What is MULIA?
MULIA stands for Music for Life Africa. It is a foundation based in Uganda – Africa that believes music can represent and express the meaning behind all situations in life. Music can breathe life into people regardless of their circumstances, and we use music to elevate the conditions of vulnerable children and youths in our community. Gathering around music is a huge step toward achieving this purpose, and it opens opportunities for children and youth who might not otherwise realize their potential. Simultaneously, music helps our MULIA kids to stay in school as the Foundation earns funds along the way through paid performances and fundraising efforts.
When did MULIA start and how?
MULIA started in 2014 through a dream of Rogers Sserunjogi. Growing up in Uganda, Rogers dreamed of becoming a professional musician but was prevented by life circumstances. This led Rogers to imagine a talent center where young people could be mentored to activate and develop their passions for music, dance, drama, and more. He also believed that music and the performing arts could provide a means to alleviate poverty and help disadvantaged children and youths to stay in school and finish their education. With years of community development experience under his belt, Roger used his knowledge and contacts to establish what has become the MULIA Foundation.
How was MULIA’s model developed?
MULIA realized that music can be a way to generate income and create employment for people regardless of age or education level. MULIA then found a way for children and youths to raise revenue with their talents that could be used to help disadvantaged children and youth stay in school. This is the basis of MULIA’s model; the rest of its programing is based on this.
How does MULIA stand apart from traditional sponsorship programs?
Like other programs, direct sponsorship of individual children is possible through MULIA. We also fundraise and accept donations. However, MULIA's overall approach aims towards self-sustainability. We aim in time to rely solely on funds we raise ourselves though local, national, and international performances, amongst other income generating activities.
How does MULIA choose the children it includes in its program?
In some cases, parents notice their kids have talent that they would like to empower them cultivate; with its trusted reputation with the community, parents have approach MULIA to see if their kids can become involved. In other cases, MULIA becomes aware of families that are struggling financially and could use support to help keep their kids in school. In such cases, MULIA invites children from these families to join MULIA to help support their families and continue their education. Additionally, MULIA holds bi-annual talent competitions. These events are organized to help us identify possible talented children and youths who could fit in our programs. Finally, we also identify some children or youth who are otherwise disadvantaged or living with a disability. We incorporate such individuals by collaborating with institutions that work with people with disabilities.
How does MULIA help children who are not in school to get into/return to school?
In Uganda, it is the responsibility of families and/or individuals to cover the costs of education. If any of the children or youth participating in MULIA have had to leave or have yet to attend school, we use funds we raised and pooled from our performances and other income generating activities to assist them with their tuition payments. We also assist our kids to learn vocational skills in collaboration with other youth-supporting organizations such as Wezesha Impact. Additionally, some schools offer subsidized tuition for children they consider to have talent. MULIA negotiates with these schools to ensure that its children and youth will receive tuition costs that reflect the talent they possess.
How does MULIA help children who are struggling in school?
If any of the children participating in MULIA are known to be in families that are struggling financially, MULIA collaborates directly with their parents and respective schools to use MULIA funds to ensure those children stay in school.
What are the foundation participant’s activities?
•Provide training in music, dance, and drama.
•Promote book reading, book borrowing, and reading culture through our community library.
•Consult with organizational partners on how to collaborate and advance our vision, mission, and goals
•Provide inspiration to community children and youth through movie nights and speeches from local cultural icons.
•Promote career development through mentoring and motivational speeches by successful people.
•Promote healthy lifestyles among our youth through weekly one-hour educational workshops on HIV and other relevant health issues.
•Plan for international tours with professional performances.
•Host Voice Power Competitions.
•Provide brass and jazz band training.
What is the sustainability model for MULIA?
Since its inception MULIA has accepted donations to mobilize its mission. While donations will always be welcome, MULIA aims to become self-sustainable as soon as possible. We have been working towards this goal by providing paid performances at various events and functions. So far, we have used funds raised to keep our kids in school and to cover operating costs when possible. But we believe that our growing reputation will increase public demand for our performances. Our concerts will become more frequent and take us further from home – for example, our international Dance of Hope tour project. In time, we also plan to incorporate a school for the performing arts into our offerings that will help us sustain our operations, along with introducing tourist packages as a service. All of these things will help to stay self-sustaining.
What Are Our Success Indicators?
To evaluate its success, MULIA relies on several factors. These include:
•The number of children in school who would otherwise be unable to attend.
•The number of books acquired by and signed out from MULIA’s Marko Lukooya Community Library.
•The number of performances we provide, especially paid performances.
•The quality of quantity of recorded live performances by MULIA kids.
•The number of MULIA kids who eventually enter the professional music industry.
•Our ability to self-sustain the MULIA Foundation.
Can MULIA perform internationally?
Currently MULIA kids perform nationally and are ready to prepare for performances in any country in Africa. However, if you wish them to perform at any event worldwide as African entertainment ambassadors, contact us at MULIAfoundation90@gmail.com. We will take you through the process of scheduling MULIA to perform at your historical event.
Who is eligible to volunteer with MULIA?
We welcome any person to volunteer who has a love for music and/or believes in our vision. You could be a musician, an instrument repair person, a dancer, a childcare provider, a teacher, an athlete, a farmer, a librarian, an administrative expert, or a small business entrepreneur. We especially welcome people who have talents in music, dance, or drama to share. If you are interested in volunteering, contact us and we will do our best to find a place for you.
How can I support MULIA Foundation?
One of the easiest ways to support MULIA is by donating through one of our partner agencies. Visit www.muliafoundation.org, click to donate and choose either Global Giving or Bridges of Hope. Donations via Global Giving can be made to specific MULIA projects and are tax-deductible in the US (or UK taxpayers can give in GBP and claim an extra 25% if Gift Aid eligible). Donations via Bridges of Hope are tax-deductible in Canada and get directed to wherever they are needed most. You can also support the Education saving scheme child’s account for upcoming year sponsorship [how does this work??]. Other ways to help include sharing our vision with your friends and family who could be potential supporters. We also accept volunteers on-site who can help by teaching how to read and play music, sing, and dance. Finally, you can help us by organizing a Dance of Hope tour in your area.
Feel Free to ask us any other questions. We eill be happy to clarify!ASk Question