NCLN Library

Changemakers 365 - Project Stories

January 15, 2021 Scott Evangelist

What does $500 worth of change look like? More than you’d think. It looks like art supplies for kids who need a safe place to wait while their siblings and parents receive therapy for malnutrition. It looks like a fresh coat of paint for refugee camp buildings, brightening everyone’s day.

In November 2020, Atomic Data staff came together to choose 30 ideas to be executed at the Atomic/Alight-constructed library in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement of Uganda, Africa. Throughout December and January, staff on the ground began executing and documenting these projects. As projects are completed we’ll be sharing photos and stories about them here.


DAY 1 – Kids Corner

Many children in the Nakivale settlement do not attend school due to high fees, overcrowding, and long travel distances. This educational barrier results in increased early pregnancy/marriage, lack of employment opportunity, financial instability, and a host of other concerns. Recognizing this significant gap, Atomic Data and Alight recently constructed a Children’s Learning Center adjacent to the main library structure. The Center was in need of kid-specific activities and materials to make the children feel welcome and provide relevant programming. We kicked things off by purchasing items like educational board games, toys, craft supplies, and age-specific books. The Kids Corner will give them a safe, stable, and exciting place to spend their day while being exposed to reading at an early age and without cost to the parents.


DAY 2 – Music Exposure

The library is not only focused on reading. By providing a wide array of activities and programming, the staff are able to encourage more frequent visits to the library and spark interest in individuals. Today the staff have purchased a set of drums, a long drum (also known as an Engalabi), ankle bells, shakers, tube fiddles, rattles, flutes, pianos and a wooden Zither. In addition to supporting local instrument craftsmen, these purchases will be used in the formation of drama and musical groups at the library and within the larger Nakivale community.