Crowdfunding Formosa — A Taiwanese is Helping Preserve Uganda’s Culture For Its Children

In our new section Crowdfunding Formosa, BuzzOrange Global looks at the most interesting and exciting projects looking for crowdfunding in Taiwan

Writer Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) once had this thought on culture and young people, “The first step — especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money — to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.”

So what to do when there is no way for young people in your country to access their own culture? Or the only alternative they have is to use some other country’s culture where you don’t understand any of the references?

Just magine it as if your childhood school only had Murakami books donated by Japan as available reading material, and you couldn’t understand any of the references to bento boxes .

  • Giving Ugandan Oral Culture a Book Publisher

It was this problem Teresa Wang, a 24 year-old volunteering as a Peace-Corps in Uganda, saw on the many schools for impoverished communities in this Central African country with one of the youngest populations in the world, with half of the population under the age of 15.

Due to quick urbanization more and more children are sent to towns to study and grow up in western children’s books donated by foreign donors, distancing themselves from the non-written tribal culture and identity.

This lead Teresa to create the Nambozo Books: Ugandan Folktales Publishing Project, a publisher based in Mbale, a town situated in Eastern Uganda that would focus on publishing Ugandan folktales for children between 6 and 12.

Their creative method is based on collecting stories from the elders in the villages, and hire local writers and illustrators to produce books in English and the local dialect Lumaasaba. So far they’ve already published a children book called “The Secret of Egrets and Crows”, and Teresa started a crowdfunding campaign at the Taiwanese website FlyingV.

They originally aimed to raise US 4,809 (149,980 NT) in order to publish 3 books every year with 2000 copies, however Taiwanese proved to be generous enough to already have donated almost US 8000 (248,931 NT), with a month to go.

Books will be sold for US 1.5 and people can buy one to offer children in need. However the publisher is also planning to create audio books for local radio stations and organize storytelling events in schools and libraries.

Culture is a fragile precious good that too many times disappears within the memory of the people who die without passing it. Hopefully this campaign can help children in Uganda keep one of the most precious elements life has to offer, their own culture.

Know more about the Nambozo Books: Ugandan Folktales Publishing Project campaign at FlyingV.

Photos by Nambozo Books

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Originally published at buzzorange.com on July 20, 2015.

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