Completed Partnership: M-LISADA

M-LISADA (Music, Life Skills, and Destitution Alleviation) is a nonprofit organization in Uganda working to protect, heal, empower, and support disadvantaged children and youth through music, life skills, and education. M-LISADA’s five core programs work in conjunction to transform the lives of marginalized children: Music to the Rescue; Education & Sponsorship; Psychosocial & Life Skills; Child Protection & Reunification; and Health & Nutrition.

“Music the heartbeat of M-LISADA. M-LISADA was created through music, and everything that has happened has been made possible through the power of music.”


GoPhil and M-LISADA’s partnership started in 2011 and came to a close in 2018. Over the years, GoPhil provided a series of small grants and other forms support to M-LISADA, including the following:

  • Recurring monthly support for children’s school fees, health needs, and daily meals;
  • Funds to start a vegetable garden, including support for gardening tools and seeds. This reduced the reliance on external support for food needs;
  • Capacity-building support to develop the admin team’s accounting skills and funding to update their systems;
  • A grant to support the safe reunification and reintegration of more than 30 children with their families;
  • Funding for a 14-seater van, a critical tool for transportation to and from music performances and other important appointments, such as the doctor. While not in use the van can be rented out, providing a new funding stream to support other program needs;
  • Material support for the M-LISADA education program, such as school supplies and books for the library.

Click infographic above to enlarge.


In terms of community outcomes, we saw many M-LISADA children safely reunited with their families. Many GoPhil supported students went on to pursue careers in music or attend and graduate from higher education. Every time we visited M-LISADA in-person, we were met with joyous music and healthy, happy, and thriving children. 

Internally, M-LISADA became much stronger and sustainable over the course of our partnership. When we first met their team, they were using a pen and paper for all their accounting. By the end of our partnership, they were confidently using accounting software and working with detailed budgets and strategic plans. Furthermore, the staff developed clear roles and responsibilities and became a much more efficient and effective team. New income streams such as the van rentals and a thriving garden full of fresh, nutritious food allowed them to become less reliant on external support for critical needs. 

Though our formal grant partnership with M-LISADA has come to a close, we remain in contact with the M-LISADA team. Several GoPhil donors continue to support students who are well on their way to graduating from university and becoming the local leaders of tomorrow.