What was I thinking starting a foundation at 17? Well, the genesis of it all is that it started off as a self-initiated project for my IBDP course under the Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) component that required a student to start a project under any of these 3 strands.
The project aimed to donate resources to the partnered school in Luwero district, Bombo, Uganda, along with a brief teacher training session on maximizing limited resources effectively. Named ADFOSCH (Advocacy for Schools), it focused on enhancing the development of this particular school.
This project occurred in November 2019, and the donations included various items like books, pens, paper, learning charts, crayons, chalk, and more. Initially, I had no long-term plans or expectations for the impact it would have. However, witnessing how much it meant to the children, parents, teachers, and the entire community drew me closer to the cause, revealing a new side of myself.
Looking back, I realize that starting a foundation from conception is a significant undertaking. It requires time, resources, and a strong sense of purpose. In this blog, I will share my personal story about why I started my own foundation and how it has impacted my life.
In the year 2019, my inspiration was to complete the CAS component and get it done, but, after the implementation of the project and seeing the impact it had and how happy it made the beneficiaries, my inspiration shifted to contributing to the development and growth of a well-equipped youth society. As I became more involved in the community, I saw firsthand the many needs that were not being met. I realized that I had a unique opportunity to make a difference, and starting a foundation was one of the ways I could do it. In the months and years after the foundation runs two projects that work in the early childhood development and marginalized youth, namely the homeland project and remand joy respectively.
My vision for the foundation was to make a positive impact in my community. I aimed to support organizations and initiatives aligned with my values and the future of our nation, especially from a youth perspective. I focused on attainable areas and added a personal touch, like sustainable early childhood development.
There were multiple challenges that came with starting a foundation. One of the biggest challenges I faced was funding. Raising money to support the foundation’s initiatives was a rather daunting task, and still is, but I was determined to make it work and worked around the resources I had. I reached out to family and friends for support, and I think that their donation was not directly for the cause but because they saw how determined and resilient, I was about getting this done in the short and long term.
Over the past 4 years, the foundation, now Young Eye Foundation, has had a significant impact in the communities it operates in. We have supported remand homes (youth-juvenile centers) and schools, making a positive difference in the lives of many. We have created opportunities for individuals to get involved and make a difference, whether it be through volunteering or donating.
Starting the foundation has had a significant impact on my personal and professional growth. It has taught me valuable leadership skills, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. It has also given me a sense of purpose and fulfillment that I never knew was possible. The foundation is now a sister organization to a youth-centric show The Young Eye on youtube that supports the operations of the foundation.
Starting your own foundation can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. It requires a strong sense of purpose, dedication, and a willingness to overcome challenges. But the impact it can have on your community, as well as your personal and professional growth, is invaluable. If you’re passionate about making a difference and giving back, starting a foundation may be the perfect way to do it.
Recent project done by the Foundation: Adopting a School in Uganda.