Posted on October 23rd, 2018
Work has begun at HYT’s latest 1V project! In preparation for our Ground-Breaking event -30/10/18 – we caught up with Florence, the Headteacher, to learn more about Kawolo’s history and understand the challenges faced by the school.
The school was founded in 1945 by the Church of Uganda, originally as a kindergarten. In 1958, the London born Arch-bishop of Uganda, Leslie Brown was passing on the Kampala-Jinja highway and noticed the little school. A recent storm had torn the roofing from the make shift classrooms, the Arch-bishop took a shine to the school and funded the construction of permeant structures.
The classroom block, staff accommodation and church; built by the Arch-bishop 60 years ago are still standing strong. Over time, however, in line with Uganda’s population growth, the school has outgrown the infrastructure gifted to it, all those years ago.
More recently, the school is government aided under the Universal Primary Education initiative, awarding the school 2.8m UGX ($750) annually. This leaves little in the budget for school improvements or expansion.
The 220 pupils, ages 3-14, attending the school are crammed into a building designed for 4 classrooms. Classrooms are partitioned with wooden panels to accommodate two year groups in each room.
One of the greatest challenges faced by the school is the proximity to the Kampala-Jinja Highway. The road is the main trading route through landlocked Uganda, commercial and private vehicles speed past the school 24/7.
The road is a dangerous place, children are vulnerable to traffic accidents and abductions on their commute. In response to this danger Florence began accepting boarders in 2015, children walking long distances or through sugar plantations were welcomed to stay full time.
With a lack of funding, the school was unable to construct boarding facilities. The Headmistress and five teachers gave up their onsite accommodation which now serves as makeshift boarding houses.
Kawolo’s improvised boarding facilities have allowed the school to roll out a new initiative designed to help children with unstable or abusive home lives. Currently, 3 girls and 2 boys board full time at the school free of charge. Florence believes the program has kept children enrolled in school that otherwise would have dropped out.
The future looks bright at Kawolo Primary school, a recent WASH project carried out by World Vision installed two 20,000L water tanks and a shiny new Latrine with hand washing facilities. HYT now has personnel on the ground, ready to bring sustainable construction to a school that thoroughly deserves it.
School staff, the community and pupils have been wonderful in the early stages of the project. Although they had never heard of ISSB, they all share our concern for Uganda’s forest and welcome the new technology with enthusiastic curiosity.
First on the agenda: A two classroom block which will accommodate years 6 and 7. This will allow the lower years to spread out through the existing buildings.
HYT invites any interested party to visit the site to learn more about ISSB technology and HYT. The Ground-Breadking ceremony will occur on 30/10/2018, please email office@HYTuganda.com to confirm your attendance.
Posted on October 2nd, 2018
HYT’s 2017 Ashden Award brought the charity’s work to an international audience. Committed to spreading sustainable Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block technology far and wide, the Trust will now use the £10,000 award to fund a showcase project.
Uganda’s young and growing population demands a huge number of schools, many of which struggle with funding and overcapacity. Using environmentally friendly technology, HYT aims to fill gaps in funding, manpower and expertise to address the issues faced by schools throughout Uganda.
The Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) is the technology at the core of HYT’s work. It’s a robust, attractive and affordable building material which avoids the deforestation and high carbon emissions of the conventional burnt brick.
How does HYT choose a school to partner with?
There are a number of factors considered when isolating one school out of many hundreds. The process starts with data collection, HYT casts a wide net by surveying many schools.
The surveys provide a wealth of data and allow our team to recognise schools with a particular demand for new facilities. Key considerations are:
- The numbers of children per classroom
- The ratio of pupils to toilets
- The distance to a water source
- The time pupils spend collecting water
- The monthly water bill (if any)
- The number of boarders and staff accommodated on site
- Kitchen facilities
- Water, sanitation and hygiene
Feedback from this initial phase narrows the search. Kawolo Primary School stood out as their 220 pupils are crammed into shared classrooms, the monthly water bill is exceptionally high and teachers have been displaced from their housing to accommodate male boarders.
The next stage is the visit: meeting the school administration and testing the soil to ensure it is suitable for ISSB, luckily Kawolo’s soil was perfect!
One village projects are a partnership between the school, the local community and HYT. The school and community provide secure accommodation for HYT masons, ensure construction equipment is stored safely and provides three meals a day. The partnership gives ownership over the project to each stakeholder group and encourages maintenance of structures long into the future.
The Kawolo school administration, led by Headmistress Florence Wauyaua Luziuda, have been incredibly receptive during the initial phases of the project. The school is beautifully kept, and it has been a delight to meet both staff and pupils.
The Richard Feilden Foundation
This project is blessed with an added partner: The Richard Feilden Foundation, a charitable arm of the international award-winning architects FCB studios. They contribute expertise, creativity and a fierce pursuit of innovative design. Last week John Cleverly, a representative from the foundation, led a stakeholder participation exercise designed to spark the creativity of staff and pupils to enhance the school’s learning environment.
All parties are extremely excited for the project to progress. As a showcase project, HYT is determined to deliver exceptional structures which meet the school’s needs and act as advocates for ISSB technology.
HYT would like to invite interested parties to learn more about our work in sustainable construction. To arrange a visit to an active construction site, located halfway between Kampala and Jinja, please email email@example.com.