Kids writing for kids – help creative writing club in Uganda

Fundraising campaign by Nicola Rodda
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I am raising funds to spread literacy and a love of writing among children in rural Uganda.

The story is one of fated meetings of like minds. I am an independent self-publishing author, trained in right-brained creative writing by Felicity Keats Morrison.

In trying to grow my own Facebook audience as a newbie author, I invited people with shared contacts and interests to my profile. One of the responses came from Frederick Tebigwayo in Uganda, who was starting a writing club to inspire learners to write. Frederick is the founder and director of Tenda Primary School, a private school in the rural area outside Jinja, Uganda.

Felicity's great love is not for teaching her writing method to adults, but for training teachers in right-brained writing and in mentoring them, so that they can found and mentor writing clubs in their own schools. Frederick and Felicity seemed a perfect match.

I lent the funding for Frederick to be trained by Felicity over Zoom and he founded the Brain Power Writing Club at his school. The club was met with great enthusiasm and soon I was inundated with photos of neat handwritten stories, sent over Whatsapp, as examples of what I had inspired - although technically I had simply put Federick and Felicity in contact, and left the rest to them.

Soon I received photos of the writing club members, their premises and classes at Frederick's school. It dispelled all my notions of private schools as we know them in South Africa. The writing club members write in a lean-to shelter at the side of a school building. The classes are held in rough brick buildings and in makeshift gumpole classrooms. Frederick himself runs the whole operation over an aged and unreliable cell phone. He, the writing club, and the whole school do not have even a single laptop computer or a printer. How, then, are the writing club members to type and print their stories?

The drive behind Felicity's writing mentors and their clubs is for the children's writing, edited only for language correctness, to be made into books to be used as readers by fellow children - stories written by children living under conditions to which they can relate. It is a model that Felicity has used with success in under-resourced rural schools in several provinces in South Africa.

Initially, I had intended my campaign to recoup only the costs of Frederick's training, since I have a long way to go to get on anyone's bestseller list and so I have to count my pennies. Having learned of the very limited resources Frederick has, and how he has magically turned these into a beacon of hope for rural children with little other chance of a successful education, I would like to see Frederick equipped with the very basics for his job as a school director and for his passion as a creative writing mentor - a cellphone, a laptop and printer, and a data connection. Without these, how can he function in today's world and today's teaching methods?

As an example of writing from the Brain Power Writing Club, I have typed up one story with a particular moral for young girls. It is written and illustrated by 13 year old Priscilla Kampi and can be accessed on my writing blog at

I am going to print a few copies of Priscilla's book on my home computer to make into paper booklets so that the writing club members can see an example of their work "in print".

In this camapign, my goal is to raise funds for (a) Frederick's training, (b) a good cellphone for Frederick, (c) a reliable internet connection, and (d and e) a robust, middle spec'ed computer and printer to enable the writing club members to create readers from their stories, and also to print teaching materials for use in the classrooms.

A love for reading and writing is an essential foundation for building a sound education from the very beginning of schooling. That in turn allows marginalised children to succeed throughout the rest of their schooling and beyond, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty for themselves and their loved ones. This uplifting story is an example of just that. Creative writing as a means to inspire a love of words in children is a cause that is very dear to my heart. My sincere hope is that you will be sufficiently inspired by this story to add your contribution.


I am an independent author with a love for words and a passion to spread that love. A love for words is a love that gives. It is a love for life.

I am an independent author with a love for words and a passion to spread that love. A love for words is a love that gives. It is a love for life.

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