Ndegeya is the local name for Weaver Bird.
For many generations, this bird has flocked to the village, adorning it with its artistically elaborate nests. Hence, the locals named the village after the Weaver Birds, reinforcing this environ as a birthplace of creativity and innovation.
A thriving community amidst the beautiful green hills of Masaka, Ndegeya is located 4 miles from the town center. For decades the village has been inhabited by people from different parts of Uganda and across the borders of Rwanda, Tanzania and all the way up to Burundi, contributing to an interesting mix of ethnicities living under one shared culture.
When artist Collin Sekajugo traveled to visit his paternal grandmother in 2010, he immediately saw the need to revitalize this community whose inhabitants had completely lost hope due to the prevalence of HIV and AIDS, poor education standards, unemployment and growing depopulation. Following his path for "Using art to change lives" in Kigali where he opened Rwanda's first visual art center, this multidisciplinary artist expanded his vision into Uganda with a new initiative. Weaver Bird Foundation (now Ndegeya Foundation) was born to transform Ndegeya into a model village and East African arts destination.
Sekajugo launched this mission by opening the first of its kind in Uganda---a sculpture park with camping facilities called Camp Ndegeya. The services quickly expanded to include a quarterly art camps and workshops conducted by well-established Ugandan artists and others visiting creatives from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
While Camp Ndegeya slowly became the cornerstone for Ndegeya's regeneration, art ultimately became the driving force for the influx of visitors, potential investors and run-away youth returning to the community to become part of the development process. Nearly seven years later, Camp Ndegeya has attracted throngs of tourists, creatives, as well as art and community enthusiasts to the village who have engaged in various community outreach programs. One notable activity including hosting over 100 Europeans campers during the week long Uganda Marathon/UK-based fundraiser from which Creative Canvas Uganda - a Ndegeya based youth development project was born. A guesthouse is currently being constructed to serve as a retreat and artists-in-residency space for visitors eager to enjoy this special place. During the past five years over fifty families have been positively impacted by the Foundation’s community outreach and programs.