BACKGROUND The U. S. Embassy, Kampala, Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce an open competition to manage a mobile American Space.
The “Nile Explorer” is a large bus decorated in red, white, and blue.
It sparks excitement for learning, and particularly STEM learning,
as it travels the country with computers, books, and other educational games and resources.
It has been in operation since 201 7. This bus travels throughout Uganda, promoting American culture and values while conducting programming for primary and secondary students in four major areas:
American culture, STEM, literacy and a love of reading, and life skills.
The bus occasionally supports other U. S. mission initiatives like educational advising (EducationUSA), limited-duration thematic programs like the 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence, or special events like concerts or festival appearances.
The programming is supported by a staff of instructors and a collection of materials like books, periodicals, films, computers with internet access, and games such as building bricks.
This connects Ugandans in underserved areas with educational opportunities and serving as a program venue for U. S. Embassy Staff and visiting speakers.
The bus has benefitted from coordination with U. S. Peace Corps volunteers in schools across Uganda, but as Peace Corps operations are currently suspended due to COVID-19, proposals should not depend upon this resource to coordinate visits or liaise with teachers and school administrators.
The U. S. Embassy has determined that preventing the spread of HIV and eliminating gender-based violence are priority objectives that should be incorporated into the bus curriculum and activities beginning in 202 0. The Nile Explorer bus is a mobile American Space.
Learn more about American Spaces at americanspaces.state.gov.
OUTCOMES The goal of this project is to extend the reach of U. S. Mission Uganda’s public diplomacy activities through community outreach programming and engagement.
The underlying objective is the promotion of cultural ties and shared values between the people of Uganda and the American people.
One of our main Mission goals in Uganda is to promote the development of educational systems in the country.
To this end, the project objectives/outcomes should include:
Provide students in remote Uganda with access to educational enrichment, including STEM learning, reading material, computers, and internet.
Providing useful information to students about American cultural programs, including studying in the United States (EducationUSA), life skills, human rights, democracy, peace, leadership, entrepreneurship, and media literacy and access to information.
Providing students and community members relevant and accurate information about health and safety issues, including preventing HIV transmission, gender-based violence and school violence, malaria, TB, trafficking in persons, and COVID-19, as well as promoting hygiene and nutrition.
TARGETED PARTICIPANTS The primary target audience for this project will be primary and secondary school students, with at least 50% of participants being female.
Other audiences to consider are teachers, local government officials, faith leaders, businesses, and civil society leaders, and community members in small towns and villages that do not have access to a public library.
PRIORITY REGION Project will take place country-wide, with special focus on rural underserved communities that are in greatest need of the information provided by the project.
At least 70% of the project should take place outside of Kampala or Uganda’s larger cities and the project activities that take place in larger cities should focus on underserved schools.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION The Nile Explorer will continue to serve underserved rural areas of Uganda with the same four major focus areas.
However, a significant portion of the programming of the bus must be aligned with the U. S. Mission’s development health objectives, by integrating them into the programming in a way that will increase understanding and awareness, while encouraging behavior change, around prominent health issues such as HIV, TB, malaria, COVID-19, hygiene, and nutrition.
The Nile Explorer curriculum should also address school related gender-based violence (SRGBV) reduction.
The programming should use the Journeys Curriculum developed by USAID in coordination with the Ministry of Gender and the Ministry of Education and has been approved for use in Uganda’s schools.
More information about Journeys and a link to the curriculum may be found here:
Additionally, the impact of the Nile Explorer will extend beyond the focal audience of primary and secondary school students by hosting integrated community events that promote the same health and non-violence objectives integrated into the student curriculum, with the aim of educational, awareness creation, and social behavior change community engagement.
The schedule for Nile Explorer will also be strategic, prioritizing locations that are struggling the most to address the health objectives listed above with a priority given to addressing HIV.
The schedule for the bus will take into consideration health statistics such as HIV prevalence, and ART adherence, for location prioritization and will coordinate programming with the regional USG health service providers allowing for community engagements to integrate service provisions (testing, counselling, PrEP, family planning, etc.) implemented through USG implementing partners.
While the U. S. Mission will be responsible for determining the overall strategic plan for the Nile Explorer, the partner organization will provide input in designing the travel and program schedule.
The program must provide for at least 180 days of programming in a year and should plan to remain at any given site for a minimum of five consecutive days.
The project will have support from U. S. Mission Uganda’s American Center and Public Affairs staff but must be able to operate independently.