Before sending funds, Dominic and Lizzie discuss the priorities at KAASO and how your donations will deliver the greatest impact.
Before sending funds, Dominic and Lizzie discuss the priorities at KAASO and how your donations can deliver the greatest impact.
Unity is Strength has three trustees, Lizzie, Tom and Jane Hulton-Harrop. Before sending any funds, Lizzie requests budgets from Dominic Mukwaya, the Founder and Director of St Paul KAASO, to see where funds are needed. The trustees discuss these needs and, with Dominic, decide how the funds should be spent.
When the funds have been spent, Dominic sends the trustees a report and set of accounts detailing the expenditure. We have regular calls to discuss how things are going and how the projects are impacting the school and the wider community.
If you have any questions about Unity is Strength and/or would like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Photo from left: Rose Mukwaya, Jane Hulton-Harrop, Dominic Mukwaya and Tom Hulton-Harrop in Uganda, October 2017
Our response to COVID and micro-enterprises at KAASO
KAASO suffered hugely during COVID, with the school closed by government mandate from March – October 2020 and then again from June 2021 – January 2022.
When the children were back in school, while it was wonderful to have them back in education, KAASO faced major challenges to meet the strict COVID safety measures, which placed a heavy burden of additional costs upon them. For example, hand washing stations had to be erected around the school as well as temperature guns purchased for daily temperature checks and a constant stream of disinfectant needed to comply with the twice-daily sterilising that took place in each classroom.
We, along with other supporters of KAASO, set up a COVID Relief Fund to alleviate some of the pressure from these challenges. Funds were used primarily to purchase the mandatory items listed above, but also as seed funds to set up micro-enterprises for the staff and teachers at KAASO during the national lockdowns.
One of our biggest fears about the school closures was that if the teachers and staff were not able to earn an income there, they would have to find non-teaching jobs elsewhere and may not have been able to return when schools reopened. The micro-enterprises were an excellent solution to this. Not only did they enable the teachers and staff to earn enough money to stay at KAASO, they brought about many other benefits.
The success of the micro-enterprise initiative attracted national attention and has consequently been visited and endorsed by the Commissioner of the Ministry of Education. It has been heralded as a national example of self-sufficiency and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In July 2021, a piece of land was allocated to a group of teachers; they built a pigsty and were able to purchase two pigs. The teachers cared for the animals and learned animal husbandry skills, diversifying their own employment skills. Caring for the animals gave the teachers purpose and an activity to focus on, plus an opportunity to advance their own knowledge in a new discipline and collaborate with their colleagues.
As of October 2022, there are 26 pigs and 17 piglets, which are all doing well. Four pigs were sold at this time for slaughter at 1,365,000 UGX for all (approximately £323), which is a good price in the area.
The ambition is to create a project which is self-sufficient and catalyses a multiplier effect that would enhance local market activity, enhance local incomes and contribute to food security. This small but sustainable initiative has established a new and lasting income-generating activity for the school community at KAASO.
The brick-making project offered an alternative activity for teachers to diversify their skills, support local infrastructure development, and generate an income. In the initial stages, four teachers worked with Dominic to build a brick kiln on the school grounds. They learnt how to make bricks giving them something to do and something to learn!
Bricks have been sold on the local market in Kyotera and have made enough money for Dominic to expand the project. He has used some of the proceeds to buy more land that he will own entirely, reducing land hire costs. This new bit of land is also better suited for brick-making. Dominic would like to develop this project so he can supply construction companies locally with bricks and create more job opportunities for young people in the village.
Chair hire business
This is a project that Dominic has wanted to run for a long time. Community events are popular and there’s always a need for chairs. We provided the funds to buy 200 chairs which they can rent out to bring in additional income for KAASO.
We had a catch-up with Rose about how they were getting on with it so far and she said, “It’s such an amazing project, we thank you very much. They have been rented out twice and it’s going so well.”
Support St Paul KAASO
These projects will become self-sustainable, but it is early days and there are still costs associated with each project. If you are able to make a donation to support these projects, we would be very grateful. Thank you.