Uganda: MIC GUM, a Talent Development Platform

ofJoanita Ayenyo at Music is Peace.

We are here to change the status quo in our community by first understanding what prevents our people from sharing their talent, then helping them leverage opportunities and support their journey until they can stand on their own.

Project description

Mic Gum is an Acoli phrase which loosely translates to "gift is a blessing.”

Individuals are gifted differently. Some can draw, play a game, some are great orators, while others are great singers, and the list goes on. What do we do with our gifts? Do we even know that we have them?
Mic Gum is a talent development platform that embraces and supports all who are struggling within their gifts and those who have no idea they are gifted. This project is currently running in Gulu City, Uganda with a dream of expanding its boundaries. Gulu has so many talented people, youth and adults alike, yet these talents are sat upon, discouraged and many do not realize they have them as there is no platform to help in the identification. The school system does not value extra-curricular activities even when they appear in the education calendar. They are viewed as time wasters and anyone who pursues them is labeled an academic failure. Our people are trained to look at classroom education as the only key to success. Those who have managed to identify their talents lack mentorship and for many, their gifts just die a natural death or sit untapped. To the few who have ventured deeper into their talents and stepped out into the public, they lack the platform to nurture or even leverage their gifts. There are so many mental models that discourage our people from expressing their talents.

We are here to change that status quo in our community by first understanding in depth what prevents our people from sharing their talent, then helping them leverage opportunities and supporting their journey until they may stand on their own.

Project outcome

Seeking students interested in helping to build the Mic Gum platform. Possible areas for engagement include, but are not limited to: 

  • Web development
  • Branding and marketing
  • Social media presence
  • Connecting individuals and groups with US-based mentors and resources
  • Sourcing out local and international opportunities like events, competitions and applying for it on behalf of the artists
  • Fundraising for music production and marketing 
  • Link Mic Gum to studios that can offer a free service to mix and master audios shared
  • Host bi-monthly  artist discussion 



Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Anytime
Level of collaboration Other: individuals and groups welcome
Benefits Varied
Who is eligible All undergraduate students

Core partners

  • Joanita Ayenyo
  • Human Rights and Health advocate
  • YALI mentor
  • Gulu, Uganda

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning; Director, Experiential Learning Network

Phone: (716) 829-2834


Have a question about this project? Mara Huber hosts drop-in office hours on Zoom every Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. 

Global NGO Project

This project is for students interested in collaborating with a global Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). Please be sure you identify your project as a Global NGO Project when you submit the interest form below.  

Start this Global NGO Project

  1. Express your interest in this Global NGO project by clicking the button below and completing the form. 
    • You will be notified within 2 business days if you are approved to work on this project. Approval is determined on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. After you receive approval from ELN, you should complete the Global NGO Project Preparation Guide in the section below. 
After you complete the Global NGO Project Preparation Guide, you will automatically be prompted by email to begin an ELN digital badge.

Preparation activities

After you receive approval from ELN to begin the project, you should download and complete this Global NGO Project Preparation Guide.

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase.