned a maximum income of $1.5 per month from the local sale of chicken and produce from her garden.

We provided Divina with 150 exotic breeds of layer chicks, five bags of growers feed, four bags of layers feed, necessary vaccines and drugs, a charcoal stove, feed troughs and a poultry house. We gave her the responsibility of supervising the project and she received monthly visits from our Uganda SPACE project coordinator, Nalubega. In three months, the chickens were full grown and producing eggs. Divina was able to collect 150 eggs per day, which she could sell for $1 each in the village shops. Three months later the birds were ready to be sold as off layers and each was sold at shs. 6,000 (US $3). This translated to a total profit of $4 per bird ($600). This could sustain a village family in a month. A rural family needs only $2.5 to be sustainable When asked about the benefits of the poultry project, we were surprised and inspired by Divina's story. Divina uses the monthly salary to pay for paraffin, soap and salt, but could not afford to buy sugar. But with the poultry project, Divina explained that her life had changed completely because the profits she got from selling eggs alone could help her to buy home basic needs and she could now afford to buy sugar. Uganda SPACE confirmed that women like Divina could potentially earn $40 a month from this project when the number of birds are increased to 500 and Uganda SPACE would retain $50 a month from each participant to expand the project.

Uganda SPACE leaders met with the community members in November 2008 to evaluate the project and develop a project plan. We agreed to provide 500 chickens, 6 bags of growers feed, 5 bags of layers feed, 2 feeding troughs, drugs and medicine to 60 women in the first phase of the project. In return, each woman would agree to construct a poultry housing for herself and purchase lanterns to enable her to extend her work day. The women will retain 20% of the income from the sale of eggs; 70% will be reinvested by the women to purchase more birds and supplies and 10% will be retained by Uganda SPACE to expanding the project. The same percentages will be applied when the birds have stopped laying eggs and are ready for sell. The community leaders and project committee members will share the responsibility of collecting the money and eggs and recording each woman's payment records.

The Poultry Project has 20 active participants and 40 other women have expressed interest in joining. Five student volunteers from Makerere University have been recruited to train the women in modern poultry farming, management and marketing of products and project committee members will supervise and evaluate the project on an ongoing basis. We are seeking an advisor to teach us about natural/organic poultry raising methods. We plan to begin training 20 other women in September to November of 2009 and begin the expanded program by January 2010. We seek to have a total of 60 participants on board within five to eight months of the launch.

Girls' Education Program

We believe that quality education is the key to overcoming poverty in a single generation, and is fundamental to creating a secure future for individual communities and our country. To meet this enormous challenge and immense opportunity, Uganda SPACE is planning to open an education center and health care program at the Kyamuyimbwa village project site to meet the needs of girls ages three to 17. We aim to eventually provide basic educational and residential facilities for 200-250 girls. In addition to a well rounded academic curriculum for primary and secondary schools, we will offer the girls personal development opportunities, English language training and the chance to expand their talents in fields such as the performing arts and handicrafts. The education center will also offer community education classes on such issues as the eradication of child labor, literacy, and the right of every child to attend school. The health care program will offer quarterly health checks for all children, including those who do not study in the center and will also serve women in nearby slums with preventive, curative and referral services.

In it's first year, we were able to raise $ 3,700 from individual donors in Uganda and provide full scholarships for eight girls to attend primary and secondary schools. Next year, we seek to raise $10,000 for this program and expand the opportunity to 30 girls. By 2016 we would love to have 250 girls and an estimate of $81,000 will be needed for this.


Our organization serves impoverished women and children in Kampala and the Kabonera sub-country of Uganda. Kabonera is one of 12 sub-countries in the Masaka District and has a regional population of more than 37,000. A large portion of the women in this community are primarily caretakers of their families and depend on small scale agriculture for a living. The region has very limited resources with respect to electricity, clean water, healthy facilities and schools.

We are initiating our initial pilots with the Tweyambe collective, a group of 40 rural women formed to support one other with financial assistance, food and firewood in times of need. The group, whose name literally means “let's help ourselves" comes together to assist with family emergencies, lifecycle ceremonies and for community-based initiatives such as road clearing, planting trees, water collection and to renovating homes for the elderly.



To work with impoverished women in urban and rural Uganda to eradicate poverty and improve the quality of life for them and their families.

1. To economically empower impoverished women through microfinanced enterprises, such as the poultry, solar lighting and ecostove projects and other income generating programs.
2. To educate the impoverished girls by paying school fees and providing supplies and in some cases housing for primary and secondary education.
3. To improve the reproductive health of impoverished women through public educations programs and the provision of health services.
4. To improve the lives of impoverished women through the use of renewable energy resources , access to water and use of micro-irrigation to improve their agriculture.


Uganda SPACE is a grassroots non–profit community-based organization taking strong steps in empowering impoverished women in urban and rural areas of Uganda. Our focus is on sustainable development through micro credit for microenterprises, peer health education and renewable energy solutions to meet basic needs. We are developing innovative health and welfare programs for disadvantaged women and their families in Kampala and in the Masaka District's Kabonera sub-country. Urban outreach programs are based in Kawempe,and Ndeeba in Kampala, and rural projects are based in the Kyamuyimbwa Village which is located180 kilometers from Kampala. The organization’s office is located in Kawempe, Kampala and has been registered with Kampala District Community Services Department as a CBO since 2008 (# KAW/602).

Uganda SPACE was founded in 2007 by Nagawa Brenda, Kayemba Robert and Nakimbugwe Maria. The organization was formed to address the economic, health and educational needs of impoverished women and children in the rural areas and the urban poor areas of Uganda. The organization's founders all share a first hand understanding of the challenges facing the rural poor as they each grew up in the rural communities that we serve. Kayemba had to fetch water in towns to pay for his education and Nagawa had to take care of her siblings at the age of 11 when her mother and father died. She had to look for food and all necessities for them while she was responsible of her own education. Building upon our experience working with impoverished women and our deep personal networks within Kampala and the Kabonera sub-country, we are actively working with Makerere University, international partners and othercommunity organizations sharing complimentary missions. We have a small staff, but strive to make the most of our resources by utilizing volunteers whenever possible.Uganda SPACE has piloted two initatives to date and has several other projects in planning and research stage. In 2008, we initiated a pilot Poultry Microfinance Project and provided primary and secondary education scholarships for eight girls to attend school. Other projects in the works include, but are not limited to a Solar Lantern Microenterprise Project, an Ecostove Project, Water and sanitation, micro-irrigation, micro-finance, Health Care Program, and Women's Housing Project. ervices Department as a CBO since 2008 (# KAW/602).