Have you ever had the chance to work on something that was just pure joy? Even better, have you ever had the chance to be a part of building something you knew was going to make BIG change in the world? Well, Uwe was our chance and we loved every second of it. This is the story of how, with a little inspiration and a whole lot of heart, we helped develop a character and a strategy to empower a whole community of young people across the globe. Uwe's just getting started, but we can't wait to see where he goes!!

building a character

Uwe has honestly been one of the most fun and energizing projects any of us has ever been involved in. EVER... The Oliva Project, an amazing Africa-based charity, came to us wanting to find a way to connect their special needs students in Uganda with the special needs community in the US, potential donors, and the viral world at large. Challenge accepted! Charity founder Christa had already been using a small plush toy monkey as a fun teaching tool for her Ugandan students and this fun little guy provided the perfect launching point for an amazing concept. His name is Uwe (pronounced: you-way) and he is a Patas monkey from Uganda. Uwe has down syndrome but that's OK because he is really good at making new friends. Uwe travels the world making new friends but he always checks in with his wonderful friends at the school in Uganda. Using this fun and fantastic little character has provided The Oliva project with what they so desperately needed: a memorable and interactive resource for connecting their students to a world that they would have otherwise never had access to.

building the foundation

The very first piece we built for Uwe was a simple rack card and a website. But... what would they say? This whole thing was brand new and, working closely with The Oliva Project, we were all just constantly coming up with answers and questions, solutions and complications. It was super fun, rapid-fire, entrepreneurial brainstorming. Then, when everything all started coming together, we wrote it all down and the first pieces of Uwe's story, and what he would mean to the world, were born. 

Uwe would be a vehicle for special needs children in Uganda to interact with special needs children in the US. He would travel the world and be a part of every special needs classroom. Kids would post pictures of Uwe enjoying everyday moments and adventures in both countries, teaching each student that the world is a great, big, exciting place and that they were not alone in their daily struggles and joys. Uwe isn't just a character, he's a movement. He tells a story of self worth, of contentedness, of not being alone and of celebrating every moment of life, no matter your level of ability. Click here to visit the website we built for Uwe and learn all about it!

living in the real world

Uwe is still in the pilot-project stages and has yet to be unleashed on the world, but we just couldn't wait to share him with you. Take a loot at some of the first pictures that have been coming in! Look at those happy faces and just think of the big splash this little monkey is going to make!