​Utu: Building Character with Innovative Edu-cartoons
TWCF Number
Project Duration
March 15 / 2019
- July 15 / 2020
Core Funding Area
Character Virtue Development
Amount Awarded
Grant DOI*

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Nisha Ligon
Institution Ubongo Learning Limited

Utu is the Swahili concept for humanity and moral goodness.

An important component of East African philosophy, Utu asserts virtues like kindness, gratitude, trust, respect, responsibility, self-love, and empathy as foundational strengths. This project uses modern communications (cartoons, television, internet, and SMS) to nurture the traditional concept of Utu in African youth, thus leading them towards a life of flourishing.

Using the Ubongo Kids educational entertainment platform, this project aims to promote the concept of Utu among children. With a current viewership of 6.4 million households, Ubongo Kids is an educational cartoon targeting children. Through this project, Ubongo Kids will devote an entire season to the concept of Utu, developing new characters and storylines focused on different strengths and how to incorporate them into daily life. The program will be available for free through established local channels in Tanzania and Kenya. After watching the show, viewers can access additional content such as activities on the Ubongo Kids website, encouraging social interactional learning and engagement with the concept of Utu.

The project will focus both on measuring the reach and reception of the new television season, as well as on outcomes related to children’s understanding and expression of Utu and related values. Ubongo Kids is a product of Ubongo Learning, a Tanzania-based company.

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