Why Uganda should listen to activist Mike Kasibo
Mike Kasibo is a Social Worker by profession, Ex- Special Police Constable, Social Justice Activists and a Community Leader/Organiser in the UK and Eastern & Central Europe.
Mike is also the co-founder and CEO of African and Caribbean Arts & Heritage Union, and co – founder African Diaspora Festival Milton Keynes.
UK based Ugandan Mike Kasibo has carved himself quite the name across facets. With over 15 years’ experience in Leadership, Community Organizing and Events Management, Youth work, Social care and Police, Mike has contributed to many programs geared towards advocating for disadvantaged communities, through (Equality, Representation, Diversity, and Inclusion), building trust, breaking cultural barriers as well as knife and gun crime.
Though unsung in his home country, Mike is celebrated across the world for the numerous feats of philanthropy he has extended to the underprivileged communities in Uganda.
His first eminent dart at activism was registered in 2016. This was after directly supporting young refugees at Calais, during the highest refugee crisis in Europe, in 2015, who were looking for better education. Through his former University, the University of Bedfordshire, Mike lobbied for the building of a Library in Kachomo, Budaka district, a village in Eastern Uganda. This was, according to an article published by the Bedfordshire University, a scheme to offset the low levels of literacy accessibility and development in the country, a dream he holds dearly.
According to news articles published about him, Mike has stayed at the forefront of youth engagement for development initiatives both in the UK and in Uganda.
In 2021, Mike was awarded a Gold Changemaker Certificate and in 2022, he was nominated for the Culture, Heritage, and Environment Changemaker of the year Award by the University of Northampton, and yet, little is known about him as an individual back home.
“I am passionate about social justice, culture, and the art born of our heritage as Ugandans (and Africans at large.) I am a big advocate of Black Lives Matter and cultural heritage. I subscribe to the notion that just like trees, we all need our roots to grow. A firm believer in the proverbial Ubuntu concept of “I am because you are, you are because I am.” But I am also aware of the impediments to literacy and economic development that are caused by our social cultural beliefs and/or bad leadership in Africa.
As a nation, there are so many conversations we need to have in order to strike a fine balance between preserving culture and harnessing development structures. Right from the grass roots where the effects of a general lack of inclusive and effective education structures, straight to the mighty and glossy political arenas where the decisions are supposed to be made, the debates must start. These will be some of the many things that Kasibo Development Foundation will be focusing on,” Mike explained passionately.
He holds an MSc in Social Work, Msc in Global Cooperation and Security and BSc (Hons) Applied social studies, a diploma in Business Communication and Leadership in Voluntary Sector and Community Organizing. Is The Kasibo Development Foundation A Solution?Asked whether Kasibo Development Foundation was a solution to the problems that ail Uganda, Mike maintained that the solution will only be born if the organization gets the right support from both political and community stake holders. “This is a dream I am carrying on from my father, the late Patrick Kasibo. He had a penchant for community work and had a heart for change. He had set the precedent; I am simply following through to see that his dreams see the day of life. He was a teacher by profession, and yet he acquired land to try and set up a center where the community can be empowered to learn and change their livelihoods. He offered land for people to farm, set up a clinic for people to access free medication among other things. His dream was to set up a center that would address food insecurity, unemployment through practical life skills for young people to better their livelihoods as well as better health and more effective literacy development plans,” Mike explained.
Further adding that; “You must be the change that you want to see. Let’s make that change. Let us stop killing each other, Black Lives Matter! Africa is suffering because we are divided – We are Stronger TogetherAs head of Kasibo Development Foundation, I am proud of the KDF Academy, which is under construction in Kachomo, in Budaka District of Eastern Uganda, East Africa. I see the new Academy as a challenge full of brave and exciting possibilities.”He explained that the KDF Academy will house four essential and innovative departments including music, agriculture, textiles, and sports. “Music to engage the mind, agriculture to feed the body, textiles to cloth the body and sports to keep mind and body strong and fit. I am planning for the school to open soon. From there we will embark on the first stage of a long-term program aimed to benefit children and adults of Eastern Uganda, the Kachomo region. We aim to sow the seeds from which the future generations of Uganda will flourish,” stated Mike.