Last year in Cefarh

A brand new logo

You may have noticed that a few days ago Cefarh logo has changed:

This has been the last milestone (so far) of a journey that started at the beginning of 2021; but to understand this story we must go back in time, at the beginning of Cefarh.

When it all started

My name is Simon, I’m the founder of the Centre for Adolescent Reproductive Health Foundation Uganda. 

I founded the organization in 2010 as a community-based organization when I was still a student. After registration at the district level, I met my friend Lisa Mora; Lisa was born in India but grew up in the United Kingdom and spent most of her life in the UK. 

Lisa Mora and I worked together to make Cefarh grow, in collaboration with other local organizations within the country and bringing Cefarh to the three districts of northern Uganda, Gulu, Alebtong, and Kole. 

Lisa Mora was the brain behind all the growth of the Centre, and since then we have been running several projects in the communities:

  • community health outreach on mobile cancer screening;
  • vocational training for war-affected youth in the communities of northern Uganda;
  • community health strengthening project. 

All this has been moving throughout the life of Cefarh up to 2019. 

In September 2019, Lisa Mora went back to the United Kingdom to check on her daughter who was sick with Covid-19; unfortunately, she also contracted the virus, as I discovered when I got a call that informed me that she was in the oxygen room in a bad state. There was nothing we could do and we couldn’t even visit her in hospital; on April 5th, 2020 in the morning she instructed her daughter to send me a message with only one statement, Hello Simon, the war is yours now, please fight hard and don’t let CEFARH die; on April 7h my friend was dead.

What Lisa Mora’s death meant for Cefarh

Lisa Mora was the driving force of Cefarh funding: all the money that we had received so far was mobilized by her, thanks to the many connections she had established during the years. 

When she died, I had little or no idea of where to start from: we had no money in our bank account, the few funds we had were all pledged to our projects, we couldn’t access Lisa Mora’s database because all the data were in the laptop computer she has brought with her to the UK. We had to lay off some of our staff and end some projects while looking forward to restoring the lost victory after our fallen soldier depart.

During lockdown throughout 2020 things became terrible for us at Cefarh: we could not make any progress, nor even do any administrative work at all, our website was closed because we were unable to renew the domain subscription, and I started knocking on every door for help.

In December 2020 we got a volunteer from Ghana who accepted to help us design a new website if we could buy another domain name; he advised us to use Mailchimp to manage our mailing list and get new subscribers on our website, so I got to know Mailchimp and I discovered that I could ask for help from Mailchimp partners.

Asking for help and meeting our Italian friends

When using Mailchimp, one can browse the Expert Directory and hire an expert. I sent a request to several partners, and finally one of them replied; she told me that she was fully booked but she would refer me to an Italian friend.

So I came to know Alessandra; we had our first Skype call on January 6, 2021, and I was afraid because we were in urgent need of so many things; but she listened to me, then she told me that she had browsed our website, she very much appreciated our work and our cause, and she could help us for free. I was so surprised that I run out of words, I asked her pardon, but she repeated that this could be a pro bono project for her and she would ask for support from other freelancers in her Italian community.

And so she did: she managed to build a team of wonderful people, and they all sacrificed their time to rebuild our communication from scratch: they revised and edited our texts, completed our website, refurbished our Facebook page and Instagram profile, started advertising campaigns, redesigned our newsletters, set up analytics to check the progress of our work.

Everything worked fast, it seemed like a dream come true, and it rebuilt my hope in Cefarh future: Alessandra and her team members became our “God sent to save us” and we now see them as honorary members of Cefarh in our struggle to change the world.

These are the achievements made so far from the joint work of the teams in Italy and in Uganda

Cefarh website became active, with a huge rise of traffic coming from SEO, social media, direct visits, from all over the world, aimed at the project pages and the Donation landing page.

Many more social media posts have been published and many of them are also promoted through advertising campaigns, creating awareness and driving traffic to Cefarh website; the coverage of Cefarh posts has grown massively, thanks to the activity developed on Facebook and Instagram.

We started to get support and donations through the new landing page, which had never happened before; this was achieved after facing many difficulties, as the first platform of our choice, Flutterwave, does not support PayPal and doesn’t work with many credit card companies outside Africa, so we had to resort to Givingway, another platform, with a further reconfiguration of the website and landing page.

Cefarh staff in Uganda could come back to implement our local projects, thanks to the donations we collected as a result of digital campaigns.

Thanks to the improvement in public relations and reach, Cefarh started getting other local contributors from Uganda who want to help in development of the foundation.

The strong relationship built between the teams in Uganda and in Italy makes us stronger and more determined to achieve our goals.

The new logo

Once the first results had been achieved, the Italian team suggested that we should undergo a logo redesign, in order to fully represent the beauty and meaning of our work. 

They showed us some proposals, we discussed them together and finally we approved the new logo, which still represents a boy and a girl playing together – because youth and equity are at the heart of our mission – and whose colors remind of the freshness of childhood (blue), the energy of activists (yellow) and the green of Ugandans forests.

Final thoughts

The joint work between the team in Italy and Uganda is still going on well and we are hoping for the best toward the development of Cefarh.

First of all, I want to say thank you to our on-ground team in Uganda for their wonderful direct work in communities: we could do nothing without them.

Our great thanks and appreciation goes to the following people in Italy:

  • Alessandra Farabegoli – strategy,  coordination, and email marketing
  • Emanuele Rabissi – advertising and social media strategy
  • Katia Donato – social media marketing
  • Cristiano Ferrari – website redesign and technical integrations
  • Nicola Stocco – website redesign and technical integrations
  • Ambra Caramatti – text edit
  • Veronica Duriavig – logo redesign

We are calling them the super seven.

Thank you so much

Simon