Spring Greetings from HYT

Posted on May 5th, 2017


HYT Spring Greetings

There’s been a lot to smile about this year as the Trust’s impact continues to grow.

Spring Greetings from HYT

As the sun turns a warmer shade in the UK, it continues to shine bright orange in equatorial Uganda, where HYT is busier than it has ever been. More lives have been improved, more communities transformed and more jobs created than at any time in its decade of working in the Pearl of Africa. And all in a way that does not cost the earth.

 

We are delighted to bring you a snapshot of the skilful and accomplished work of HYT’s growing team of professionals and trainees in Uganda, as our reputation also grows far beyond Jinja’s colonial charm. Our Country Manager, Mauricia Nambatya, an experienced civil engineer, now leads the team with Old Haileyburian Charlie Tebbutt and together they give outstanding leadership in Uganda. Our young OH volunteers, currently Harry Hughes, also continue to contribute with youthful energy and humour.

 

We were thrilled to be shortlisted for an Ashden International Award and look forward with excitement to the result of this prestigious award in June. You can read more about it here.

 

None of what we do would be possible, however, without the support of friends, donors, volunteers and of course our wonderful team in Uganda.

 

For all this, and much more, thank you very much indeed.

 

Russell Matcham

 

Director

 

Ashden Sustainable Solutions

 

 

 

 

 

Kadungulu: a project far from home – and in two tongues

 

HYT recently completed its first project far away from the tranquillity of Lake Victoria and majesty of the Nile. In collaboration with the Billington Vocational Training Centre, HYT has developed the skills of a group of masonry students in Teso region, a day’s drive from Jinja, exposing them to our environmentally-friendly interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB) building technology. Together the HYT trainers and the local students constructed a boarding hostel for a nearby school, while getting to grips with our unique, carbon-saving approach to building.

 

Assistant Trainer Alamanzani

Assistant Trainer Alamanzani developed new, practical teaching techniques to get around the language barrier!

 

Although the only common language was a little English, since the local dialects are entirely different, it did not seem to prevent the teams getting on famously and producing an outstanding addition to the school’s campus, in this particularly poor part of Uganda, while developing employment opportunities for the masons.

 

Kadungulu Team

The trainees graduated within sight of the fantastic dormitory and water tank they constructed at Kadungulu Secondary School.

 

HYT builds better homes with award-winning architects

 

We have been particularly pleased to have worked with the charitable arm of renowned architects, FCB Studios, in producing an innovative and flexible housing design for multiple occupancy.

 

Staff Block Construction

Working on state-of-the-art housing designs has given trainees the chance to learn a variety of new techniques.

 

The house, of which there are already a number of versions, has an open living space at the back, cool (literally and figuratively!) hit and miss brick design, giving better ventilation; a lovely little porch for sitting and watching the world go by, while the mezzanine half floor above offers an additional sleeping area for children. We were delighted to work with Nathan and Anja, architects from the Richard Feilden Foundation, who visited the first site – where lots of ideas were exchanged and lessons learned on both sides.

 

Staff Block

The staff block combines architectural innovation with stylish efficiency, and has been adapted to suit the needs of different communities.

 

The One Village training programmes get better and better

 

Under the watchful eye of our brilliant training manager, Freddo Koire, the ‘One Village at a Time’ programme of sustainable development and training goes from strength to strength. More young Ugandans (men and women) have been trained and now are in work, while villages are transformed with new water tanks, latrines, school buildings and homes.

 

Trainee Jenipher

Jenipher and her fellow trainees learn to build in the best way possible: by constructing vital facilities in their local schools!

 

HYT is now in double figures with this work, having worked in ten villages in the last six years. Thousands of young Ugandans’ lives have improved, with more children at school, eating regularly from HYT-built kitchens, washing and drinking healthily from our water tanks, and learning and living safely in our smart classrooms and dormitories.

 

HYT Lab

HYT’s school buildings give pupils the space they need to develop and excel in education.

 

Freddo seems to inspire his trainees, who work with confidence and dedication, producing buildings of astonishing quality and variety – and do so with great enthusiasm and loyalty to the growing HYT family. One HYT-trained mason said: ‘finding jobs for youths is important. Now I have skills and can support my family.’

 

Staff Block Building Team

Village youths line up to join the training programme, where they learn valuable construction skills.

 

Freddo is at the heart of the HYT team, together with the indefatigable operations manager, Philip Yiga, whose expertise in ISSB is unparalleled throughout the region and the projects manager, Jonny Nsubuga, who takes great pride in his attention to detail.

 

Freddo

Freddo taught and led the team that built the staff block, water tank and classroom behind him!

Jonny and Philip

Philip and Jonny celebrate progress on Iowa State University’s Uganda campus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haileybury helps give Ugandans a hand up, not a hand out

 

From the now legendary Batten Bistro, to the lively Lower School walks and the Kipling Event, the Haileybury community continues to support HYT imaginatively and energetically. St Stephen’s Primary School on the outskirts of Kamuli Town has benefited most recently from Haileybury’s support where, until HYT arrived, children were forced to study under trees come rain or shine.

 

Spring Mango Tree

Learning outdoors is not only distracting, but highly dependent on weather conditions, which in Uganda are increasingly erratic.

 

The Batten Bistro enabled the new classroom block to serve as an exam centre, while the Lower School helped build a much-needed teachers’ house at the school. This means teachers no longer have to travel long distances to school on difficult, or non-existent, roads.

 

Harry and Mauricia

Volunteer Harry Hughes was quick to learn the ropes from Country Manager Mauricia, and threw himself wholeheartedly into the work at St. Stephen’s.

