HYT Partners with Enabel – Belgian Development Agency, in Karamoja

Posted on March 27th, 2018

8 months after winning the 2017 Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, the Haileybury Youth Trust has exciting news for 2018. HYT has been selected by Enabel, Belgium’s development agency, to teach Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) construction across Northern Uganda, from Karamoja to Yumbe!

Enabel poster

The low-cost, environmentally friendly building technique will be taught to 150 trainees, in vocational training institutes and refugee settlements. Equipping young Ugandans and refugees with employable construction skills will transform their lives, their communities and their environment.


Nakapiripirit Youths, Karamoja

Youths from a rich variety of cultures will gain employable skills together here in Nakapiripirit.


The first project takes place in Nakapiripirit, a town of three streets or so, nestled high in the Eastern Rift Mountains. HYT will be working with the students of Nakapiripirit Technical Institute, to construct a round staff house using curved earth blocks.


Nakapiripirit High Street, Karamoja

As the town of Nakapiripirit expands, it must do so in harmony with its stunning natural environment.


The project will make use of building techniques familiar to the Karamoja Region, including thatched grass roofing. The team travelled to the town of Nabilatuk to discover more about local approaches to this practice.


Roofing in Nakapiripirit

HYT Intern Angelica (H 12) was one of the first onto the roof, and one of the fastest learners!


Two hours out of Nakapiripirit, the ‘chief town’ of the district, HYT’s field team was invited to enter a manyatta (compound), where a new hut was under construction. Here they learned how to thatch directly from local women, with varying success.


Thatching in Nakapiripirit

Assistant Country Manager Charlie Tebbutt (K 08) took a little longer to grasp the thatching techniques.


Particularly enlightening was the explanation that all construction materials are sourced from the surrounding savannah. This sustainable approach to building is something that HYT and the Karamojong have in common, promising a successful collaboration.


HYT & Enabel in Nakapiripirit, Karamoja

The Enabel and HYT teams met at Nakapiripirit Technical Institute to plan the project’s progress.


After meeting with the Enabel team and setting out the project aims and location, it was time to head home. The journey from Jinja to Karamoja and back is a long one, and full of surprises…


Ostrich in Karamoja

A drive through Karamoja reveals the close and complex relationships between society and the natural environment.


But HYT is used to that. Its own journey has taken it from the streets of Stepney to the banks of the Nile, and now to the mountains of Karamoja. The project, which begins next week, marks an important step on the road to sustainable development here in Uganda.


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Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at hytuganda.com





From Groundwork to Graduation at Kayembe Primary School

Posted on March 2nd, 2018

Last Thursday, HYT celebrated one of its famous graduation ceremonies, this time for the 8 trainees at Kayembe Primary School. Drawn from the local community, these young Ugandans previously saw sugar-cane cutting as the main alternative to the unemployment gripping Kamuli. With HYT training, their future looks bright, as does that of Kayembe’s pupils.


Kayembe Team at Graduation

Trainers Matthias and Dennis led the team at Kayembe, who received HYT certificates upon graduation.


The entire community gathered to celebrate the trainees’ achievements and to admire the structures they built from the ground up. 9 months ago, these youths had never handled, let alone manufactured and built with the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB). They will now use it to construct vital facilities such as classroom blocks, washrooms and water tanks.


HYT classroom at the graduation ceremony

Pupils gather in front of their new classroom block, which doubles up as an examination centre and book store.


The first structure to be completed here at Kayembe was the classroom block. This gave each trainee the chance to handle around 1000 blocks each.


Wilson visits the Water Charity tank at graduation

Trainee Wilson was impressed by the tank here at Kayembe, which he will use as an example for the 6 he is building in Mabira.


Next came the tank, generously funded by Water Charity, and providing 20,000L of rainwater to the school’s pupils. HYT’s newest trainees from another Water Charity partnership in Mabira Forest attended the ceremony, where they were inspired by the young men and women who have completed these structures.


Philip and Freddo at graduation

Philip and Freddo are proud of the house’s unstabilised interior wall, which uses no cement!


Finally, trainees put their new skills to the test on the staff house, which includes a set of innovative features. The interior wall is made of soil and sand only, dramatically reducing financial and environmental costs. The earthen floor was supervised by EarthEnable, reaffirming HYT’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 17: Climate Action and Partnership!


EarthEnable Floors at Kayembe

EarthEnable brought their years of experience making earthen floors in Rwanda to Uganda’s Kamuli district!


The One Village project has brought together four organisations (including the Royal Logistics Corps!), 8 trainees and an entire community. United through a desire to improve the lives of local schoolchildren and village youths, everyone here has given their all.


Jenipher speaks at her HYT graduation

Jenipher spoke eloquently about the challenges and triumphs of becoming a young female mason.


The highlight of the ceremony was undoubtedly Jenipher Nabutono’s graduation speech. As the first female graduate of HYT’s training programme, she has blazed a trail for women in Kamuli. She spoke of the challenging attitudes facing women in construction, including those of her own village.


Jenipher celebrates graduation

The community acknowledged Jenipher’s success and wished her well on her career with HYT.


Jenipher’s speech was followed by cheers and applause, as the people of Kayembe presented her with a new building square, trowel and other professional construction tools. It was clear that she had changed their lives as well as her own. Following graduation, she mas moved to another HYT site, where she leads Juliet, Rebecca, and the rest of the new trainees constructing water tanks in Mabira.


Keep up-to-date with HYT’s work by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.









Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at hytuganda.com