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