Uganda

This is where it all started for us as ‘Teams4U’, in a small district called Kumi, a four hour drive north from Kampala, past Jinja and the source of the Nile.

Here through experience and hard grit, we have developed our model of community development that we base all our other projects around the world on. This model focuses on four key areas: Education, Empowerment, Health and Training, which we believe is the best and only way of successfully combating poverty.

“Since my first visit Uganda has become a part of me. This year it felt like coming home”

Zsofia, volunteer, Aug 2015

Develop with Dignity

Providing sanitary wear, underwear and Menstrual Health Education to school girls in Uganda. One of our main concerns, whilst experiencing the reality of working in Uganda, is how do we encourage and support girls to go to school and stay in education?

There are 10,500 schoolgirls aged 12-16 in the Kumi District. Over 6,300 will drop out of education before they graduate. One of the biggest reasons for this is the estimated minimum of 24 school days a year each of them lose because of menstruation. The rural shops don’t sell sanitary towels and even if they did 1 pack costs more than 1 person’s daily wage (employment rates as low as 1 in 7 in Kumi) and are absolutely no use if the child doesn’t own underwear.

At the end of 2015 a trip from Teams4U visited the Kumi district of Uganda to work with some of the school girls who regularly miss an average of 3 school days a month due to lack of proper sanitary protection.

The Solution
Since August 2015 we have begun distributing re-usable 12 month supply kits of sanitary towels to schoolgirls in Kumi alongside knickers and bras.

Our survey of over 600 schoolgirls who have benefited from our programme has shown a 45% jump in school attendance!

How can you support?
Just £5 provides 1 schoolgirl with her pack of re-usable sanitary pads. Together we can stop school drop-outs, we can stop that ‘ week of shame’ and we can give 20% of the academic year back to these children.

Vocational Training

In February 2017 we had our first 30 students enroll on our 2yr tailoring course in Mukongoro, Kumi, Uganda. Before this training school opened, any young adult looking for vocational skills would have to leave home and family to travel and stay in Soroti for the duration of their course. For many the financial strain of accommodation and travel, on top of course fees, is too much and therefore makes the Vocational College in Soroti not a viable option.

Our plan is to build a comparable vocational college in Kumi offering trade-skills in Masonry, Joinery, Mechanics, Hair-Dressing & Catering in addition to our Tailoring module. All students are also taught numeracy, literacy, English, Computing and Business skills to help give them the best head-start when they graduate. Our objective is to build the college so it will become self-sufficient on course fees and products/services sold by the students as they train.

We strongly believe by providing these young adults with trade-skills, we are helping them achieve financial security.

Cervical Cancer Smears

Each year 275,000 women die from Cervical Cancer, the majority of these in developing countries where access to cervical cancer screening is rare. Indeed most of the communities we visit are not aware of the risk and often by the time the women realise they’re ill, it’s too late.

It has been documented that the occurrence of Cervical Cancer is higher in populations where HIV is prevalent and yet we know that if Cervical Cancer is detected early it can be treated successfully. Since starting this programme in August 2014 we have potentially saved the lives of 39 women who would otherwise have died of unrecognised Cervical Cancer and educated a further 1,000 women about the causes, risks and factors that may predispose them to cancer of the cervix.

Jack Standard Primary School

We met Jackson Mayanja, in 2006, whilst he was desperately trying to fund and build a school for the children and orphans in his home village of Nangunga. From his starting point of classrooms cobbled together from rough planks of wood we started a journey with him to build a school that now educates over 616 children from Nursery to Yr 7.

With the help of several Construction Teams, T4U have financed brick classrooms, a toilet block, dormitory, nursery block, rainwater collection systems and solar-powered electricity, plus housing for the teachers. This project is now completed.

Local Education Authority Training

Part of who we are as T4U is to see organisations and individuals who have the vision to improve their communities equipped to succeed. We can’t be in Uganda all the time and in fact we don’t want to be because we are not interested in creating any kind of reliance on charity but rather empower those who are working and investing in their local communities to increase what they are accomplishing by providing specific job-related training courses.

Since 2014 we have taken volunteers from the business sector in the UK to run courses on finance, asset and staff management for the Local Education Authority in Kumi. There are 150 government-funded schools in the district and our first course met 36 of the regions head-teachers. One of the most powerful and impacting parts of the course was teaching them how to budget (many never had) so that they wouldn’t run out of funds by the end of term and therefore could pay their teachers!

Non-Government Organisation Training

Since we started working in Kumi we have been invited to bring specific corporate based training to leaders and staff of various NGOs in the district, particularly the local branches of the Aids Orphans Eductation Trust (AOET) and the Aids Information Centre (AIC). Over the years we’ve delivered courses in Finance Management, Human Resources and Asset Management to their regional managers.

“It has given me a good package of information to become an effective manager – I can go away and put it into action. I have already began to implement what I have learnt”

Zacharia Muddu, Head of Health Department.

Our aim is to help local organisations, with the vision of improving their communities, develop in the areas they feel they need support and, through the skill set of our UK volunteers, we tailor the training given to meet their specific requirements.