Kihembe Secondary School: A festive update

As many of you will be aware, since October, we have been supporting the build of the very first secondary school in Kihembe, a project that has been almost two years in the planning. In a catchment area of approximately 15,000 people, Kihembe currently has 6 primary schools but no secondary schools, with the nearest secondary school 10km away. With transport options limited, children who graduate from primary school very seldom make it to secondary school – an alarming reality that our partners in Uganda are urgently seeking to address.

Bearing this in mind, we have partnered with Opportunity Africa and Kihembe Development Association to support the build of Kihembe Vocational Secondary School. Much like the health centre project that we have recently completed, this project is an example of co-production in practice; we are collaborating with community members in a participatory, inclusive way, to achieve outcomes together that have been articulated by the community themselves. Our project plans outline a five phase process, three of which we have already completed. Phase one saw the community come together to fundraise and lay the literal foundations for the school, clearing the land that was donated by the government and doing the initial labour required to start the building work. A short video showing the community members coming together can be viewed here.

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(Work begins, October 2016)

Phase two, which was funded by The Zuri Project and The Rotary Clubs of Chorley Astley & Knowle and Dorridge, saw the initial structure being built up to the roof level. This phase was completed at the start of December, and you can see the current state of the structure in the pictures below. The third phase was funded by the community members thanks to mobilisation from Opportunity Africa, and has allowed three pit latrines to be dug and installed at the secondary school site, one for boys, one for girls and one for teachers. Going into the Christmas period, we are absolutely thrilled to have the shell of the secondary school completed, with ambitious plans in place to complete the building work by the end of February!

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(The start of phase two, November 2016)

Whilst this project is community led, it wouldn’t be possible without the incredibly generous support of our donors from The Rotary Club, DGCOS & HIES and also our passionate and dedicated team of volunteers, who help us to arrange fundraising events throughout the year. We had a wonderful time at our pub quiz last week, raising over £500 to contribute to phase four of the secondary school project. As it’s Christmas, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all sincerely for your generosity and for the unconditional support that you give to our projects in Uganda. I hope you are as proud as we are of some of the wonderful things that we’ve achieved together in 2016, and are looking forward to what 2017 will bring.

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(The secondary school structure, December 2016)

From everyone at The Zuri Project, we wish you a joyous festive period and a prosperous New Year.

Ross @rossoross

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