This comes at a time when many not-for-profit creative and cultural initiatives across Africa are closing down due to ‘lack of funding’, ‘funding constraints’, or ‘lack of operational funding’.
We, being a non-profit, non-aligned and non-sectarian organisation operating on humanist principles, rely on support from society to conduct our weekly school outreach, fortnightly mobile cinema, monthly film forum, quarterly internship and annual festival programmes.
Rather than close down, we are turning to the beneficiaries of our services to contribute towards meeting the cost of service delivery.
The introduced ‘service charge’ will cover just 10%-20% of the cost of the service sought as our services must remain within the reach of every eligible child and youth in eastern Africa.
Of particular concern is the continuation of the Internship programme that equips final year university students (and out-of-school youth) with job market skills besides contributing to their graduation grades.
That Internship is crucial is underscored by the finding of a survey of the Inter-University Council for East Africa in 2014 that indicates that more than half of all graduating students in the five-country East African Community block lack hands-on skills for the job market.
We have since 2005 been equipping children and youth in eastern Africa with practical, entrepreneurial skills in Media and Information Literacy; Creative Writing; Cultural Journalism & Criticism; Event Planning and Presentation; Video Production; Web Development; and Graphic Design.