UgandAid provides opportunities and sponsors vulnerable young Ugandan people to undertake vocational skills training at NVI. It has invested in the village for nine years and has constructed latrines, houses, chicken coops, pig pens and protected water supplies for people who the community has identified as needing support. This year, the community requested a storage facility for cereal and grain to enable them to sell to larger buyers.
With some of the money raised, the charity bought paint and rollers to redecorate the mechanics classrooms at NVI and were able to buy the necessary materials to build the community cereal and grain storage facility. Enabling the community to sell to larger buyers will hopefully help them to build their self-sufficiency by increasing their combined income potential to better meet their varying needs.
The team get to work redecorating the classroom
The Ugandan building team, many of whom were on work placements from NVI, were very good at teaching Emily how to lay bricks and mortar, ensuring that the courses were straight and level.
The money that RSK raised was enough to sponsor a new student through two years of vocational training at NVI. Nineteen-year-old Amos Ssewankambo, who has gone through most of his secondary education, will now be able to complete the final two years of the welding and sheet metal work course at NVI to achieve his diploma. Amos is the eldest of nine siblings and was chosen for sponsorship because his mother could not continue to pay for his secondary education after his father’s death in 2015.
“It was lovely to meet Amos and see him settling into NVI, and it was heart warming to see how grateful he was to have the opportunity to learn,” comments Emily. “He would love some of the volunteers to go out again next year to see how he is progressing in his studies and, once he has graduated, would like to visit and work in different countries.
“We spent time with all of the UgandAid-sponsored students and took part in a sports day, handing out ice cream in 30°C heat. Amos is part of NVI’s football team and, although I know little about football, he seemed very good. He told me that his favourite team is Liverpool FC,” Emily continues. “We also visited schools to give talks on eye health and got involved in Sunday church services, where the Ugandan singing and dancing was amazing!”
While in Uganda, Emily also met with RSK chief scientist Lucy Thomas and geotechnical engineer Adam Foss, who are part of RSK’s East Africa operations. They were introduced to the acting head of NVI, Edison Ongerep, who shared his vision for the school. His aim is to get NVI up to the standards required for graduating students to go straight into the industry with Ugandan and international companies. He realises that there is a gap in its current curriculum and hopes that, with RSK’s help and advice, this gap can be reduced. He wants to introduce internationally recognised certificates such as City and Guilds into the school and create possible future opportunities with RSK for training staff or in industrial placements for students. Health, safety and environmental issues were also highlighted and Edison is keen to tackle these and get NVI moving in the right direction. It will be a long process for NVI, especially when the students cannot afford new clothes, let alone personal protective equipment, but the staff’s determination and vision is resolute.