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Uganda’s literary ‘incubator of ideas’ for development

Uganda’s literary ‘incubator of ideas’ for development


That’s the Kitengesa Library Band from Uganda, a group of musicians whose upbeat sound began with a box of books delivered to the local school back in 1997.

I’m Liz Scaffidi and welcome to UN and Africa our bi-monthly podcast highlighting what Secretary-General António Guterres has called the world body’s most important partnership.

For this edition we’ll have two stories that show how with the right kind of support, small local investments can deliver big returns for whole communities.

First, to Uganda, and the village of Kitengesa, where years ago, locals asked the UN Staff-run ‘1% for Development Fund’ for a mini-grant to help build a library.

The fund provide seed grants for local projects in developing countries to help lift communities out of poverty.

What snowballed from the initial gift of a box of books in Kitengesa and the fund’s subsequent involvement, was nothing short of miraculous.

I have here with me here at UN Headquarters, Patricia Duffy, a UN English teacher, and an Executive Board member for the 1% for Development Fund.

Pat, tell us about the Kitengesa Community Library…



Kate Parry, one of the co-founders of the Kitengesa Community Library in Uganda, and the extraordinary story of how it’s grown from a handful of books to a real engine of development for the whole community.

And we’ve another story now for this edition of our UN and Africa podcast, about how a community is being transformed by a seemingly small innovation.

The town of Rumbek in the centre of war-torn South Sudan, has been the scene of regular clashes between armed groups in recent years, but the arrival of a humble milk bar, has provided a renewed sense of economic hope and stability.

Supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO, the milk outlet is providing income for local families, a healthier diet, and food security.

Greg Delaney has the story.


That report from Greg Delaney, on how a milk bar is helping turn life around in the small South Sudanese town of Rumbek.

This is UN and Africa, from UN News, I’m Liz Scaffidi. Thanks for listening.



Welcome to our latest ‘UN and Africa’ podcast from UN News.

We talk to some of the people involved in two small-scale projects supported by the UN, which have helped transform their communities, in rural Uganda, and South Sudan.

Music by Kitengesa Library Band.

Audio Credit
Liz Scaffidi and Greg Delaney
Audio Duration
Photo Credit
Kitengase Library: Patricia Duffy; Rumbek Milk Bar: FAO/Tanya Birkbeck