By Innocent Anguyo
Patrick Bakka Male, the head teacher of the famous Kings College Budo on Saturday encouraged the school’s alumni to raise sh1b for an infrastructure project dubbed Tuzimbe.
Male made teh call while speaking to the press on Saturday, shortly after donors managed to raise sh80m out of a projected sh1b in a fundraising ceremony held at the institution, in Wakiso district.
The school is urgently seeking the money to complete and furnish a new multi-purpose administration block- boasting a central registry, an entertainment theatre, examination hall, offices, ICT laboratories, lavatories and study halls.
The imposing five-story facility stands next to the old administration block which is at the brink of being turned into a museum for the 109-year-old school established by missionaries in 1906 as a school for children of royals.
Despite the school’s alumni (Budonians) dominating a great deal of influential positions in nearly all the sectors in Uganda, Male noted that their financial commitment to the project did not match his expectation.
“They (alumni) liked the project and they have a positive attitude towards it but their financial contribution not has been up to my expectation. We contacted many people (alumni) through nearly all the means,” said Male.
Owing to the lukewarm giving by the alumni towards the project, Joel Sekabembe, the school’s board official who is in charge of the project said when they launched construction in 2012; they had to acquire a loan of sh2b from a financial institution, Oikocredit Uganda. The project is estimated to cost a total sh3.5b.
Male however said alumni who have not made contributions towards the project can still do so. “We are open to more financial contribution as our mobilisation continues. We also receive contributions in kind- such a materials and equipment,” said Male.
“We also encourage smaller contributions. The problem in Uganda is that people only want to make big contributions where they can be publicly recognised.”
At Saturday’s fundraiser, the chief guest, Eng. Godfrey Kaaya, a regional manager at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) contributed 20 sets of toilets and sh1m, urging old Budonians to dig deeper into their pockets and offer more support to the institution.
“You are where you are because of the school you went to. We should develop a culture of giving back to the schools that have shaped our lives. It is time to give enthusiastically,” said Kaaya.
Male and Kaaya thanked all those alumni of Budo who have so far made contributions towards construction of the building, with the former revealing that a wall of fame will be established to list names of all persons who gave more than sh1m.