 

The Kipling-sponsored water tank will fill with clean, fresh water once Uganda’s rainy season arrives – and there are two a year. We are very grateful for Haileybury’s continued interest in and support for HYT.

 

Partnerships transform the lives of some of Uganda’s most vulnerable

 

Collaboration with two NGO’s has helped transform the lives of some of Uganda’s most vulnerable children. Children on the Edge which works with young people in a slum in Jinja, commissioned a children’s centre, kitchen and latrine on its site, in a particularly depressed part of Uganda’s second city. We were really pleased with the outcome: a beautiful and brightly stylish double room block, with office, together with a kitchen with fuel-saving stoves and toilet block. Winnie, the manager of the centre told HYT: ‘the building is so good the children from the school opposite keep running over to be in our centre!’

 

Children on the Edge

Children on the Edge met cutting edge ISSB technology in the construction of their new early development centre.

 

RAVO is a centre for orphans and AIDS victims in Mayuge district. Here HYT has built two dormitories with accompanying water tanks and a school kitchen, also with energy-saving stoves, with the support of donor Peter Bond.

 

RAVO

Things are looking up for the children of RAVO, who now have access to safe sleeping space, hygienic cooking facilities and clean water.

 

The youngsters at RAVO and Uganda Railways School deserve all the support they can get, and we are pleased to be able to improve their living and working conditions beyond their imagination, in a way that does not cost the earth.

 

Catching and keeping the rain in Uganda: with HYT’s help

 

With the wonderful support of the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust, Lunch 4 Learning and the Rotary Club of Marlow and their sister clubs in Italy, France and Belgium, HYT is constructing more water tanks than ever before. The simplicity of rainwater harvesting is that the water is free, clean and is literally on tap. Children do not need to make time-consuming and sometimes risky (for girls) journeys to distant boreholes for water. Improved water and sanitation in schools means more students are likely to stay at school, as are their teachers. Good quality water and sanitation provision is especially important for girls, who would otherwise often stay away from school for several days each month during menstruation. HYT’s unique first flush system ensures water is clean and detritus-free when it reaches those distinctive yellow jerry cans.

 

Water Tap

Rainwater, an important and widespread resource in Uganda, is well worth tapping into.


Food for Thought: Fuelling Study with Kitchens and Water Tanks

Posted on March 10th, 2017


HYT helps to put food on the tables of both Ugandan youths and schoolchildren. By training young, unemployed community members in sustainable Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) construction, we enable them to develop local infrastructure. Graduates of HYT’s training programme thus gain employment, building without damaging Uganda’s fragile environment, and providing important resources for communities. Among the many different structures that trainees learn to build are kitchens and rainwater harvesting tanks. These buildings are vital for meeting the basic dietary and sanitary needs of communities and their schools.

 

Nakibungulya Kitchen

With HYT’s cost-saving kitchens and energy-saving stoves, the only bean-counting required is the culinary kind!

 

The kitchen here at Nakibungulya was built by youths during the training programme. Doing so afforded them the opportunity to learn a new construction style while providing the community with stronger, safer cooking facilities. The airy, unenclosed space enables cooks to prepare beans, posho, and maize porridge without being swamped by smoke. Children and teachers therefore go to lessons well-fed and able to participate fully in the learning process.

 

Children on the Edge Kitchen

The kitchen at Uganda Railways Primary School includes a secure store room for cooking supplies.

 

At Uganda Railways Primary school in Jinja, UK charity Children on the Edge commissioned a kitchen alongside the HYT-built Early Childhood Development Centre. The facilities now provide nourishment and education to economically disadvantaged children, who previously did not have access to such necessities.

 

Children on the Edge Playground

Food from the kitchen gives children the energy they need to study and play at the Centre.

 

Children are not the only beneficiaries of HYT’s state-of-the-art technology. Energy-saving stoves are installed in all of our kitchens in order to reduce firewood consumption. This saves money and helps to preserve Uganda’s increasingly threatened biodiversity.

 

Energy-saving stove

HYT’s energy-saving stoves saved the day at Mama Jane’s!

 

Mama Jane’s Centre for Vulnerable Children also feed their staff and pupils using an HYT kitchen. Housed in one of Jinja’s historic Indian-style homes, the orphanage had to demolish its old kitchen, whose smoke was filling the enclosed courtyard. HYT’s new build dramatically reduced this issue with its large windows and ceiling ventilation pipe. The whole centre is now able to eat without worrying about clouds of dangerous smoke. According to Headmistress Agnes, “it helps us to cook much faster and it is less smoky”.
Mama Jane's KitchenMama Jane's Teachers

Mama Jane's Kids

Clockwise from top left: The new HYT kitchen; Two teachers enjoying posho and beans; Lunch time for the kids at Mama Jane’s!

 

One of our most recent kitchens was constructed at the Refuge for Aids Victims and Orphans here in Mayuge. Thanks to the energy-saving stoves, the school has reduced its monthly firewood shipments from two truckloads to less than one! Water is also saved thanks to the two HYT-built rainwater harvesting tanks. This vital resource is not only used for porridge, but also for handwashing and cleaning of plates and surfaces, improving food hygiene as well as provision.

 

RAVO Tank

Both boarders and day pupils at RAVO benefit from the water tanks attached to the two HYT dormitories.

 

Through the construction of water tanks and kitchens, HYT helps to feed society’s most vulnerable members, without eating away at Uganda’s natural environment. The 35 water tanks scheduled for 2017 will continue to make use of ISSB technology, creating jobs for Ugandan youths, increasing access to food and water, and spreading sustainable construction methods.

 

HELP International

HYT taught the construction team here at HELP International, who used ISSB to build structures including a perimeter wall and rainwater tank, which provides water for growing vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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