Striking at the Heart of UN Sustainable Development Goals

Posted on January 13th, 2017

HYT support UN SDGs


The Haileybury Youth Trust supports the Sustainable Development Goals.


HYT is making real progress in meeting the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although a small NGO, the Trust makes a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of Ugandan families and communities. Our training and building projects across eastern Uganda improve education and employment opportunities, as well as personal and environmental health. HYT begins 2017 with many exciting and important projects to look forward to, all of which will contribute to meeting the globally-recognised Sustainable Development Goals. Let’s see how the Trust is making a real and practical difference in one of Africa’s poorest countries.


Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education


HYT supports Quality Education


Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.


Through our One Village at a Time programme and the work we do with and for other charities, HYT has improved access to quality education for thousands of Ugandan children. Since 2014, HYT has transformed 12 village schools by building 17 new classrooms, refurbishing a further 5, and constructing houses for 14 teachers and dormitories for 225 pupils. The partnership with One Billion resulted in Nabirama Primary School’s innovative digital learning centre, which has dramatically enhanced pupils’ learning. We hope to extend this project, the first of its kind in Uganda, in 2017.


Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation


HYT supports Clean Water and Sanitation


Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.


Since 2014, we have built 18 rainwater storage tanks, 7 latrines (of 22 stances) and 8 washrooms, giving 12,600 Ugandans access to clean water and hygienic sanitation at school for the first time. This year, we will do even more. At least 20 water tanks and 5 latrines (of 22 stances) will be installed across 20 schools. This will drastically improve water and sanitation facilities for a further 14,000 children.


Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth


HYT supports Decent Work and Economic Growth


Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.


In the last three years, HYT has trained 51 young Ugandans in construction, enhancing employment opportunities and encouraging income generation. This improves the lives of entire communities, as HYT ‘graduates’ can support the education of their children and wider families.


25 HYT-trained Ugandans are now in employment, earning an income and contributing to the economic activity of their country. Even better, they are doing so in a way that preserves the landscape in which they work and live, encouraging others to do the same!


Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities


HYT supports Sustainable Cities and Communities


Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.


According to the UN’s 2014 survey, 55% of sub-Saharan Africa’s urban population lives in slum-like conditions, the highest of any region. HYT’s Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) technology puts the power to build high quality, sustainable housing into the hands of Ugandans, literally. The manually-operated press is economic, accessible and therefore highly appropriate for developing communities in Uganda. Not only can ISSB technology reduce construction costs by up to 30%, but Bath University found blocks were up to 80% stronger than the traditional fired clay equivalent. The capacity for such safe, sustainable housing methods is vital for Uganda’s rapidly expanding population.


Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action


HYT supports Climate Action


Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.


By training and employing Ugandans in ISSB construction, HYT is spreading this low-cost, low-carbon technology across the country and combatting climate change at its very roots. While wide use of the traditional burnt brick causes mass deforestation across Uganda, HYT’s blocks require no wood for firing. At least 3 of Uganda’s increasingly rare mature trees are saved for every 10,000 ISSBs, preserving the country’s fragile biodiversity. Air pollution is dramatically reduced not only by avoiding the combustion process, but also by eliminating the need for transport. Materials can be sourced on site, so the blocks don’t need to travel anywhere. Since up to 25% of fired bricks break in the transport process alone, that’s a pretty clear advantage!


Trainees at Kadungulu

HYT teaches and employs trainees to build vital structures in their communities without destroying valuable natural surroundings.


Thanks for checking in on HYT and finding out about how we are supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As you can see, we continually strive to create employment and consolidate communities while conserving the natural environment. That may sound like a tall order, but all this can be achieved through the instruction and circulation of ISSB technology. You can read more about this on our homepage and dedicated compressed earth block site. Spread the word, spread the technology!









HYT is proud to be longlisted for an Ashden International Award 2017.

Director Russell Matcham catches up with the HYT Family

Posted on January 4th, 2017

High five!

High fives all round!


HYT is not only an international organisation but a global family committed to sustainable development. While our projects take place in Uganda, the UK trustees work hard to support the team and communities here in the Busoga region and beyond. At the end of last year, we were very happy to welcome Director Russell Matcham back to the Pearl of Africa. Though the presence of one’s supervisor can be a little daunting, Russell was clearly overjoyed to be back amongst old friends, some of whom he’s been working with for over 10 years! His regular visits strengthen the bonds between HYT and the communities we partner with, while keeping the UK in touch with UG.


Batten Tank

SECURI FERIMUS (as beautifully painted by former volunteer Rachel Clark) means “we bring security”. A secure water supply is incredibly important for Nakibungulya pupils.


Of course, I had little reason to be apprehensive. Russell’s love for and commitment to HYT’s work in Uganda came across in lots of smiles and useful suggestions. The first order of business was to visit the schools we’ve been working in over the past ten years. Russell was particularly keen to check on the 10,000L water tank at Nakibungulya. It was clearly well-cared-for by the school management and looked in great condition!


Sam and the Team

From left to right (foreground): Operations Manager Philip, HM Sam, Director Russell and Country Manager Mauricia discuss plans over the ISSB press.


After catching up with the team at Nakibungulya we headed over to Naminage. Here, we were delighted to see head teacher Sam employing HYT graduates to build four latrines. They seemed to be doing a fantastic job, aided by the school’s new HYT society, who made the bricks. This is exactly the kind of independent, sustainable development that we try to encourage all over Uganda. The construction of such facilities benefits pupils, communities and, of course, the graduate employees themselves.


Graduate Brickwork

HYT graduates are familiar with the tricks of the ISSB trade and are able to deliver high quality buildings.


The excellent news at Naminage was followed by even more excitement at Bugondha Butaaga. We heard that Madame Namuyomba was the first teacher to move into the new staff quarters, but this wasn’t all! People in Uganda’s Kamuli district are used to one-storey houses and can be put off by the idea of climbing ladders to a first floor bedroom, especially where children are concerned. This teacher and proud mother was, however, happy to show us how easily her children scale the ladder to bed. This is great news for us at HYT, who want to ensure both maximum usage of space and increased security.


A Proud Mother

Madame Namuyomba is proud of both her school and her family!


Spiderman Strikes Again

You don’t have to be Spiderman to climb this ladder (although it seems to help).


Once everyone had safely descended, we gathered beneath the shade of Bugondha’s acacias to prepare for a very special assembly. Russell had invited core members of the HYT Family, the head teachers of the schools where we’ve worked over the years, to share ideas about how to continue developing their communities. Headmaster Sebastian of Bugondha opened the ceremony, which took place within sight of the new HYT staff accommodation.



Headmaster Sebastian demonstrates the results of teamwork and community commitment.


Headmistress Robina shared the news of the two new washrooms she’s had constructed at Makoka Primary School. Headmaster Sam of Naminage also presented the marvellous work we’d seen earlier, motivating others to do the same.


Madame Robina

Madame Robina, of Makoka Primary School, addresses the community at Bugondha.


We are, needless to say, extremely grateful to all the head teachers who’ve made working with their schools so enjoyable and effective. HYT Family reunions are a great way for everyone involved in ISSB construction to communicate, so that we can all do the best job possible. Here’s to a bright future, filled with many more brothers and sisters committed to saving the environment and improving communities in Uganda!


HYT Family

The headmasters and headmistresses of the HYT Family, which is always growing.