Photo’s courtesy of Primary Colours ABC
Photo’s courtesy of Primary Colours ABC
Primary Colours ABC was formed to offer free support through community initiatives and the provision of free digital educational resources in October 2021.
This was in response to the global pandemic and its devastating effects on educational development of children and young people across Uganda.
Founded by James Arthur, a teacher and education enthusiast, Primary Colours ABC was initially started to support the children of grounds staff working at a specific organisation. Mobile devices were provided for families, pre-loaded with a large collection of educational materials including books, videos, audiobooks and more.
The Lubowa-based, community-led initiative has grown to now provide a safe recreational space for families, a free library with over 800 physical books and an ever-growing collection of relevant, organised, digital resources to support lifelong education. Full-time librarian, Teddy, is available 5 days a week to support children with choosing and changing books, provide guidance on digital resources and answer questions.
Drawing on his background (prior to education) in catering and restaurants, James then set up ‘Community Kitchen’ – an outdoor, British pub garden-style restaurant to support the sustainability and growth of Primary Colours ABC in March 2022. Here families could come and enjoy a good meal, have a drink, and relax whilst enjoying a wonderful space for children to play and explore. All the profits from sales went into the strengthening of Primary Colours ABC.
Community Kitchen has helped raise thousands of dollars. It also raised awareness about Primary Colours ABC which meant generous donations from individuals were made in the form of laptops, TVs, tablets, phones, books and more. All this was used to support individual children, families, schools, and several other non-profit organisations.
One young lady who has been directly impacted is local fruit seller Shadia. Shadia is an incredibly hard-working 14 year old who sells fruit and vegetables in the area and uses the money to support her education as well as her family. Since her involvement with Primary Colours ABC she has been supported with a free tablet pre-loaded with resources; she also enjoys free library access and she helps out in the kitchen a few hours a week to support her school fees.
Larger numbers of children have also benefited through multimedia learning packages which include a TV, projector, computer, and printer which have been sent into Victors Primary School in Gayaza and CoRSU children’s hospital.
In February 2023, Community Kitchen started a ‘Good Cause BBQ’ initiative. These monthly events include barbeque food, live music and fun activities for children and adults alike. Here, 100% of the money raised through ticket sales go to the good cause focus of the month. The organisations which have benefited from these events include; CoRSU children’s hospital, The Uganda Transplant Games Federation and TWG (Tusitukirewamu), an organisation that offers shelter, vocational training, and support for vulnerable women.
Primary Colours ABC aims to be responsive to needs and continues to develop and grow, as well as think creatively about how to support children and young people. One upcoming initiative is the plan to set up a rotational library system between organisations such as orphanages, schools, and support groups which may not otherwise have access to a range of texts.
In April 2023, ‘Community Kitchen’ will become ‘The Garden Library – Books and Bites’. The idea behind this transition is to put less emphasis on the restaurant and more emphasis on the project. This will continue to be a space where all are welcome to read, catch up with the news, study, play games, take part in activities, enjoy light bites and a range of drinks in a relaxed setting, Friday to Sunday. Events, similar to the ‘Good Cause BBQs’ will continue to happen periodically.