December 30, 2008

AGYA Secures Facility in Village of Nabulagala

Organization Hopes to Raise $1500 for AGYA Library and Computer Lab

With the support of a few dedicated donors, AGYA has secured a 6 classroom facility in Nabulagala, a village located approximately 10 minutes outside of Kampala, Uganda's capital city.

The AGYA Leadership Team will be moving into the new facility on January 1, 2009. AGYA will host our first program on Monday, January 5, 2009. Throughout the week, we will host the following programs at the AGYA House in Nabulagala: Computer Skills, African History, Language, Fashion Design, Creative Writing, Art (Dance & Music), Photography, Film, and Media.

AGYA would like to offer a special thank you to our "Founding Funders," those individuals whose generosity helped AGYA secure a new facility in less than 2 weeks.

To show our gratitude and commemorate their support for our dream of empowering Ugandan youth, we will be painting a mural on the wall of our new facility. Designed by our students, this mural will list the names of each and every person who made a donation to our cause. We hope to have the mural completed by February 28, 2009!

Although AGYA raised enough money to secure a facility, we are now raising funds to furnish the facility and purchase supplies and materials.

Within the next 30 days, we hope to raise $1500 which will go towards buying books for the AGYA Library, financing the AGYA Free Lunch Program, buying 2 used desktop computers for the AGYA Computer Lab, and purchasing various arts and crafts supplies.

To help us reach our $1500 fundraising goal, you can use the secure PayPal link to your left!

We are so thankful for your everyone who believes in our dream of empowering Ugandan youth and we look forward to your continued support as AGYA develops in 2009.

Help AGYA Secure a New Facility


1. Barbara Goss (WI) contributed $40.00
2. Dr. Kristen Brown (CA) contributed $150.00
3. Sharon Stewart (CA) contributed $40.00
4. Charisma Acey (CA) contributed $100.00
5. Paula Brown (CA) contributed $40.00
6. Andrew Skotzko (CA) contributed $40.00
7. Rebecca Childs (GA) contributed $200.00
8. Adlai Wertman (CA) contributed $50.00
9. Lynne Santalucia (WI) contributed $25.00
10. Kiana Butler (CA) contributed $50.00
11. Angela Flournoy (CA) contributed $40.00
12. Deara Okonkwo (CA) contributed $120.00
13. Brianna Gauff (CA) contributed $50.00
14. Benjamin Rothschild (WI) contributed $50.00

AGYA has an amazing opportunity to secure a beautiful, 6 classroom facility which can host 15 volunteers and 200 children. However, in order to secure the facility and begin programming by January 15, 2009, we need your help!

If we can get 50 people to donate $40.00 by December 20, 2008, we will be able to secure this facility and continue the work of AGYA in a safe environment which provides ample room and space to grow.

Not only will your donation provide much-needed opportunities and resources for the students whose lives we have already touched, but it will also benefit countless other African youth whose generation will respond to our rallying cry: amagezi gemanyi—knowledge is power!

To make a donation on-line, please click on the secure Pay-Pal "DONATE" link to your left.

To make a check donation, please e-mail us at for details.

December 29, 2008

AGYA Leadership Team

“Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world. Indeed, they are the only ones who ever have.”
~Margaret Mead

Meet the AGYA Leadership Team, a small, diverse group of young people who recognize that they are global citizens who can use their talents to change the world!
Executive Director, AGYA After School Program
Abraham Matovu, 25 years old
Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Known affectionately as “Uncle Ibra,” Abraham has over 5 years of experience working with Uganda youth. Abraham is passionate about African culture, fashion design, and working with children. His dream is to start an orphanage for Ugandan children, especially those who lost their parents to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Executive Director, AGYA Girls Program
Divinity Lashelle Barkley, 22 years old
Hometown: Racine, Wisconsin

Divinity graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Political Science and African American Studies in 2008. Specializing in outreach to teen girls, Divinity has 4 years experience as a mentor, youth coordinator, and program facilitator. She is passionate about African culture, African history, and women’s issues. Her dream is to create an organization which fosters and promotes leadership development and higher education for women throughout the African continent.

