Igniting Deeper Human Connection in Uganda

By Brenna Cunningham
Jan 30, 2019

Amidst the humid madness that is Art Basel, Miami’s Cadillac Hotel was transformed for one evening into an intimate respite. Over forty members of Habitas assembled to take in live painting, music, and spark conversation. They gathered for one common purpose: Habitas RISE.

What is RISE?

Habitas RISE is a philanthropic effort that creates deeper human connections inside communities in need. Our latest project inside the Nikavale refugee settlement in Uganda is doing just that. The land is home to many “neighborhoods” based on different ethnic groups. Our mission was to bring them together to inspire a greater sense of unity, purpose and belonging. Habitas RISE is a philanthropic effort that supports communities in need around the world through culture, art, music and self-expression. Sharing the same founding principles as Habitas, this initiative brings people together to change lives through deeper human connection.

The Uhuru Land in Nakivale, Uganda

Uganda has sustained one of the greatest refugee-hosting crises in the world. Political turmoil and economic instability from neighboring countries like Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have displaced millions. Located in the Nakivale settlement, The Uhuru Land of Uganda is an agora designed to change the refugee experience, via programming and public spaces, created and built by the refugees themselves. By involving locals and refugees in co-creating solutions to this crisis, we hope to enable them with the tools and inspiration necessary to begin rebuilding their lives.

On this land, an amphitheater was built. It is a place for the refugees designed with their social needs in mind. Construction was completed just in time for locals to gather and watch the 2018 World Cup. By working with this community, we created not only a safe haven from the many external challenges they face but a space where they can share music and watch performances. Currently, The Promise Hub is building a technology center and post office on the Uhuru Land. An installation by artist Shrine was created to bring light and culture to the agora, and Opportunigee, a social entrepreneurship hub, was established by Patrick Muvunga Trickpa, a Nakivale local.

Thank You To Our Habitas Members

Our RISE dinner during Art Basel is only a small portion of our efforts to create a positive impact. Membership is one of the largest contributing factors to our RISE initiatives. Habitas has led multiple trips with its members to Nakivale, which has led to many more member-driven initiatives. Our members are always encouraged to get involved. Each member’s commitment to Habitas allows us to extend our reach and support communities like Nakivale all over the globe.

Learn how membership plays a big role in our RISE initiatives here.