Almost exactly a year ago, a small group of animators from Crossroads (the production company of our first episode), a couple tired uni students in exam week, and I hosted a launch for Sinza using our first sample video in a classroom at Makerere University. We had sent out the invitations a couple days before- 200 invites to all the NGOs we could find. I remember my engineer boys from another uni and another friend met me, and we boda’d the whole city for the day, taking various sections and hand delivered all these invites. It was a crazy week.
50 people showed up and went crazy over the idea of Sinza. News paper articles came out, TV interviews. One of the ministers of the Buganda Kingdom represented. I was about to head to uni in London for a master’s program. Everything changed that day. All of a sudden, the realisation hit that what we had was real and it was needed. And if there was no team to support it, it would not move. So, I declined my master’s program and decided to come back in the Fall of 2016 to Uganda to establish Sinza.
In November, we finalised details of the strategy to officially bring Sinza into the community. By the end of December, I had a managing director and 2 board members selected and we launched a campaign to locally fund Sinza. Here we are 6 months later, and in just 1 week, we will officially launch The Sinza Project, a community developed tool for health education that is relevant and effective.
I am so excited for the first year of The Sinza Project. As I move back home, I will remain as the lead from a far and discern how long I am necessary to be engaged for sustainability. I hope I will be humble and let go easily when it is right.
Here are some of the amazing developments we look forward to!
- Sinza books + audio recordings
We are partnering with a local publishing company whose mission is to inspire reading in a culture that does not read. The books will be sold at a very low cost of 3,000 UGX ($0.90) and will be in English. They will follow the same formatting as the animation videos. We will also be producing voice readings in various languages that will be distributed with the books for an additional cost. This allows for these books to be accessible for multiple tribes. And, it has an added element of exposure to a variety of languages for people who never move from their regions. The audio recordings will help us get the message of Sinza out to a more diverse groups of people more quickly.
The books will be a source of revenue to support the production and local sustainability of the project.
- The Sinza Club
The community outreach branch of Sinza. Ambassadors who are local nutrition professionals will go out to schools and community groups to offer nutrition assessments and teach about a specific topic using the Sinza video, books, and organised practical activities. These clubs can be done on a series basis as we develop more videos.
The school clubs also have a special project they will develop to promote healthy living. Any income or benefit from this project will be used to support a neighboring community/school to have access to healthy meals.
The schools and community groups will pay for this service (probably via sponsorship) also making this a longterm source of revenue to support the sustainability of the project.
- The Sinza Animation Team
We are so excited to begin the formation of our own local animation team who will join us at the beginning on a mostly voluntary, part-time basis to slowly work on production of the second episode of Sinza nutrition series. We hope to build capacity to support a full-time, paid team in the future.
In the first year of Sinza, we hope to have a complete series of books on the topic of nutrition. Audio recordings in 20 languages. A second animated episode of Sinza. Sinza clubs multiplying through various outlets. We have an exciting year to look forward to. We’ll see where God leads us and how He will build the team to empower and serve their own community.