May 31, 2011
Building Tomorrow is launching a new Twitter campaign to help our associates and supporters learn Luganda, the most widely spoken language in Uganda. At the end of every business day (approximately 5-6p.m.), we will be providing our followers with basic words and phrases that might be helpful when traveling and working in Uganda. Our first few Tweets have included words such as â€œschoolâ€ and â€œfutureâ€, and can be found under the hash-tag #LearnLuganda.
Why are we doing this? Because Luganda is the language spoken at each of our seven Building Tomorrow academies in Uganda, which serve roughly 1,500 students daily. Primary school from grades P1-P3 (the equivalent of first through third grade) is customarily taught in Luganda, and primarily in English thereafter. Many critics of non-profit organizations working abroad voice concern over a perceived lack of interest in local cultures, languages, and values. In some cases, even those receiving support from international groups are wary to do so, for fear of western ideologies being imposed upon them in exchange for financial or physical aid. Here at Building Tomorrow, we hope to disprove those negative stereotypes about social change organizations. We make a concerted effort to build partnerships with the communities in which we build schools so that the lines of communication remain open even after a school is finished.
While our volunteers and trip-participants are not required to participate in any formal language training, they are provided with a list of common phrases and expected to be able to communicate at a very basic level while in Uganda.
We hope that you will all take a look at our #LearnLuganda campaign and learn a little more about the language and culture of Uganda. Also, tweet, message or comment us back about words and phrases that you would like to learn!