Charity Work in Uganda

A two week charity work and cultural exchange to Uganda.

Sixth-form pupils, together with members of staff from Shebbear College undertake a two week cultural exchange to Uganda every couple of years. Each pupil has to apply for the opportunity to participate in the trip, attend an interview with a panel to justify their place on the team and fund-raise to cover the cost of their trip and a contribution towards the charities they would be visiting in country. This expedition provides a truly life-changing experience.

Our team visited three primary schools on the outskirts of Kampala, and experienced first-hand the impact of the Millennium Development Goal of achieving Universal Primary Education. Uganda has embraced this aim and all children now receive free education at primary school level.

Although there has been a huge increase in the number of children attending the schools, this has not been matched by resources or recruitment of more teaching staff, some of the classes had up to 100 pupils. The team found the high value the pupils place on education despite limited resources quite overwhelming. Many of the pupils they spoke to had ambitions to be teachers, doctors or lawyers.

During previous trips the team also visited Kira Farm, which is run by Amigos, the Barnstaple-based charity founded by Old Shebbearian Phil Pugsley. Kira Farm is responsible for the vocational education of approximately 40 students aged between 14-24 who spend a year there learning catering, tailoring, carpentry and agricultural skills.

The team also spent some time with charities supported by Shebbear College on the previous exchanges, including VAD (Voluntary Action for Development) and Katosi Women Development Trust. They were involved in some fieldwork organised by these worthwhile community projects, and were able to see evidence of good use of the money raised by the school.