How can non-profits allocate support that truly aligns with a community’s priorities and efforts? One method is identifying and supporting existing community projects, such as schools.
Koboko District, in the extreme North West corner of Uganda borders both South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Heavily laden trucks inch their way through Koboko’s steep terrain carrying timber, agricultural machinery and other raw materials between the three countries.
Turning off the tarmac, you leave the signs of industry and trade behind you. A seemingly endless expense of hills and small thatched dwellings is home to the majority of Koboko residents. These rural communities battle with the harsh semi-arid land to sustain themselves. There is no electricity or piped water.
In these rural communities African Revival identified an enormous shortfall in primary education. Thousands of young children had no schools to attend. Many of the communities came together and started community led schools. Temporary structures housed children while untrained, unpaid teachers struggled to teach the national curriculum.
HYT and African Revival entered a partnership in 2020, dedicated to improving the school infrastructure and resources in Koboko. Using HYT’s climate-friendly Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks (ISSB) three schools received a classroom block, three sets of latrines and a water tank. The ISSB is an innovative alternative to the traditional burnt-brick, whose production is the second largest driver of deforestation in Uganda.
During this project HYT trained 36 young men and women in all aspects of construction with a special focus on ISSB. In nearby towns the demand for skilled masons is high, these graduates have secured a skill that can earn them a decent living for years to come.
In an exciting addition to HYT’s typical construction and training, 300 trees were planted in each school. The trees were carefully selected to survive in Koboko’s harsh climate and will provide the children with shade and fruit.
Many thanks to our fantastic supporters and our partners African Revival. Please follow this link to our video summary of our first Koboko school in 2020!