Uganda

A life-changing experience for a team of four local people has now resulted in them going about changing the lives of people in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Ian Flower (SaltPeter Trust), Bryan Jenkins (Coleg Sir Gar), Delwyn Jones (TAD Builders Ltd) and Anthony Rees (CCTAL) all returned from Kachumbala, a small village in east Uganda, back in January with some startling findings. The team spent seven days in Kachumbala, 20 miles from the major town of Mbale. After visiting many villages and meeting the local people and hundreds of children, they decided that much more needed to be done.

Anthony is playing a major part in the project in conjunction with CCTAL and their partners, planning to build a Grinding Mill and Food Warehouse for the Kachumbala Grace Farmers Group. The Group is a co-operative of around 70 widows, which was found in 2011 with the intention of working together to improve living condition and climb out of poverty.

AIDS has devasted the population, and left many women to bring up their children alone. The SaltPeter Trust has provided finance to allow each co-operative member to plough, sow, weed and harvest one arce of cassava on their land, instead of hiring themselves out to work for neighbours for $1 per day.

When the team returned to the UK, they knew something had to be done. In a nutshell, one of Kachumbala’s biggest problems is storage. They have the ability to grow plenty of food, but there is a real shortage of adequate storage space, a lot of the food can’t be used – leaving the team working tirelessly to get something done for the people of Kachumbala. But it isn’t easy – projects like this cost money.

It’s not just the mill and storage facility that will be built. They are also planning to build fresh water facilities to combat the village’s short supply of clean water. With the nearest river two miles away amid soaring temperatures, a lack of water is a big problem for the local people. And it’s not just construction that they are hoping to help with. They want to forge links with Uganda with a view to helping even more people in the future. They also want to develop educational links right from primary school level through to links with regional colleges. It’s hoped that the project will help the locals to educate their children for generations to come in order to improve their own quality of life.

The team hope that the project will be life changing for both the people of Kachumbala and the team of construction workers who will be working on the project. The ability to produce and store food easily and safely will make a big difference to their lives and help in the fight against poverty.

The team raised £30,000 to fund the cost of materials and labour to build the Mill and Warehouse development and to provide a water facility to the village. They plan to send recently qualified construction apprentices from the region to work for a short period to complete the build. We are pleased to announce that the Mill and Warehouse has been completed and will be operational for the Kachambala Widows Group to utilise for the Harvest in August 2014.

For any more information or how to make a donation, please contact Anthony Rees on 01554 748181.

Building Skills Shared Apprentices have just returned from a charity project in Kachumbala, Uganda with memories to last a lifetime. Various trades from Cyfle Shared Apprentices have been helping to build a maternity ward with charity EFOD South West Wales, helping to make a difference to the people in Uganda. Putting their skills to good use, the Shared Apprentices have assisted on site withthe Bricklaying, Carpentry, Plastering, Plumbing and Electrical work on the project, purchasing products and supervision of the local people (50 workers per day). Whilst the Shared Apprentices were working in Kachumbala, they have made friends with local youngsters who were also working on the project. On their last days of working on the scheme the Cyfle Apprentices would choose to donate most of their belongings (all tools and clothes) to the workers who assisted on the project. One of the quotes from a Bricklaying Shared Apprentice Sam Shaw was: ‘This was a life changing experience for us all and we look forward to seeing the Maternity Ward completed in 2017, with new babies born in a first class facility which will support the local and wider communities.

The Maternity Ward is now in its final phase and Cyfle Building Skills is hoping to send a group of current and ex shared Apprentices out as a final snagging team to check on the progress and hopefully this will then enable the handover and opening of the Maternity Ward to take place in October 2017