The Mastercard Foundation: The Village Kyangwali


As the largest funder of secondary education in Africa, The Mastercard Foundation started the Scholars Program in 2008 to develop Africa’s next generation of leaders. The program allows students whose talent and promise exceed their financial resources to complete their education. 

With a vision that education is a catalyst for social and economic change, the program focuses on developing leaders who are transformative, encouraging them to be active contributors in their communities. 

As a part of that effort, the Foundation launched “The Village,” a story series that examines what it takes for a young person to succeed, telling the story not only from a young person’s perspective, but from the perspective of their community. This was a new concept pilot, focused on the story told in the 2017 Scholars Program media tour at a refugee settlement in Kyangwali, Uganda. The Village: Kyangwali helped further the Scholars Program brand by highlighting the ways in which Joseph Munyambanza, Favourite Regina, and other youth at Kyangwali are driving training and skills-building, entrepreneurship and employment within one of Uganda’s refugee settlements. Joseph’s story in particular will highlight the connection between education and the economic well- being of a community. 


To promote and amplify an authentic, long-form story of The Village: Kyangwali to Africans, especially young women, in five target countries in Africa – Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal. The goal of Phase 1 was to gain a better understanding of the Foundation’s audiences’ online behavior by optimizing for increased awareness of the content of The Village: Kyangwali and the work Joseph and Regina are doing to improve their community. After the weeklong campaign, Proof Strategies analyzed the data and developed and refined our approach for Phase 2. 

External Challenge

Uganda Social Media Tax: What does it mean? 

The Ugandan Government at the beginning of 2019 instituted a social media tax on 60 online social platforms. The result of this action was the loss of over 5 million Ugandan social internet users. Uganda’s internet user base is only 18.5 million, putting into perspective how significant a 5 million user drop off is for the purposes of reaching users on social interaction platforms. 


Phase 1

The initial campaign flight allowed for a beta test on audience online behavior across the Foundation’s social properties to better understand what content on which platform would optimize performance. The results showed us that: 

  • Despite Uganda as the top target country, it performed the lowest of the six due to the social media tax 
  • Lowest cost-per-click results were from Facebook video engagement
  • While the lowest social engagement was among women in the initial flight, the organic post of female-centric content featuring Favourite Regina was the highest performing in 2019 at the time 

Phase 2

For Phase 2, we refreshed our approach to deepen engagement on the ground in Africa based on our learnings from the beta test. We focused our efforts on three activations: women-centric targeting and creative and bolstering the video assets across channels optimized for video streaming including the first pre roll campaign on YouTube. To combat the Uganda social media tax, we launched a digital banner ad campaign for one month with one of the top publications in the country, The Daily Monitor. 


  • 30% of visitors reached the bottom of the website landing page 
  • Average time on site was 4:17 far above the monthly average of 1:01
  • Eighty percent website traffic increase from Phase One to Phase Two 
  • Drove 83% of all the Foundation’s website sessions during the entire month of May
  • Google Search CPC averaged $0.01
  • Out of 659,671 total video views, 37,514 (~6%) watched the entire video on Facebook o 84% of total video views were women on Facebook 
  • Women were six times more likely to watch and engage with a video with a female protagonist as opposed to a male protagonist 

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