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Youth volunteers build local schools

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th June 2004 03:00 AM

Life at school was nothing but another headache for Nakaseeta Church of Uganda Primary School pupils in Mityana. The school had only three completed classrooms to cater for over 200 pupils. Then Raleigh International Support Group paid a visit in May 2004. Today, two rooms, the completion of which w

Life at school was nothing but another headache for Nakaseeta Church of Uganda Primary School pupils in Mityana. The school had only three completed classrooms to cater for over 200 pupils. Then Raleigh International Support Group paid a visit in May 2004. Today, two rooms, the completion of which was like a distant dream, are nearing completion, thanks to Raleigh.

“We first carried out feasibility studies before we went for the project,” Ronald Tana, the executive director of the group says. Regarding construction, the NGO sought support from, among others sponsors, Roofings, which donated 200 iron sheets for roofing the two blocks. More help was received from GTZ and the area MP, Nshimye Sebutulo and the group’s patron, John Nagenda, senior presidential advisor on the media. “Our target is to complete the building and if possible, start another one,” says Tana.

Children and teachers of the school were delighted by this gesture.

“The project had stalled for years. It was like a dream when these people came and helped us,” says Edward Kizito, a parent and leader at the school.

The group has also aided Prince Kimbugwe Foundation to construct classroom blocks for a school at Matembe on the border between Luwero and Kayunga district.

Kimbugwe foundation is a non-governmental organisation, which assists the underprivileged people with education scholarships.

Kimbugwe, the director of the foundation, was delighted by the gesture.

Early this year, the NGO working hand-in-hand with state house poverty alleviation project, did charity work in Gomba, Mpigi district. “We went and helped people to construct cheap, but decent houses. We made bricks for them,” Tana says.

The area LC3 official, Edward Kabanda, says the voluntary action of Support Group Uganda, has changed the lives of many people in the area. “Sleeping in good houses means that people will think better, thus work better,” Kabanda says. The group has also done some work at the Uganda Wild-life Education Center (UWEC).

The group also helped the centre to set up a herbal medicine garden, which has over 1,000 species of disease curing herbs. It also helped the centre renovate its parking area. With a charitable heart and a generous hand, Raleigh International Support Group Uganda, has helped change the lives of many Ugandans.

Raleigh International is a UK-based youth development charitable organisation. Support groups constitute Raleigh International’s core charitable initiative world-wide.

They were set up in 1986 by Robert Howlett, who was director of venture division as a means for volunteers to overcome their post expedition blues, and to enable them continue with their charitable work by giving something back to communities through local community and environmental projects.

“Raleigh International Support group Uganda is one of the international groups. It was launched in 1996 after an expedition by Raleigh International in Uganda. It is basically a voluntary organisation,” says Tana. They engage in activities include community development, environment management and adventure.

Besides recruiting Ugandan youths for the voluntary work, the group regularly gets youth volunteers from different parts of the world. Annual membership fee is sh5,000.

This includes the group’s identity card. Life membership fee is sh50,000, associate members pay 5,000 while corporate membership is shs100,000. How different is Raleigh International Support Group Uganda from all the phony, cheating NGOs?

“We have achieved a lot. We have helped many groups, institutions and individuals. We do what we are supposed to do with the donations given to us,” says Tana.

He adds, “We would have done more, but we are held back by financial problems.” He calls upon everyone or any organisation, which can help them to come and do so.

He says the volunteers need tents for shelter during the expeditions, medical kits, stretchers, Stoves, Cameras, water purifiers and financial support.

Among the projects they intend to implement include a one to two weeks long expeditions of about 100 youth volunteers, to homes of people with disabilities, work in slums in Kampala, expeditions of volunteer youth to participate in building houses and health centres for the poor .

Youth volunteers build local schools

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