Hip Hop as a Tool for Youth Empowerment in Disadvantaged Communities : A case study of Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU)
Lisma, Niina (2015)
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ABSTRACT Lisma, Niina. Hip Hop as a Tool for Youth Empowerment in Disadvantaged Communities – A Case Study of Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU). Diak, Helsinki, autumn 2015. 110 pages, 1 appendices. Language: English. Diaconia University of Applied Sciences. Degree Programme in Social Services, focus on Community Development Work. Degree: Bachelor of Social Sciences. The aim of my thesis was to study and evaluate the impact of the work of Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU) and how the methods and approaches of BPU has enabled the empowerment of youth. I travelled to Uganda first time in 2010 and since then have been actively involved with the organization. The idea for this thesis evoked from acknowledging the need for researching the impacts of the organization as BPU is reaching its 10th year of operation in 2016. Through individual interviews I aimed to find if, and in which ways, members have been empowered during their time of involvement with BPU. I selected eight long-term members for the interviews. The approach of the interviews was narrative, asking about the members experiences from childhood to present, emphasizing their experiences in BPU. I conducted individual an interview with the founding member Abramz Tekya and a focus group interview with five members to collect material about the history and the work methods of BPU. The second part of the focus groupinterview aimed to discuss and identify advantages and challenges of BPU as a grass-roots organization and ideas and needs for future development. I implemented the interviews in Uganda in January 2015. The nature of my research is a qualitative case study. A qualitative research is open to interpretation and semi-structured interviews allow the participants to share what they find relevant to tell. I used the method of thematic analysis, after transcribing all interview material. Overall result of this thesis is that it recognizes BPU’s role in tackling youth development issues in Uganda. Key result was to be able to identify common factors supporting empowerment, as inclusion, self-discovery, confidence, responsibility, leadership, creativity, initiative and social capital. Members connect the positive transformation and process of empowerment to their involvement in BPU activities. The advantages identified of being grass-rooted are mainly about the human capacity and inclusive participation possibilities. On the other hand to meet the needs of rapid growth, there is a current need to reform the basic structure of the organization to meet the needs of both new and long-term members. Major challenges are about financial stability and human resources. Volunteer members hope the organization to register as an NGO, to provide salaries for the administration team and to establish its own youth center.