Uganda is the poorest of the three East African countries into which we work, largely due to the political instability during the 1970s and 80s. Uganda is a main focus of Equipe’s projects and in particular, two main areas – Kampala and the Ssese Islands. Watch a video of a 2016 visit to Uganda by one of our supporters https://youtu.be/y0uy2-fGd5k
Kampala is the capital of Uganda with an estimated population of 1.6 million. Like many big cities in the developing world there is a huge difference between city districts. Some are similar to western cities with modern housing and amenities whilst others are large shanty towns with huge numbers of people packed into small areas with virtually no amenities at all.
Equipe has projects that work into two of the poorest districts:-
Gganda, Nansana – Chosen Children School and Orphanage.
In 2002 Equipe purchased land to build a school and orphanage in this poor district in the north of the city. Abbey Muggaga then organised the construction work, much of which he did himself. In 2007 the school and orphanage opened and has grown steadily. The school has nearly 100 students aged between 3 and 11 whilst the orphanage can accommodate 15 orphans, many of whom have sponsors through the child sponsorship scheme. Click here to see a video taken at the school in 2016 https://youtu.be/As06GMm9Xp8
Kabowa – New Rock Foundation School
In 2002 New Rock School in the poor Kabowa suburb of Kampala was a dilapidated primary school for 90 students. John and Sue Gasston organised for the funds and rebuilding to commence and five years later it was a modern school for more than 450 pupils. Each year the school was improved with electricity, water containers, extended playground, computers and a link with a school in Hereford, and most recently transforming a nearby building into dormitories for both boys and girls. Click here to see a video of New Rock Foundation School in 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6rAKpAsqS0&feature=youtu.be
This group of 84 islands are situated in the northern part of Lake Victoria some 50km from Entebbe on the mainland. A small ferry connects the main islands with the mainland whilst smaller ferries, mainly dugout canoes, connect the islands. The total population is estimated at around 40,000 but they are widely scattered across the islands. Some are very remote communities with little contact with the outside world. Bugala is the main island of the archipelago with a population of around 20,000 and it is about half the size of the Isle of Man. Currently all Equipe’s projects are based on Bugala Island where the main town of Kalangala is also the Kalangala District administrative centre.
Maranatha Gateway, Sozi Peninsula
Maranatha Gateway is Equipe’s Vocational Training Centre that near Kalangala on Bugala Island. Because the of the remoteness of the islands most adults have little or no education. John and Sue Gasston from Ross-on-Wye had the vision to improve that situation by providing young adults with education to help them improve the housing and infrastructure on the island. The Vocational Training Centre opened in 2014 and is already providing courses on Carpentry, Bricklaying and Crafts. We use local tradespeople for the teaching which also aids the local economy.
The second classroom/accommodation block was completed in early 2015 and will provide facilities for small conferences and retreats.
For two years John and Sue were joined by Mike Norbury from Wrexham.
This year we have produced a 2016 calendar to support the work of Maranatha Gateway.
These are just £5 each + £2 postage and are available by sending a cheque for $7 payable to Equipe Uganda Ross to: Mike Norbury, 1 Avon Close, Acton, Wrexham, LL12 7US.
Bridge of Hope Nursery and Primary School, Kalangala Town
John and Sue have also been instrumental in the construction of many of the buildings at Bridge of Hope including classrooms and dormitories. As with most schools in East Africa a number of pupils live at the school either because they are orphans or because of the distance they have to travel to school. Click here to see the school in 2016 https://youtu.be/JkxqYwxR_C8
During the last the years the school has also developed a link with a St John’s CofE Primary School in Sandbach. Pen pal letters are now sent between the schools and pupils the Cheshire school have raised money for a new nursery block.
Here’s the school choir in the partially completed nursery block
There are many opportunities for you to help these projects and others like them. Schools in East Africa are in need of sports kit, new buildings, etc., as they need to expand. A staggering statistic is that on the Ssese Islands less than 40% of children can get school places. Yes, that means over half the islands’ children remain uneducated. Watch a video of the Kalangala Health Centre https://youtu.be/y0uy2-fGd5k