Home Compassion Byalibizibu transforming lives in rural Busoga

Byalibizibu transforming lives in rural Busoga

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By Lilian Ntege

Naomi Byalibizibu is passionate about helping young children and the youth live a better life and secure a brighter future.

She always aspired to be an inspiration and give back to communities.

In order to realise her dream, Byalibizibu founded Byali Foundation, a non-profit organisation operating in Jinja and Buyende districts in Busoga sub-region.

Her organisation works to empower young people and equip them for a better future.

Starting
Byalibizibu says she started Byali Foundation in 2016 while she was still working with Community Vision, a local NGO as a human resource manager under a project called “Better Outcomes for Youths and Children.”

“I realised there was a gap in community when one of the para-social workers did not return the books we gave them for record keeping. On inquiring further, I found out that she had given the books to a child who was struggling with lack of scholastic materials,” she explains.
That experience triggered Byalibizibu to act. She says: “This really touched me. I went to visit that particular home and bought the child more books. Good enough he passed primary seven with a first grade.”

Further exploration in communities left her with no option, but to become the helping hand, hence starting the foundation.

This Organisation equips the community with health sensitization messages, gives scholarships, empowers youth and children from vulnerable families, especially those affected by and infected with HIV/AIDs, supports people with disability, and working to address poverty which is the biggest problem in the area.

Byalibizibu distributes foot wears to the children.

Funding
Mobilising funds to use was not an easy task for Byalibizibu. “I started by using my own money, but later needed help,” she says.

She created a WhatsApp group of friends who contributed money, scholastic materials and other household items to give to those in need.

They collected every beginning of school term, paid fees and bought items for the school-going children.

Things got easier when most of the children got individual sponsors from her circles.

Helping parents
But still, the problem was not solved given that most households were struggling with low survival. Some barely had food to eat and could not afford medical bills because of no or low income.

“The parents were still in a poor state and we had to do something. So, we taught the mothers tailoring and introduced commercial farming methods to others in order to increase their income,” Byalibizibu says.

They introduced a seed voucher method where the organisation gave each person 20 kilograms of maize grain for planting.

After harvesting, that person would bring back 40 kilograms to the organisation, but would choose two people to be given the 20 extra kilograms each.

They further conduct follow-ups to ensure that the beneficiaries are progressing as expected.

“We make sure before the end of every charity, we do home visits and conduct a community dialogue.
“This allows us to connect more and measure progress,” she says.

Byalibizibu (left) in a photo moment with a beneficiary family after delivering their 2022 Christmas gifts. (Photos/Courtesy)

Challenges
Like any other non-profitable organisation, Byalibizibu says funding has always been a great challenge.

“But we are trying to manage by fundraising,” she says before quickly noting that transport is also another menace to them.

Achievements
Byalibizibu is glad to be improving livelihoods. She reveals that through her organisation, they have helped over 940 children and 514 households in the two districts.

Byalibizibu says it gives her joy to see that all the households they have helped are now involved in more productive activities and their income have increased.

Henry Isangu, a beneficiary of the foundation, credits his success to Byalibizibu’s efforts.

“They paid my school fees from senior one to four. They later employed me as an office attendant at their offices. I am thankful to Madam Naomi for that,” he says.

Isangu is working towards helping his other age mates live a better life and make appropriate life decisions.

Future plans
Byalibizibu wishes to build a primary school in order to have all her beneficiary children in one place. She says this will ease their work.

Regardless of the satisfaction she derives in helping to improve lives in rural areas, Byalibizibu wishes she could do much more. She encourages all abled persons to support and skill those in need.

A 2019/20 Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) estimates that poverty stands at 20.3 per cent in the country.

Byalibizibu believes this can change if everyone participated in improving their own lives and those around them.

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