Using NFT collections for social change: Building a school in Uganda

Orica launched in November 2021 with the news that an NGO used NFTs on its funding platform to build a school in Uganda. The NFTs, auctioned at Malta’s AI & Blockchain Summit, meant that ‘Blockchain Island’ dollars could fund education for Ssese Islands children in Lake Victoria. 

The NGO, Bbanga Project, collaborated with digital artist Mellowmann to release a collection of Uganda-inspired NFTs. These were ‘approved’ by the Ssese Islands school children before being auctioned by Orica. Proceeds of the sales will be used to finish building a school for the children on their remote island of Bugala.

“The Ssese archipelago has eighty-four islands, but only fourteen have access to a school. We’d already built a main school hall on Bugala but then our funding dried up,” explains Bbanga Project founder Sani Hayatbakhsh. 

The Sses Islands children review ‘their NFTs’ to fund their school building.

Social Impact: “The NFTs mean so much more”

“Sales from the NFTs mean that we can finish the building. Two hundred more children will gain access to primary education. And of course, Bbanga Project children were excited to be part of a technology launch and see an international artist create artwork especially for them,” continues Sani. 

“It’s not often that art can have such a direct impact,” adds artist Mellowmann. “So when Sani showed me the images of the children seeing my work for the first time it got pretty emotional. The NFTs mean so much more.”

AIBC Summit’s Maria Debbincat interviews Orica about the Bbanga Project x Mellowmann collaboration. From left to right: Sani Hayatbakhsh, Maria Debbincat of AIBC, Danial Nanaei. Mellowmann.

NFT activism is the future of giving

Orica is a new NFT platform with the mission to accelerate global wealth equality through digital assets. Orica founder Danial Nanaei began thinking of ways to collaborate with Bbanga after a chance meeting with Hayatbakhsh in their home city Vienna, Austria. 

“Seventy billion dollars of cryptocurrency moved through Malta after it became ‘Blockchain Island’,” explains Nanaei. “So it doesn’t make sense that 4,400km away, Ssese Islands families struggle on less than a dollar a day. We decided to use the launch of our NFT platform at the Malta summit to start making positive change.” 

“We think this convergence of art, technology and activism is the future of giving.” 

Mellowmann Orica art NFT collaboration for NGO Bbanga Project
Guardians II (Detail) from the ‘A Fairer World’ NFT collection by Mellowmann

Auctions surpassed targets to fund the NGO project

The Ssese Islands NFT collection, called ‘A Fairer World’, was available on Orica from 18th November 2021 and ended on 30th November. Auction sales surpassed the target of the $6k needed to finish the school building.

“We were delighted by the collaboration,” says Sani. “As a smaller NGO, such funds can be transformative.”

Orica plans to release more Art x Activism NFT collaborations later this year. Follow Orica or subscribe to our mailing list to be invited to exclusive previews.

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.