AGYA Program Coordinator
Mary Richards, 25 years old
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Mary is a working artist with more than 7 years of experience teaching and volunteering in the arts. She graduated Cum Laude from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio with a B.F.A. in glass and printmaking. She is passionate about youth education and development. As an AGYA Program Coordinator, Mary teaches art and creative writing classes.

AGYA Program Coordinator
Happy Caitrine Namutebi, 18 years old
Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Happy is a Senior 4 student at Nakulabye High School. She enjoys poetry and creative writing, fashion design, and photography. Happy dreams of becoming a successful actress who will help to catapult Uganda’s film industry. As an AGYA Program Coordinator, Happy facilitates poetry and creative writing as well as numerous film and media projects.

AGYA Program Coordinator
Sarah Mulekatete, 18 years old
Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Sarah is in her first year at Uganda’s prestigious Makerere University studying Mass Communications. Sarah dreams of becoming a successful radio and television personality who represents the voices of Ugandan women. As an AGYA Program Coordinator, Sarah facilitates the fashion design program, English language instruction, and film and media projects.

AGYA Program Coordinator
Richard Bugeza, 18 years old
Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Richard Bugeza is a Senior 5 student who currently attends Nakulabye High School. As an AGYA Program Coordinator, Richard tutors small children (ages 3-12) and facilitates arts and crafts activities. An orphan since his infant years, Richard’s dream is to provide loving homes to orphans and street kids who are left to fend for themselves in poverty-stricken conditions.

AGYA Program Coordinator
Akila Hunte, 22 years old
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Akila graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in Health Management. In addition to her volunteer experience with organizations in Trinidad and Belize, Akila founded Girls Talk, a mentoring program for young girls in Washington D.C.’s inner city. Inspired by leaders like Gandhi, Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey, Akila stays inspired by reciting Thomas Sankara’s maxim: “you must dare to invent the future.”

AGYA Program Coordinator
Tiffany Lucero, 22 years old
Hometown: Oakland, California

Tiffany graduated from California State University of Northridge in 2008 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Pan African Studies. Upon graduation she was honored with a "Black Family Specialist” Certification. Tiffany has held leadership roles with campus organizations such as the Black Student Union, NAACP, and the Harambee Student Association. A firm advocate for youth development programs, Tiffany is passionate about the opportunity to enable youth in Uganda to realize their full human potential. She maintains an optimistic outlook, nurturing the notion, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," profoundly stated by Mahatma Indira Gandhi.

AGYA Vision Statement

By: Divinity L. Barkley

Amagezi Gemaanyi means Knowledge is Power in Luganda, Uganda's national language.

The Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association (AGYA) is committed to creating a safe, supportive, sustainable learning environment where Ugandan youth can develop leadership skills and express themselves creatively.

Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association has two core programs: AGYA Girls Program and AGYA After School Program.

AGYA Girls will provide adolescent Ugandan girls with positive role models and mentors, educational facilities and resources that will allow them to become successful female leaders in their communities.

AGYA After School Program will provide Ugandan children with a nurturing learning space featuring tutoring and innovative arts and educational classes including:

1. Computer Skills: teach basic typing skills and develop computer literacy
2. African History: teach ancient and contemporary African history; focusing on continental Africa and the Diaspora
3. Language: provide language training in English, Kiswahili, Spanish, Arabic, and various other world languages
4. Fashion Design: provide the skills needed to design bags, hats, dolls and clothes
5. Poetry & Creative Writing: provide opportunities to write, recite, and publish their own poems and short stories
6. Art (Dance & Music): provide opportunities to develop visual and performing arts skills
7. Photography, Film, & Media: provide opportunities to use digital technology to capture the images which reflect their culture and values

By January 2010, AGYA hopes to have 200 children enrolled in our various arts and education classes.

As AGYA develops, we will provide housing to orphans who need support, access to education, and a loving home, thus laying the foundation for the AGYA Orphanage.