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.


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Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

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Water Charity Supports HYT Training in Mabira

Posted on February 14th, 2018

Mabira Forest has been making headlines this week in Uganda, as logging continues to eat away at the reserve’s natural riches. With much of Uganda’s population still reliant on firewood for cooking, building and employment, there is a clear need to decouple development from deforestation.


Mabira Firewood

Truckloads of timber are a regular sight here in Najjembe, Mabira.


Industrial agriculture has also polluted the forest’s waterways, affecting the wildlife and communities that depend on them. HYT has partnered with Water Charity to increase the self-reliance of local people, providing them with sustainable alternatives to woodcutting, and access to life-giving water.


Children of the Mabira Communit

Najjembe’s men, women and children make a living as blue-aproned street vendors, who rely on water and firewood to grow and cook the food they sell.


The project, which builds on HYT’s previous efforts with Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organisation (MAFICO), centres around 6 schools. Here at Muteesa Secondary, young Ugandans from the local community are learning to build water tanks out of the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB). The beauty of this technology is its simplicity; the manual press, soil, sand and a dash of cement are all you need to make durable, uniform bricks.


Muteesa Water Tank Team, Mabira

The six new trainees will use their initial stipends to pay for safety wear, which they keep and take on to future jobs.


HYT has selected 6 trainees, most of whom did not finish school due to financial / family constraints, to join the programme. They have already learned how to select and excavate the right kind of soil, and will soon start turning it into usable blocks, without burning firewood!


Najjembe Water Tank Team, Mabira

The original Mabira tank team has already completed 3 of its 6 scheduled tanks!


It won’t take them long to catch up with Mabira’s first team of trainees, who have been learning to build since October. They can now construct a water tank in less than a month, with each structure consolidating their practical and theoretical skills.


Najjembe Water Tank Building Team

These masons have produced 600 blocks here at Najjembe Primary.


By funding the HYT training project here in Mabira, Water Charity is committing to more than just the provision of clean water. Alongside vocational skills, trainees are taught the importance of conserving their natural surroundings, securing futures for themselves and the environment.


Najjembe Water Tank Team, Mabira Forest

The trainees take a break to admire the forest they are protecting.


Together, the two organisations are creating a generation of employable, environmentally-aware young Ugandans, here in the heart of Mabira Forest.


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Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at