The Luwero Community Project, Uganda
We are privileged to be partners with Gabriel Kijjambu and his team in the amazing, life-changing work of their church, schools, workshops, farm, clinic and orphanage in Luwero, Uganda. The Luwero Project is the ongoing product of one man’s vision for his community: a community devastated by civil war and still riven by social, cultural and sectoral divisions. Gabriel’s personal journey from boy-soldier to pastor is extraordinary. Having overcome personal tragedies along the way he is humble, unassuming and inspirational.
He founded the project in 2003 and is located about a 3-hour drive from the capital, Kampala and comprises;
- a nursery school,
- a primary school,
- a secondary school,
- new workshops to provide vocational education,
- a farm,
- a clinic,
- a church,
- a kitchen and dining hall,
- staff accommodation,
- new dormitories for boarders (including orphans) are in the process of being built,
- a football pitch, volleyball court and netball court.
The project is run almost entirely on funds raised and donated by supporters – the significant majority of whom are Scottish partners.
Gabriel came to visit Duncanrig in 2003 to ask for our support. We were keen to get involved in his plans and donated enough money for a water pump to be installed in the middle of the project. This allowed the pupils access to fresh water, pumped from 30 metres below ground. Further financial contributions included donating a significant amount of money towards the building of the secondary school.
Since 2014 we have sent parties of S6 pupils and staff over every October to provide physical support to develop the project. Our continued support has allowed us to contribute physically to work to be done on a variety of projects;
- the secondary school so that local children can continue with their education once they finish primary school,
- the dining hall so that the children can eat indoors,
- the new church building,
- workshops to allow the delivery of vocational education,
- developing the farm so the children can have a healthy diet,
- clearing the sides of the local road to provide a safe route to school for the pupils,
- sponsoring pupils who would otherwise be unable to attend the school.
In October 2017, as part of our visit to support the project, our parents funded and arranged the filling and transportation of a container to go to the project. We had tremendous support from sponsors and partners and we are particularly grateful to the firms who supplied, checked, fumigated the container for free and who are transporting it to a UK port, also for free, before sending it off to Kampala, via Mombasa.
The container has been packed with ……………
- An organ for the new church,
- A pulpit for the new church,
- A dentist’s chair to facilitate oral hygiene checking,
- 6 diesel generators,
- 10 solar panels and associated “gubbins” to make them work,
- 10 laptop computers
- Water collection systems to provide proper (cold water!) showers for the pupils,
- Building and decorating materials,
- Tractor tyres,
- 100+ boxes of clothes, shoes, medical supplies, stationery and bed linen collected from staff, pupils, parents and friends of the party,
- 8 bikes
- 20 babies buggies (courtesy of Glasgow Airport unclaimed property)
In October 2018, 18 pupils and 4 teachers from Duncanrig Secondary School Visited the Luwero community project in Uganda. For the past year pupils, parents and staff have been working hard to raise funds to support the Luwero Project. In total the group donated over £20,000 and have for the first time, established the “Duncanrig Luwero Scholarship Bursary Scheme” that will be used to support those in the most need who have no access to education.
In addition to the fundraising the group managed to collect a larger number of donations including:
- Clothing, shoes, school bags, football strips and sportswear,
- Medical Equipment and supplies
- Clocks for the church,
- Stationary for the school
- Oral hygiene products,
- Learning and Teaching resources,
- Cleaning and maintenance equipment,
- Building and Decorating equipment,
- Games and sport equipment,
- Mosquito nets.
Whilst in Luwero the group were involved in supporting the learning and teaching taking place in the nursery, primary and secondary school. This involves delivering lessons, preparing resources for teachers and marking pupils work. The group also took part in playing games with the children and undertaking a number of activities including: harvesting coffee beans from Gabriel’s coffee farm, moving and preparing timber for the new vocational college, taking part in the delivery of church services and helping to feed animals in the farm.
Gabriel and his team of trustees have overcome so many obstacles and have very high ambitions for the future of the project. From its humble beginnings, under a single tree, to the vastness of the present community surpasses all expectations. It doesn’t stop here as Gabriel’s vision is to expand further. Small gestures of generosity here, whether it be buying a £1 Luwero wristband, participating in non-uniform days, donating clothes or stationery or just helping us spread awareness goes so far over there.
Thank you all parents, pupils, teachers and families for being a part of our partnership. It’s hard to describe, without resorting to clichés, the change that you can make over there from something as insignificant as giving £1. Collectively, Duncanrig has contributed massively and we should all be proud of ourselves.
The bond we have is priceless; please continue your support. The fact that our pupils and staff make the effort to visit the Project is a physical reminder that folk over here in East Kilbride think enough about them to want to help and that is one of the greatest gifts we could give them.
More information can be found at: https://luwerocommunityprojects.org/
Please take some time to look at the powerpoint presentation to see the project for yourself.
Click on the link opposite to view pupil reflections on Luwero 2017