Happy 2024! Welcome back to our space, where we continuously generate innovative ideas and engage with remarkable change-makers in beautiful Northern Uganda. We'd like to express our gratitude to everyone who has been with us throughout our journey, supporting our significant strides over the years. Your unwavering support has been instrumental in enabling us to accomplish what we do. Well done, everyone!
For those who are joining us for the first time, as we say in Acholi "wajolo wu", you’re most welcome! I presume you're here because you're committed to being a part of positive change and making a difference in the world. You’re in the right place.
By now, you probably have a sense of our mission, but allow me to provide a more detailed picture of our on-ground activities. The Gulu community primarily consists of young individuals brimming with innovative ideas. When I tell you they have a wealth of creative concepts, it might be hard to believe. However, this abundance of ideas also raises the question of why a town filled with so many young leaders isn't generating as many new ideas and job opportunities for their peers as one might expect.
Through our direct engagements with initial partners in Gulu, we unearthed a steadfast desire for transformative change among young leaders who, despite their resolve, confront significant obstacles. These challenges encompass not only the absence of resources to test their ideas, experiment and innovate, but they also lack access to affordable financing options, with loans burdened by high short-term interest rates going as high as 24%, high overheads such as steep office and factory rental costs, a brain drain with most skilled people moving to the capital city for employment opportunities, exorbitant internet fees (with a single GB package costing as much as $22), and inadequate infrastructure, including unreliable transportation and limited electricity access, affecting more than 52% of the Ugandan population.
However, a beacon of hope shines through, as some of these enterprising young leaders have already embarked on audacious endeavors to transform their ideas into reality. Recognizing the remarkable potential in their aspirations, we have intervened, acknowledging the necessity to provide them with the unwavering support they rightly deserve. Our mission centers on empowering and inspiring local leaders in Gulu to build strong, resilient, and impactful businesses by fostering their business governance, decision-making prowess, and the capability to attract the capital necessary to scale their businesses.
Now, to truly understand the Elephante community, you'll need to visit us in person—it's an official invitation! As I mentioned, our goal is not to do the work for our partners but to assist innovative ideas in taking shape.
Building a community
Community is a cornerstone of our well-being and the success of our changemakers. We firmly believe in the power of community, as it offers a dynamic environment where our partners can access crucial resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to aid their development.
Through our consistent efforts, an inclusive approach that welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, and a willingness to explore new methods—even if it means learning from failure—our community has grown stronger and more resilient.
In recent months, the Elephante community has hosted some of the world's most prominent entrepreneurs, who have used our community halls to hold exceptional business talks with our partners and the Gulu community at large.
When we're not rubbing shoulders with industry giants, we're participating in one of the city's most significant cultural festivals, organized by Loremi Tours, which unites the Gulu City community. Additionally, we hold prayer sessions in our chapel and engage in activities like volleyball and aerobics to stay healthy.
We take immense pride in the community we’ve built here, and there are many ways for you to be part of it!
Come visit us: enjoy the cafe, take a dance class, attend an event, you name it!
Become a monthly donor: Our monthly donors are the lifeblood of Elephante and the reason we’re thriving today. There are still so many goals we are trying to achieve, and even just $10 a month would take us so far!
Become a mentor: By connecting our partners with mentors, sharing valuable knowledge and experiences, and offering invaluable advice, we provide them with the tools to foster creativity and progress. Together, we can empower countless young leaders who are patiently awaiting someone to guide them. We can make that happen.