Concept Note

 

PROJECT TITLE:  EXPANSION OF BUDDHISM IN UGANDA, AFRICA

IMPLIMENTING BODY: UGANDA BUDDHIST CENTRE (UBC), GARUGA, ENTEBBE, UGANDA

ACTION: Spread the teaching and understanding of the Buddhist philosophy in Uganda through projects and community responsibility activities.

 

  1. Summary of the action

The action is to spread the teaching and understanding of the Buddhist philosophy in Uganda.

To be able to do this successfully, the Buddhist Centre in Uganda needs to urgently build a capacity to sustain the proposed and numerous activities at the Centre; a Buddhist University is paramount.

For sustainability purposes, the Centre has proposed a number of income generating activities, strategies and approaches to enable the Centre support the Uganda Buddhist Centre activities to avoid the perpetual economic over-dependency syndrome. These include meditation courses, yoga classes, cultural shows and exchange visits between Uganda and the Buddhist world such as India, Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, Sri Lanka and China. Focusing on Buddhism and its spread in Uganda, an establishment of a Buddhist University to accommodate the Ugandan Education curriculum is very crucial.

  1. Relevance of the action:

2.1: How relevant is your proposal to the needs and constraints of the target country(ies) or region?

The proposal to take Buddhist teaching in Uganda to a project level is aimed at concentrating all synergies in Uganda into an action force to achieve a pragmatic spread and understanding of the Buddhist philosophy in Uganda and/or African continent with the willing support of all international Buddhist congregations.

In the Ugandan context, Buddhist philosophy is still perceived to be strange and newly found! This calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to promote the Buddhist teaching in Uganda.

2.2: What are the problems to be resolved and the needs to be met?

  • Lack of Buddhist knowledge in Uganda. To solve this problem, we need to establish the African Buddhist University, which will provide both Buddhist education and formal education based on the Ugandan curriculum. We need to acquire a land with a size of at least 40 acres, preferably near Kampala and Entebbe.
  • Lack of Buddhism promotion in Kampala. To effectively coordinate the Buddhist activities and increase the publicity of Buddhism in Uganda, we need to acquire a plot of land in Kampala city and build a temple, world peace pagoda, and meditation center, which will cater for all spiritual needs of Ugandans and expatriates. The presence of a Temple and world peace pagoda in Kampala will promote faith-based tourism.
  • Lack of sustainability and self-sufficiency. We need economic support from the government of Uganda to effectively sustain the Centre. For instance, we need motor vehicles to solve transportation problems.

2.3: Who are the beneficiaries or target groups?

The target groups are not only the youths and women groups who form the biggest population of Uganda, but also the most vulnerable and under-resourced people.

 2.4: What are the objectives and expected results?

  • To achieve a nation-wide spread and understanding of the Buddhist philosophy in Uganda and Africa
  • To increase the membership of Buddhist community in Uganda and pronounce the contribution of Buddhism to the development and wellbeing of Uganda.
  • To extend the benefits of mindfulness meditation and Dharma teaching to both the Ugandan, expatriates and African community.
  • To create a forum such as the African Buddhist Union (ABU) to be able to engage the African leaders into a networking strategy for learning and teaching of Buddhism in Africa.

 

  1. Methodology and Sustainability
    • 3.1. What are the main project/activities?
  • To enhance the understanding of Buddhist philosophy, it is necessary to establish the African Buddhist University (ABU) at the Uganda Buddhist Centre to include the Ugandan formal education system.
  • The Bulega Buddhist Community (BBC) was formed to participate in social responsibility activities such as income-generating projects to closely work with local community leaders to promote the spread of Buddhist philosophy.
  • Foundation for Clinical Dhamma (FCD) is established to offer both online and on-campus courses in Buddhist Psychology and Buddhism and Environment
  • Develop a local and international fundraising strategy to support the spread of Buddhism in Uganda and other African activities.
  • To promote faith-based development and peace in Uganda, the Uganda Buddhist Centre will hold an International Buddhist Conference on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution from June 24-29, 2016. Over 100 hundred participants from USA, UK, Japan, China and other countries will attend the Conference.

3.2: Who will be your main implementing partners, what is the length of your relationship with them and how will they be involved in the project?

This proposal is on the premise that the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Tooro Kingdom and the international Buddhist community will fully participate in the realization of the above projects. The Ministry of Education in Uganda will be involved in providing the curriculum and teachers. We are kindly requesting the Uganda Government to allocate a piece of land of more than 40 acres near Entebbe or Kampala city. Also, we are kindly requesting the Tooro Kingdom to allocate a land of more than 60 acres in order to carry out our faith-based development projects.

Considering that Buddhism is at its infant stage in Uganda, it will be extremely difficult to succeed in this effort without the blessing and the recognition of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The Uganda Buddhist community is still in its infancy and therefore needs to be nurtured by the international Buddhist communities such as: Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Japan, and China for its growth materially, financially and spiritually.

 3.3: How will the project achieve sustainability?

Fundraising activities have been designed to generate income through agriculture to support Dharma teachers etc. This means we are focusing on raising initial funds to meet initial sunk costs that must propel the future projects as a sustainability strategy; that is to say, a multiplier effect shall sustain the future of the Uganda Buddhist Centre.

Furthermore, when the membership grows it is a social security and guarantee of survival tomorrow. So the sustainability mechanism is in built.

 3.4: Will it have multiplier effects?

Certainly, the Uganda Buddhist Centre developmental projects will have a multiplier effect on the socio-economic growth and development of Uganda and Africa.

  1. Expertise and operational capacity

4.1: What is the experience of your organization in project management?

The available Ugandan Buddhist Centre team has experienced mature professionals who have dedicated their time to see the growth of Buddhist Centre at Entebbe, Uganda.

The Most Venerable Bhikhhu Buddharakkhita, Founder and President of the Uganda Buddhist Centre, is a monk, scholar, author and  has a track record of teaching Buddhism in North, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Moreover, he has been a monk for 14 years and holds a BA in Buddhist Leadership. He can run the African Buddhist University, which will be affiliated to Mahachula Buddhist University in Thailand to ensure high quality Buddhist education.

The Office Manager, Andrew Mukomazi has experience in business development and coordination of activities.

Tom Kaboggoza and Sandra Kaboggoza are available to coordinate some of the activities.

Other volunteer such as Andrew Bakaki is experienced in Information Technology.