We were approached to help with the design of a low cost school building in Uganda. It is to provide more classroom and accommodation for a rural school which caters largely for parentless kiddies.
When we analysed the issues a little more though we came to some interesting conclusions :
- The suggested building methods were not that effective
- The construction of the new building could also be used to develop techniques and products which could be used to build a business and a training centre to attach to the school, providing trade skills for the graduates.
The goal is now to go to Uganda, mid year, and identify materials, resources, markets and people that could help make that happen. Once that is done, we will be in a good position to :
- Determine the viability of any projects
- Design a building
- Supervise the construction and the development of a training centre and business
This is not a huge project, the current 12 staff are currently being funded at the cost of something like $900 / month, by the remarkable founder, an ordinary wage earning ex-Ugandan, now Australian,. A little money goes a very long way there. This is not going to solve Uganda’s problems, it is a country the size of Victoria, which will soon have twice the population of Australia. But it could give some kiddies a lot better future.
The first stage of a project like this is to collect information, in addition to seeing what is available in Uganda, we can look around in Australia, for resources that could help them. Some of the things which we would like to start identifying is :
- People who would like to donate some tools. Most of us have shelves of perfectly good corded tools and hand tools, that we no longer use because we now have the fancy battery gear.
- People who would like to donate some time, either here or in Uganda getting things moving. Someone may like to spend a few hours doing a web page, some may actually be happy to donate their time and expenses to come across, and spend a month or two teaching building techniques, teaching kids, setting up a computer system etc. Maybe a good Christmas present for one of your kids who has some transferable talents, and would benefit from seeing how the other half lives.
At this stage if you would like to send us a list of your Ozitos and Black and Deckers, or a general enquiry outlining what skills you may be in a position to donate at some point, we would cheerfully write it in pencil on the list, and if it eventually looks relevant get back to you.
What we do and how we go about will get clearer once we have been over to gather information.
For more general background, please have a look at their website : http://speciozachildrenshome.com/