Value of 1 invests in individuals and their goals toward a better life. Here is an example of the work we do through our project in Dino, a village in Northern Uganda. In Northern Uganda in the previously war ravaged Gulu region, Value of 1 has assembled a group of twelve youths and one elder (the number has since grown substantially). The youths include females and males. The program helps identify behavioral issues that need to be abandoned as the focus shifts from hopelessness and is re-directed toward opportunity. We ask the individuals to determine short and long term goals that would improve their lives and promote their self-sufficiency. Based on each individual’s goals, a list of needs is developed that would assist the fulfillment of the goals.
Value of 1 identifies areas of the Needs List that it can provide or foster. Specifically in Dino Village in Gulu, the youths are farmers. Poverty, lack of resources and lack of education are an issue. The youth feel little hope and few can break the cycle of poverty. Value of One has provided diverse seeds for planting, oxen for ploughing, and other material goods toward helping the youth with their goals. Additionally Value of 1 provides educational and vocational learning opportunities. Value of 1 links with government organizations that provide useful services and connects their youth with them to learn sustainable farming methods and tree planting opportunities. We believe in guiding the youth to be good stewards of their time, resources, and finances toward the accomplishment of their set objectives. We also emphasize the value in pouring back into the community. Finally we continue to encourage them to continually set goals and plans of action as they become more self-sufficient.
We accomplish these things through seminars, presentations, round table and one on one discussions, and trainings. The sessions (usually monthly) are interactive and promote participation and accountability. The goals come from the participants rather than Value of 1 and every session is voluntary. Value of 1 decides what, how much, and how long it will commit at each point to avoid impractical expectations. Once we fulfill an agreed upon commitment, we re-visit with the participant and decide whether or not to commit additionally. This way, Value of 1 is there to be a helping hand, not a crutch. We play a minor part as the participant fulfills their self-set goals. We supply some materials and resources but the actual work of application belongs to the participant. Our contribution is a gift so the stakes and return are greater for the participant than the organization.
We do not ask that they pour any finances back into Value of 1. Our hope, rather than requirement, is that they will choose to pour into their families and communities and we have repeatedly witnessed this prospect materialize. We have seen our participants grow into leaders within their community that even suggest to us projects that can help other less fortunate. Our strong desire is to see each participant fulfill their set objectives. Our goal is to bring hope to the hopeless by helping individuals that cannot rise above the circumstances of their situation on their own by investing in them toward achieving their goals and, in this way, aiding them in becoming an asset to their families and communities.
The work is done mostly by the participants and other consultants that are brought in for specific training sessions. Value of 1 President and Program Manager travel there repeatedly to establish and set up the program. Then a person is brought in to handle the further logistics such as procurement and dispersal of the items on the Needs List locally, on site communication and supervision of sessions, and productivity/status updates. Value of 1 Coordinators travel there monthly or bi-monthly to meet with and discuss progress and other needs of participants. The Logistics Overseer for the program in Dino is Mark Kasumba. Mark is a very dedicated and diligent worker with a passion for the vision of Value of 1. He documents all expenditures, and sends feedback regarding every visit. There are also key contact individuals among the youth as well as the elder gentleman which meet and have contact with the President and Program Manager through email and telephone as well as when they make their visits.
The program is completely funded through donations to Value of One. Although Value of 1 is a faith based service organization, identifying oneself as in a specific faith is not a pre-requisite for the participants.
Value of 1 has expanded its efforts with individuals in Western Uganda and Kenya as well. We are employing the same program model but the projects, Needs Lists, and set goals alter based on the individuals and circumstances involved. Coordinators and Logistics overseers exist for each project.