A visit to Signpost Projects in Uganda
I recently joined Signpost International as Desk Officer to help with the management and support of SI’s overseas work. It has been great getting to know the Signpost team in Dundee and all the good work that is going on at the Roundhouse.
In June I was fortunate in having the opportunity to travel to Uganda and visit some of the projects that SI is supporting through our local partners, Voluntary Action for Development (VAD) and Action for Rural Womens Empowerment (ARUWE). Both organisations were wonderful hosts and organised a programme of visits to schools, agriculture and livelihoods projects. The projects SI supports are by definition in remote, rural and underserved communities, accessible only on very poor roads, so just getting there is a challenge in itself!
Lomokori Primary School
The first school I visited was at Lomokori in Napak District, where Signpost has provided substantial support to a community based primary school. What has been achieved here is truly remarkable, the school is now self sufficient in food with extensive gardens and a kitchen producing lunch for all the children. After a tour of the school, gardens, meeting staff and parents the children performed some wonderful songs and dance for us!
Stitching A New Tomorrow
We visited a new project called “Stitching a New Tomorrow”, generously funded by BFSS, in Nebbi District in the West of Uganda near the border with the DRC. This project which has only recently started and aims to help young girls who have had to drop out of school due to teenage pregnancy which is a very common problem in rural Uganda. These girls have experienced a traumatic life and are often left with babies and no support, being single parent is often stigmatised in Ugandan society.
ARUWE is helping by providing vocational education in tailoring so that they can eventually set up a small business making clothes and school uniforms. Some of the stories we heard from the girls was heart-breaking, this project is their only hope of becoming independent being able to earn some money to feed and clothe their children.
It was a wonderful experience to witness all the great work our partners are managing to achieve and demonstrates the impact of the donations and funding SI receives and how with relatively small resources can make a difference to peoples lives.
On our way back to Kampala with the ARUWE team we stopped at the spectacular Merchison Falls!
Overseas Desk Officer