Posted on July 28th, 2017
The successful completion of HYT’s 10th ‘One Community at a Time’ training project was celebrated in style, with the opening of an impressive range of buildings and the handing out of certificates to the ten HYT trainees who built them. HYT training manager, Fred Koire, oversaw the eight-month training programme, and the youths at St. Stephen’s primary school, Butaaya, are now equipped to use their newly-acquired masonry skills with HYT and elsewhere.
St. Stephen’s is a school of 400 or so pupils, in rural Kamuli District, where large numbers of boys drop out to cut sugar cane, while the pregnancy rate among girls remains high. Enhancing infrastructure encourages students to stay at school, and providing staff accommodation means that teachers do not have to walk to work in the rain (or heat!) and are more readily available to support their students. The large and enthusiastic audience at the ceremony included community leaders, local head teachers and the Vice Chairman of Kamuli District, representing the Speaker of Parliament. They were told of the benefits of an environmentally-friendly approach to construction, and encouraged to adopt the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB).
And how better to recommend the technology of East Africa’s future than with the spectacular workmanship of the community’s youth? This particular project gave trainees the chance to demonstrate their artistic flair thanks to the generous support of two Haileybury houses and lower school.
Lower School’s donation funded the staff house, improving working conditions for teachers and upping the trainees’ experience in all sorts of construction skills, from excavation to completion.
Kipling’s water tank offered trainees the chance to work with specialised curved blocks, and provided the school with 20,000L of water storage! That means more time in class, and less time fetching water from the community borehole.
This year’s Batten Bistro raised enough funding to outfit this double classroom block with doors, windows and security bars, as well as plastering and painting. Trainees were keen to celebrate Haileybury’s contributions with panache, and relished the opportunity to hone their decorative skills across all the buildings.
The result? Ten trainees have become graduates of HYT’s training programme, empowered to become builders of the future. St. Stephen’s primary school now has three sturdy new structures to enhance its learning environment, helping kids get the most out of their school day. A big HYT thank you goes out to trainers, trainees, and the hugely supportive communities both here in Uganda and back in the UK!