Posted on April 28th, 2017
Earlier this month, we were delighted to welcome the men and women of 4 Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) to Kayembe Primary School, Uganda. The team was made up of 15 members from different battalions undergoing Adventurous Training with Kayak the Nile. It was reassuring knowing that, should anything go wrong on the 2-hour journey to site, we were in good company.
Fortunately, the vehicle cruised smoothly through Kamuli region’s stunning landscape, offering everyone a reminder of the fragile environment that HYT campaigns to save. Exactly how we do this, the team would soon find out.
Upon arrival at site, Trainer Freddo welcomed the visitors, who were divided into two teams. The first began making our unique Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks (ISSB) using the manual press from Makiga. While they were learning the nuances of this novel technique, the second group got started on a task for which they needed no instruction – digging trenches!
The press may look simple, and its manual nature is appropriate for poorer communities, requiring no fuel and little maintenance. It does, however, involve a set of specific techniques that are taught during the HYT training programme. We were therefore very impressed by those who were able to operate the machine after a few tries, as well as those whose valiant efforts never quite came to fruition!
While the block-makers were busy forging ISSBs, the members of the excavation team made short work of preparing the foundation. Though, by all accounts, Uganda’s tropical heat is a totally different beast from UK weather when digging trenches, Ugandans and British worked tirelessly throughout the afternoon. Reward came in the form of a local lunch, as plates were piled high with beans, rice, greens and goat!
Lunch was followed by volleyball, a regular team-building exercise on site. Before long, a crowd of children had amassed to watch the spectacle, as both teams put up a strong fight. Three close matches and a rainstorm later, it was time to head back to Jinja for the night.
HYT is extremely grateful to the regiment for taking time out from their training to lend their skills and strength. As well as building in the villages of Kayembe and Butaaya, the soldiers kindly donated books and stationary to the schools. These will help to stock the new libraries that are included in the HYT classroom blocks. By helping to develop the communities of Uganda’s Kamuli region using the Trust’s eco-friendly technology, the Royal Logistic Corps have added a new meaning to their motto, “We Sustain”.