THE BAVUBUKA FOUNDATION
The Bavubuka Foundation is a nonprofit organization that believes that connecting youth with music and the arts can transform lives and unify diverse communities.
The Foundation was created by Silas Balabyekkubo (aka Babaluku), an award-winning musician, producer, community youth activist and social entrepreneur. Also a founding member of Uganda’s legendary hip hop group, Bataka Squad, Silas is known for introducing Luga Flow to Uganda’s creative scene. This unique and powerful style of positive Hip Hop music has inspired youth in Uganda to embrace and celebrate their native languages, culture and tradition. Silas is dedicated to changing lives and giving hope to young people: from the ghetto slums of Kampala to war torn Northern Uganda. Through the Bavubuka Foundation, Silas supports projects that are calling forth the spirit of Ugandan people in creative arts, youth empowerment, education, community development, sports, fashion, journalism, and community-building events.
We are dedicated to creating spaces and educational programs that nurture and empower a new generation of young leaders, in Uganda and all of Africa, who will use their voices to communicate positive messages and effect positive change in their communities and the world. Each Bavubuka project incorporates reconciliation and peace building activities by using transformative art to cultivate personal empowerment within a united communal effort. Bavubuka provides Ugandan youth with the opportunity to gain new skills, bring their own creations to life and develop relationships that connect them to their immediate community, the larger Ugandan struggle, and a global peace building movement. We know that when youth in Uganda are provided with space, given full access to resources, empowered with education and encouraged to express their creativity, they have the will and power to build a greater community for a stronger Ugandan future.
The Bavaubuka Foundation strongly believes that through music, a movement that represents peace, love, equality and unity will be established. They are dedicated to promoting all artists who rap in their native tongues in Uganda. The aim is to help the young, talented youth of Uganda gain confidence in promoting their culture on a global scale.
The youth in Uganda are essential to the voice of the country and since the government loosened its media policies in 1993, radio has become the most popular medium. 70% of the population is under the age of 25 (est. 2009) and the youth hold an untapped power over the potential of the country. Currently under the influence of North American culture, the Ugandan voice is being lost amongst the popularity of Western pop culture and is in desperate need of revival. The youth are an essential part of this voice and, provided with the right resources, they need to be enriched with the confidence to speak out in their native tongue to break down the barriers and convey and express the issues surrounding their own country: poverty, slavery, mass violence, political instability, post-war recovery, and poor economical resources. A massive part of this positive uprising can be raised by with self-liberating education and breakthroughs through music, art and cultural expression.
* The Bavubuka Foundation home base was founded in Kampala in 2005. From this property, containing four houses (two partially completed and two under construction), Bavubuka operates after-school and weekend programs for children and youth aged 2 years – 25 years.
* There are approximately 100 youth involved in the Bavubuka Program.
* There are currently three volunteer leaders in the program. Program graduates that express interest in leadership and have proven leadership skills are trained to become sub-leaders for the youth.
* There is a yearly Hip-Hop Summit, which includes performances by the youth and workshops taught by contributing professionals in media, recording arts, and writing.
* There is a local studio that is partnered with the foundation for recording purposes in the Music Program. The Music Programs have resulted in youth creating music about their community and the experience of rebuilding post-war. There has been studio time donated for young artists, which has further resulted in radio play in Kampala, Jingu and Gulu.
* One emcee from the Music Program won an End of the Weak national competition, that resulted in him being flown by End of the Weak to Berlin, Germany to compete internationally.
* There has been positive response from parents about their children’s behaviour, higher interest in education, and enhanced creativity within their homes.
* To send three artists (one musical artist, one female musical artist trained in music therapy to focus on Women’s Program, and one visual artist) and one videographer on a missions trip in Spring 2011. The artists will do youth workshops, lessons, and community outreach that will build their skills and gain their confidence in making their voices heard in Uganda.
* To finish the building of the houses on the property. This would include building a recording studio, arts studio, media production room, workshop space, textile and fashion space, and completion of the grounds.
* To further implement the Entrepreneurship Program with contributing Ugandan entrepreneurs hosting workshops and creating job opportunities for the youth.
* To raise recognition of the Scholarship Program for youth that have proven ambition and discipline to attend secondary and post-secondary education.
* To produce and distribute an album compilation from the Music Program that is currently in progress.
* To produce and distribute a book of poetry with compilations from the Writing Program.
* To continue to produce events promoting community outreach and showcasing the progress in all programs.
* To have the Bavubuka Foundation venture into the surrounding countries of Kenya and Tanzania.