“Turn right at the three large telephone masts, if you enter the Democratic Republic of Congo, you’ve gone too far.” The journey to Marakulu Primary school takes you down a narrow, potholed track. The green rolling hills create a tangible sense of remoteness.
“The children in this community have nowhere to learn. The closest school is 10km away and it is overpopulated.” Headmaster, Suliaman Amigo tells HYT, “The community came together and organised a school, it was small, classes held in mud huts which couldn’t keep the rain out.” The sound of a pounding hammer interrupts him and after glancing back at the construction site, he continues “African Revival recognised our efforts and the need for a school, together with HYT they are supporting us with classrooms and latrines.”
Construction is still underway on a three classroom block and three sets of latrines. The school will serve 920 children and will likely attract more. African Revival is supporting a number of schools in this remote area, alongside construction, they help with learning materials and teacher training.
Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks (ISSB) are used in all structures. Using ISSB instead of burnt bricks will save 29 tons of firewood, equivalent to 10 mature trees. During construction, 5 young men and women will be trained in all aspects of construction with a special focus on ISSB technology.
Community led initiatives have become the projects of choice for development organisations in Uganda. This shift empowers communities with a hand-up and not a hand-out.
Working with HYT has allowed NGOs to marry community participation and construction. A marriage previously thought impossible as external contractors typically dealt with construction works. Recruiting trainees from the local area allows HYT to bring the community into the process and leave them with valuable vocational skills.
A huge thank you to our partners, African Revival and the community of Marakulu.