November 14, 2023

Uganda 2024

DEID is going to be returning to the city of Kaihura, Uganda, located in the Kyenjojo District to construct the second level of a secondary school intended to serve the surrounding community. We will be partnering with DukeEngage and Bringing Hope to the Family for this summer project!

One of DEID’s core values is creating meaningful and sustainable relationships with the communities and organizations they work with. DEID has done just this with the NGO Bringing Hope to the Family, which we have been working with since 2014. Bringing Hope to the Family provides support for struggling families and operates schools, an orphanage, a clinic, and several other programs for the community in the town of Kaihura and surrounding villages in Uganda. More information about our partner can be found at http://bringinghope.org

Kaihura is a small town near Kyenjojo, Uganda. The majority of residents are subsistence farmers, growing Robusta coffee or staple foods such as potatoes and matooke. Agriculture dominates the economy, though in the “metro area” of town (a single section of dirt road with businesses clustered around it), there also exist a couple of restaurants, hardware stores, and artisan shops such as hairdressers, craft makers, and welders.

In 2014, the DEID student team designed and constructed two 20’ by 90’ vocational school classroom blocks in Kyongera, allowing the school to accommodate its new female students and expand their enrollment. In 2015, DEID returned and began construction of two more classroom blocks for the primary school, which the local community was able to complete. This infrastructure increased classroom space and improved sound insulation between classrooms.

In 2017, DEID worked in the village of Kanyegaramire to begin construction of a maternal and general health clinic to be operated by BHTF. This clinic provides easier access to health care and free maternal services for the thousands of families in Kanyegaramire (the next closest clinic is 90 minutes away). In 2018 and 2019, students returned to Kanyegaramire to begin construction on a vehicular bridge that connects two communities separated by a swamp. The bridge provides efficient and safe access to main roads for these communities. This directly improved accessibility to medical care, trade with other villages, and geographic mobility, even in the wet season when the old bridge usually floods.   

In 2023, our student team returned to Kaihura and construct the first floor of a new classroom building that will become the secondary school for Hope Academy Primary and Nursery School. During the Spring 2023 semester, students designed the school building with the assistance and oversight of our PE licensed faculty advisor, which was approved by the engineers in Kaihura. A team of five engineering students traveled for nine weeks where the worked alongside community members in the construction process. 

This upcoming summer 2024, our student team will return to Kaihura to complete the second level of the secondary school for Hope Academy Primary and Nursery School. This team is focused on travel preparation, cultural relations training, and construction training to get the next travel team ready to finish the second story of the school.  Since this project is part of DukeEngage, the team’s focus was to fill out the application and finalize the travel team. Now, the project managers, Alba and Ethan, are working on ethical cultural engagement resources and construction guidelines to inform project members.

The Uganda team meetings are on Sundays @ 4 PM in Wilkinson 132. If interested in joining the Uganda team, join the Uganda Google Drive and the Slack Channel (Slack Channel ID: C05RG146916). If you have any questions about the team, please reach out to Alba Uriarte (alba.uriarte@duke.edu) and Ethan Rheude (ethan.rheude@duke.edu).