#Baobab Day 2


Mastercard Foundation Scholars, Sandra Kalua and Mahmoud Kanso, as well as Mastercard Foundation Scholar Alumni, Joseph Yaw Akyin, are reporting from this year’s Baobab Summit, highlights from each day. You can also follow along on our Facebook and Instagram channels where they will be sharing their thoughts and experiences at #Baobab2020.

Mahmoud Kanso from AUB reporting from #Baobab2020 sharing some reflections from day 1 and what he’s looking forward to on day 2.

And Sandra Kalua:

Plenary Session: How to thrive in a world that isn’t built for you


  • Christine Kirungi is a disability and gender activist. She is the Executive Director of the Uganda National Association of Cerebral Palsy (UNAC) and a Disability Inclusion Facilitator with Light for the World in Uganda
  • Ambrose Murangira is a leading disability advocate and Disability Inclusion Advisor with Light for the World.

Moderator: Georgie Ndirangu is a Kenya-based multimedia broadcast journalist with BBC Africa.


“Laws must be inclusive and friendly to people living with disability.”

“Everyone is an ally whether you have money or not or authority or not. It’s about changing the attitudes of people. If God gifted you with a voice, this voice alone has authority and you can talk to parents and community members on how they can provide education for children with disabilities. In the community we have problem, sometimes people  use language like deaf and dumb or lame but if you can you use your voice about guiding them on how to talk to people about disabilities. “


“The sky is the limit because I’m looking at becoming an international lady. The journey is still long but I know I’m in control of what I want. The challenges have shaped me but they encourage us and show us the direction to take. Someone who sees me walking doesn’t know I can do something beyond my disability.”

“People are ignorant about people with disabilities s so I’m always happy to inform people about disability, so the next time That’s why for us, at our organization we started a campaign within mainstream school so those younger students, we don’t look new them.”

“I am woman, I’m entitled to be mother, to be love and be loved. I’m a proud mother. When I got my pregnancy, most of my family members were against it. I’m a woman with a disability and I was supposed to live a man with a disability. This is the man I love and this is who loves me. You find that there are stereotypes still within the family and within the community. Doctors ask how did you manage to give birth. Doctors even have that negative attitude. They look at us like you don’t have the right because you have the disability. These action marginalize us. If didn’t know my rights, I could have quit but at the end my family had to accept this.”

Reporting from Mahmoud Kanso:

“Sometimes the lack of support from people whom we expect support from can be harder than the problem itself.” Fatima Al Dirani commented on Christine Kirungi’s story when she was narrating the disbelief from members of her family members in her amazing potential.

From Sandra Kalua:

From Mahmoud Kanso:

“This is how you say ‘hello’.” With his beautiful gestures and amazing smile, Ambrose started his story-telling session with teaching us an inspiring word we use all the time. As his video goes along, Ambrose couldn’t but keep smiling to all the positive and warm messages where audience were reflecting on his super inspiring story.

Ambrose showing, moderator, Georgie, how to sign ‘hello’.

Emmanuela Alimlim shared, “quite inspiring, I have goosebumps all over my body. Well done, Ambrose.”

Eric Bizimana has confirmed, “Mr. Muranira’s resilience story and spirit of hard work has puzzled me and it’s hard to comprehend.”

Shoutouts continued from people who started to learn for their careers. Edith Horvey commented, “ This will help me a lot as a student teacher and as course I’m studying now. This should tell us that anyone at all can become disabled at any point at all in one’s life hence we should treat everyone equally. Ambrose, kudos for challenging the status quo”

I asked Christine Kirungi “Do you work to adjust systems that have failed you to be more engaged in society and through your life, or you train others to get adapted to the current systems?”

She beautifully answered: “Yes, in my position, we have a project in Uganda that is the first project that provides daily care for kids with severe disability. Those children have ability and they need support. We are nurturing those children to be able to do activities for themselves. We also sit with their families, we counsel, we give them support, we encourage them so that they don’t give up on their children. The parent is the lawyer, the doctor, the first person to defend a child with disability. We are also trying our best to focus on formal and non-formal education. Those who can’t make it to the classroom can also benefit from the non-formal education.”

I could not personally think of any more support and better tools mentioned to provide a more inclusive and enhanced system and environment.

Social Venture Challenge Finalists

Finalists from The Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge presented to a panel of judges today. Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Mahmoud Kanso sat in on some of the presentations:

Kibera Canan Library

“We are bringing an open resources library to the biggest slum camp, Kibera. This library will provide mentorship, public access library, and technical skills training.”

Kibera Canan Library and youth empowerment center was started by Grace Bako ans Darris Murangi. The mentorship will be targeting three main topics: sex education, mental health, and self awarness. They will try later to adjust and add whatever topics they find important — such as emotional intellegence and communication skills.

They started crafting their idea one year ago and they were able to raise about 800$ from personal fundraising campaigns. Initially, the team is targeting 160 high school students and almost 600 primary school students. The mentorship program is for high school students and the library will stay available for both target groups. In three years from now, they are expecting to enlarge their target group as much as possible and include computer literacy training in their programs. The venture’s success will be tested through the improvements of student’s grades, records, and their self-esteem, in addition to a knowledge assessment at the beginning and the end of every training.

Women Economic Empowerment Uganda

Women Economic Empowerment Uganda (WEEU) aims for economic inclusion for grassroots women of rural districts, and specifically Luwero district. The team chose this area to focus as its illiterate women are mostly involved in ungainful employment which are underpaid or even go without payment. Florence, Alicia, and Janepher are looking into training these women with herbal soap making and business management. They also envision investing philanthropic capital to boost startup production. They will buy the soap from the beneficiaries and find valuable market for it. The WEEU team envision equipping 1,000 women in five years with skills and production capacity and assured marketing of products. The team were resilient enough to interview a big target group and get enough data for their project despite COVID-19 restrictions in their area

Smallholder Farmer Innovations

Smallholder farmer innovations is a venture found by Kondwani and Godwell. With it, they aim to solve agricultural difficulties and challenges. They summarized them as (1) heavy use of inorganic fertilizer, (2) unsustainable farming business, (3) poor soil conditions, (4) lack of precise fertilizer applications, and (5) low crop yield. The solution provides low cost organic mineral pallet, and a service soil testing program to help pilot precision farming. By the end of the year they look forward to buying a pallet machine and installation, building  demonstration plots, and setting up bio cells for composting. Through their agricultural project, they are targeting food security, profitable farming business, and youth employment. The team is starting with one village but they envision scaling up with time and progress. The team will kick start on-ground implementation just after their graduation from Earth University.

Day 2 Round Up from Sandra Kalua