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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Posted on December 14th, 2017
2017 has been the most exciting year in HYT’s decade of working in Uganda. While the highlight was perhaps winning the prestigious Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings, we have trained our first women builders, undertaken a large rainwater tank project and have seen HYT working for the first time in Mabira’s spectacular but endangered tropical forest.
“The benefits of this scheme go way beyond the environmental impact – reducing deforestation and curbing CO2 emissions through a low carbon building technique – and encompass health, training, employment opportunities, even access to education”
2017 Ashden Judging Panel
Winning the Ashden International Award in June was a tremendous accolade marking international recognition for the One Village at a Time training projects. The judging panel was impressed with the holistic approach to HYT’s work, where young Ugandans are empowered with new skills, school communities are transformed and the fragile Ugandan environment preserved.
“HYT’s model is a simple one but is scalable and robust” 2017 Ashden Judging Panel
We are determined to make the most of the award and already have exciting plans for the new year, including constructing a model development in Mabira forest, which will showcase HYT’s innovative approach to training and low-cost, environmentally-friendly building. HYT is already working in Mabira, one of Uganda’s last remaining large rainforests, where we have installed water tanks for communities in the forest.
“A truly unforgettable experience and a beautiful country”
The Haileybury school trip in October saw 20 Upper 6th girls and boys visiting a range of HYT sites, seeing in action our innovative approach to building, meeting the team and developing a deeper understanding of what we do and why. We hope these young men and women will stay interested supporters of the charity. They seem pretty enthusiastic from what they say here:
“I was amazed to see how the HYT staff were working constantly and efficiently in the Ugandan heat”
“What interested me most about the Uganda trip and what I enjoyed most was getting to know the HYT workers and seeing firsthand what they do”
One site visit by the Haileybury students was to RAVO (Refuge for Aid Victims and Vulnerable Orphans). Thanks to the funding by a private donor, these children at the margins of Ugandan society now have a roof over their heads, clean toilets and ready access to water. These are things that we take for granted but are not so in one of the world’s poorest countries.
“Uganda was an unforgettable experience which allowed me to witness first firsthand the value of HYT to communities across the country”
The Trust has just completed a project jointly funded by HYT, the Rotary Club of Marlow, its sister clubs in Europe and the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust. By installing water tanks and latrines in four rural schools, 1,727 children will benefit in all kinds of ways from this transformation to their schools. Improving water and sanitation facilities meets one of the Sustainable Development Goals.
HYT meets several of the United Nation’s SDGs:
HYT has trained 23 new masons this year, making a total of 114 since 2006.
HYT has employed more than 50 graduates across its sites in 2017!
In 2017 HYT has saved:
708 MWh of embodied energy, the equivalent of burning nearly 260,000 kg of coal.
114 tonnes of firewood.
24 mature trees like this one:
The ‘One Village at a Time’ project remains at the heart of HYT’s activity. We are proud to be well into double figures, having trained more than 100 young Ugandans, giving them new skills, new opportunities and for many, new work. We are now nearing completion at One Village 11 in Kayembe, where the training team is developing skills with yet more Ugandans, while transforming the local school, sustainably.
It has been a year of growth, achievement and excitement from which the team can take a great sense of pride. It has been a year of success. But there is much more to do. With your support, HYT will continue to empower more Ugandans and transform more communities in 2018 – and beyond.
Season’s Greetings from us all.