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Community Engagement Fellows:
Africa Design Clinic Notes

CE Fellows Africa, provides an opportunity to create community solutions through design clinics to mobilize collective wisdom that transcends geographical, political, and sociocultural boundaries. View the Design clinic questions below and you are welcome to contribute ideas to the google doc. 

Co-facilitators for these sessions included Dominic Savio, Director of the Akili Pana Initiative in Uganda, and Travis Tennessen, Convener of Community Engagement Fellows at Western Washington University, USA.

If you have questions about future CE Fellows Africa opportunities please email

person smiling with a green apron

Winnie Najjuma

Kampala, Uganda

Could you help me get onboard female youth/women into the recycling business? 


Context: I started a glass recycling business. Recycle glass and repurpose it. My challenge has been getting more women to participate. Most people don’t have a passion for the business. People are looking for where the next big money will come from. When I started, my purpose was to work with women. I found that women are the sole bread-winners in their family, and they’d prefer going to work in a market or other things. 

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Specific age group you want to work with? 

My focus is on those out of school. It’s artisan work, so it takes time. 

What attracts them to other jobs? 

They earn more money on a daily basis, not waiting until the end of the month to receive money from selling art.

What do you recycle the glass into? How do you sell the products? 

We make drinking glasses, vases, a wide range of products. Sales haven’t been good at the moment, so we’re not making good money to sustain payments. 

How many women are involved now?

We had a large number earlier, but because business dropped off we now only have three. 


Where are products sold? 

Weekend markets, pop-up markets. We also work with referrals to businesses, bars, lodges


Click below to contribute:

Winnie Najjuma Design Clinic Notes 7_6_22

person smiling holding flowers in a colorful dress with a flower in her hair.

Teddy Nakato

Kampala, Uganda

Could you help me find solutions to the insufficient access to sanitary facilities that girls and women face?

Context: Northern Uganda, most girls and women don’t have access. For example, few or no toilets. Also lack access to sanitary towels, particularly girls in school. This leads to them dropping out of school. They feel shame and stop coming. Girls lack resources, and also knowledge of other methods they can use to maintain their sanitation. 


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What additional knowledge do you wish girls had? 

There are some other things they can use apart from non-reusable sanitary napkins, such as reusable cloth napkins, to maintain their sanitation. 


Are you hoping to provide them with education about reusable napkins? Are you looking at a specific target project? Fundraising for toilets?

Targeting first of all providing sanitary napkins to girls and women. As the project moves on, I’d like to organize a campaign to get financial resources for toilets. 


In the community where you are working, do you have water? (Relates to Sustainable Development Goal #6) If you have toilets but no water, hygiene is hard to maintain. 

Yes, they do have the problem of access to water. I may have ignored the fact that water is scarce. There is a method of latrine that doesn’t use water. But water is needed to wash their hands. 


Are there religious or cultural barriers? 

No. I think they just lack knowledge. 


Do you have a plan for the maintenance of the sanitation facilities? Will people pay for access to maintain them? 

I’ve first thought about them being built because they don’t have them. People dispose of their waste in places where they get water. 


In towns with markets and hospitals, they can have toilets that are paid for through community resources. For remote neighborhoods, the households may need to maintain them. 

Click below to contribute:

Teddy Nakato Design Clinic Notes 6_29_22

person standing in front of palm trees in a white dress

Violet Musonda

Curriculum Development Centre. Ministry Of Education


Could you help me identify strategies to entice school dropouts back into learning institutions?

Context: I’m a curriculum developer. The learning centers don’t have as many learners as we’d like. Many children and young adults are on the streets. Could be a result of poverty, parent deaths, and other reasons. It’s hard to just tell them to go back to school. I need better strategies. 


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Ongoing work or just starting? 

Just starting. I just talked to some children recently about why they’re not in school. 

What are some reasons that the children offer? What’s keeping them away? 

Some of it's because of the lack of school fees. Even with free education available people are still on the streets. It feels like too much time/investment. They’ve lost interest because they’ve been on the streets for so long. 


Have you done consultations with local leaders on this question? (Hard to solve on a personal level)

Since it’s a new thing on my mind, I haven’t yet done that. 

Have you tried to dig deeper to find out the root causes? 

Yes, there are many. Poverty, peer pressure, lack of parents, 

What are the age ranges of those you want to help? 


Other context to share?

The streets have become their means of survival. It will take a lot of effort to transition.

Click below to contribute:

Violet Musonda Design Clinic Notes 6_22_22

headshot of person smiling at the camera in a white shirt and green apron

Winnie Najjuma

Kampala, Uganda

Could you help me identify ways to work better with community leaders?

Context:  Working on a community project building a school in a rural area. Our challenge, in part because of Covid, community leaders think that they will get money from the project. It’s dragging the project which we thought would be done by now. 

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Terms and conditions you had with community leaders? Did you plan on paying them during construction? 

Initially we just went to the school to donate scholastic materials, give parents seedlings to plant, but realized the school was too small. Only one classroom for primary 1-3 classes. Kids would have to leave the school because they couldn’t do the upper level years. We decided to construct a classroom block for levels 4-7, and provide desks, materials. The community provided land, but our group took care of everything financial. 


What relationships have you formed with the community leaders?

I think they believe we have a lot of money, because we are doing construction?


Did you engage the parents of the school? 

Not all the parents, but our team works with the PTA representatives. Parents understand the need of the project. It’s a church-owned school, and the church is the one that’s trying to be negative. 


At the start of the project, did you have estimates of how much it would cost and how long it would take? 

Yes, and we’ve done fundraising and given ourselves a target of 2 years to do construction and handover. We haven’t completed because of Covid and also the church leaders. 


Click below to contribute:

Winnie Najjuma Design Clinic Notes 6_15_22

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