Phil Shipman, Sinodun Rotary Club 27th September 2011

Phil Shipman, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Sinodun, visited us on Tuesday 27 September 2011 to talk about his club’s involvement in Uganda with CHIFCOD (Child to Family Community Development Organisation) in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Bugolobi, Kampala, Uganda.

The Rotary Club of Bugolobi chartered in 2002 and is part of District 9200 and now has 35 members. CHIFCOD is a not-for-profit organisation incorporated and located in Uganda. It is supported by Kirima Limited and the volunteer programme is operated by Volunteer Uganda Limited, which is based in the UK.

CHIFCOD’s ambition is “to empower children through education to rise out of the cycle of poverty in which they were locked”. By the middle of 2002 CHIFCOD had established two primary schools, a community health programme and a number of village banks. CHIFCOD has built and now runs four primary schools (Kirima Parents, Nyakabungo, Nyamarama and Rutenga), one high school (Great Lakes High school) and a college (Great Lakes College). Generous giving from the UK, Germany and the USA sponsors over half of the pupils at these schools. Funding has also helped build health centres, irrigate land and put in place other community programmes that would otherwise not be possible.

Hamlet Mbabazi and Julia Challender have recently published a book titled ‘Take My Hand’ which charts the history of CHIFCOD from three families setting up a primary school in a mud and wattle hut until today.

The Rotary Club of Sinodun has already supported one project – the Kiswa Nursery and Kindergarten Play Centre where the ground was cleared and new equipment installed. £4,000 more is still needed however to complete the project. The project that Sinodun is currently looking to get off the ground is in the Butabika area. The community presents serious challenges for little children – it is located in the vicinity of the national mental referral hospital that presents a serious risk to the children where there are at least 300 under the age of 16. On the other side of Butabika hospital is the massive slum of Kasokosa, a very deprived area where there is little employment, drug pushers and violent groups. The goal is to provide recreation and some educational equipment that can be used by younger children under the supervision of parents or youth mentors. This will enable the children to live a normal life of play and out-of-school learning without the risk of being harmed by either mentally ill persons or those young people in the slum are who are intentionally looking to push the younger children into anti-social behaviour.