Partners for Real Change (PARC) is a voluntary non-governmental organization with a mandate to provide support and empower marginalized communities across the Rwenzori region of western Uganda. Started as an academic discussion group in 2003, it has evolved into a non-profit organization, whose formation was out of deep aspiration by a group of motivated youth to respond to the plight of the communities impacted greatly by war and traditional conflicts, disease, extreme poverty and other detriments in Uganda. Formerly known as Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation (LUYODEFO), as our role in serving the community has evolved and broadened over time, we rebranded and changed our name in 2019 to Partners for Real Change (PARC) to better reflect the organisation’s purpose.
The idea to form PARC was to create a platform for empowering rural resource poor communities whose welfare and livelihoods are threatened by social exclusion, discrimination and persecution in the efforts to achieve (and contribute to) sustainability especially in their educational, health, socio-cultural, and economic well-being. We are primarily child focused, employing very flexible holistic approach with a strong emphasis on active participation of all stakeholders to unlock the potential for the poor, resource constrained, under-served marginalized groups in Uganda, East Africa.
We are committed to ending socio-health and economic exclusion; eradicating oppression and discrimination; creating networks for young people and adults; increasing access to basic services; and empowering all people to reach their potential and take responsibility for their development. PARC’s strength is its excellent understanding of the community it serves and its practical approach of working with the community finding solutions to local problems. This strength is derived from the fact that, the team behind implementation of program activities are mostly locals.
We are a non-profit organization providing holistic services that are FREE or SUBSIDIZED to ensure that we ‘Leave No One Behind’ inline with the SDGs. We recognize that the barriers to poverty are complex and interlinked, so our projects focus on a combination of education, child protection and livelihood support to address the socio-economic and structural issues that underpin poverty crisis. These are being implemented through the ‘HYBRID Model’ that involves 2 basic approaches;-
(i). The social services model: This ensure that all children are protected from risks and/ or abuse and are supported to go to school, youth and women to find training opportunities for gainful employment, and families to be able to support their own children.
(ii). The social business model: This involves developing projects aimed at addressing critical local needs while empowering the most vulnerable people (children and women) to actively engage in development of their communities. The social business operations follow ordinary business practices, but all proceeds go back into addressing local needs and providing employment to the locals, while creating a stable income for the organisation.
WHAT DRIVES US
Through empathy, there is a deep awareness of the suffering of others and a profound desire to help relieve that suffering. Through meaningful service, we can empower others as well as ourselves resulting in a world of loving-kindness.
Each one of us can make small changes in our lives, but together we can change the world. PARC connects people from all over the globe to share and be of service to create change. Bringing together diverse perspectives and helping individuals and communities to come together contributes to the overall well being of our entire world.
Return on Investment (ROI):
We are adopting a hybrid model (using social business) to provide basic services to the community with part of the profits re-invested into social projects. This makes it possible to bring in additional resources, create employment, engages with locals as donors, and generate income, hence reduce over-reliance on international donors.
WHO WE SERVE
Why young people?
Half the world population is under 30, that is over 3.5 billion people! In Uganda, over 78% of the population is under 30! These are the most important resource the world has, yet they are often undervalued, underestimated and expected to underachieve. Many challenging issues surrounding the growth and development severely affect and impact young people in their daily lives and on the long-term.
In Uganda, resources are very limited and unemployment is extremely high! The majority of the population lives in poverty. Young people have no safe space to learn or to access information and centralized services. PARC will create a beacon of hope by bringing basic resource and services to rural remote communities — improving quality education, increasing access to better health, promoting entrepreneurship training, and creating new jobs.
So, why women as well?
While young people and women face the same challenges, women are not only the first teachers for children! Also, it is globally proven that a woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her future by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family and building a stronger community.
When more women engage in productivity work, economies grow. An increase in female labour force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation—results in faster economic growth. At PARC, we recognize that enabling youth and women to secure quality education, access better health and improved livelihoods will not only provide the greatest return on investment, but will accelerate effective achievement of the SDGs.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT
We are a team of dedicated people who love what we do and have lots of fun doing it! As a non-profit or charity, PARC is lead by an executive committee that decide how it is run – determining policy, developing a program of activities, and making decisions that will impact on peoples’ lives.
Our executive committee (the Board) is comprised of nine members;- the Chairperson, Secretary (Director), Treasurer, and six other members. All executive committee (board) members are volunteers, and assist during their his free time!.
Additionally, a competent team of ambassadors (local and international volunteers) actively supports the board. The operational management is performed by the Director (Board Secretary), whose is supported by few staff and volunteers working on specific projects.