Phil Shipman, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Wallingford, Sinodun and District, spoke to us about his latest project in Uganda. A visitor to Uganda for many years, and a passionate supporter of development projects run there in partnership with local Rotary clubs, many of them established by Phil’s friend of almost 30 years, the Hon Rev Canon Hamlet Mbabazi.
Uganda is a country with plenty of water but many have no access to drinking water. Phil told us that Uganda is a land of opportunity that needs support capital to usher its youth into prosperity through entrepreneurship. The country has a population of 34 million with more than 70% under 30 years. Many of them have little education, no land and a need to pay for healthcare, housing and food. In a high unemployment country where more than 80% live on subsistence agriculture, social economic dignity demands that youths are trained and equipped for micro-enterprises on Uganda’s rich land resources.
Phil told us about the latest project to support children in schools. The Ugandan government has cut funding to schools for the provision of school meals and this leads to increased non-attendance. A group of 12 school children could be given a small plot of land at school and this could be used to learn to grow vegetables and keep animals. A grant of £300 is sufficient to buy animals, plants and tools for the group.
Phil is working with a new Rotary Club in the Kanunga area in the south west of Uganda. The Rotary Club of Kanunga Bwindi Forest was formed in 2012 and Phil was one of the very early visitors to the club.
The plan is to support 6 schools initially with the Group Food Growing Project, so the project target is £1,800.
July 2014 update
Phil and the Rotary Club of Sinodun, Wallingford and District succeeded in raising a total of £900, with support from Sinodun Inner Wheel Club and Oxford Spires Rotary Club. This was matched by a Rotary District Grant of £900 and so the target of £1,800 was reached.
Kanunga Bwindi Forest Rotary Club provided the budget figures for each school:
- 5 goats or pigs,
- 20 roofing iron sheets,
- 4 bags of cement,
- 500 pieces of timber,
- 100 fruit trees
- Tools = £300
The first school has received its grant under the Group Food Growing Project and we will hear more about progress over the next few months. The photo below is of the first school in this project, Nkakabungo School. “Harambee” in Swahili means “Let’s Work Together”.