I believe that before explaining why and how we created the Knowledge Box; it’s important to provide a summary of the other work that we do through Nexim international Development Organization.
NIDO, in short is a Canadian registered charitable organization that focuses on the following causes;
· The advance of access to education in the third world with focus on East Africa through funding the budget needs of schools and funding the construction of educational infrastructure in the countries
· Aid wildlife conservation through social economic interventions that that alleviate the impact of climate change on communities that live close to or support wildlife conservation efforts in East Africa – this focuses on the use of access to education, social enterprises and micro loans to rangers, ex poachers and communities that live close to or share land use with protected wildlife
· Funding renewable energy initiatives to help reduce dependence on Biomass ( firewood and charcoal) and primary sources of burning fuel in schools and remote communities .
These were our primary interventions and over the years we have helped close to 4000 girls graduate high school who would not otherwise have done so while providing valuable resources to help rangers and those that live close to parks diversify their incomes via macro finance, scholarships for children and also helped build 4 energy efficient kitchens in 4 different schools and three bio gas digesters. These interventions help schools use half the charcoal or firewood they need to cook meals for students.
NIDO is a Black led charity whose Board and supporters see and understand the challenges young people are confronted with; especially those who comprise the African Diaspora. Black youth from lower socioeconomic status lack access to essential resources: Be knowledge, guidance and mentors to enable these young people to realize their potential. We also know based on experience that whereas the challenges Canadian youth face are very different from those faced by the young girls we provide high school education too in East Africa; these challenges are real and have held many of our best young people back for years. In addition, we are sensitive to historical social economic imbalances in access to opportunities for people of color and other minorities as a result of the legacy of involuntary servitude, unequal administration justice, unequal access to education and above all else unequal government/ private sector programs.
The impact of these social ills manifest themselves in different ways but for the most part bubble on the surface until when a major event brings them back to the public. These include but are not limited to the events that followed – murders in Ferguson, Florida, Ohio from a few years ago to scenes we saw across flash across our television screens last summer with the murders of Breanna Taylor and George Floyd. These are not new as in 1992 the assault LA of black teenager Rodney King led to similar outcomes. The 91 events inspired one of my heroes – John Hope Bryant to set up Operation Hope in Atlanta with a focus on financial literacy in black communities. It’s no coincidence that when a similar incident happened in Atlanta; there were riots but No violence. This is because in Atlanta the oppressed have a stake in their city and do not want it to turn into a wasteland.
In my view, there’s a common thread among all of the violent outcomes; rioting, burning homes, and vandalizing local businesses. The neighbourhoods where these violent events occur have had challenges adding local jobs back to their respective communities; this can can lead to urban blight. The rioters go back where they came from and life for those can not get out takes several steps backwards. I have to add that these issues are not unique to the USA- Canada does suffer from them too as as Canadians we need to face up to them and do something about addressing them.
Our Knowledge Box initiative is our way to intervene in the lives of young people early in life so we can demonstrate via practice and deeply thought seminars will provide the tools/ skills to young people so they can pursue their opportunities both career and otherwise that they would not have otherwise believed possible were it not for our intervention.
Our programs will cover everything from your bank account, your budget, how to create a financial plan, career options, real estate, mortgages and entrepreneurship plus more with experienced panellists creating curriculum content and offering themselves to help.
In summary, our goal is to help young people especially minorities, women especially single mothers and other vulnerable groups acquire the skills to ask more of themselves, widen their horizons and build capacity to be valuable members of their respective communities.
Henry Kalule Lukenge, Social Entrepreneur
Knowledge Box was founded by Nexim International Development Organization (NIDO). NIDO was established by founder Henry Lukenge (CPA, FCCA). Since its inception, NIDO's programming has impacted thousands of lives both locally and abroad. Consistently, our programs have enabled black communities the opportunity to pursue careers in healthcare, business, finance, accounting, media and IT. More information about our organization's work can be found on our central website.