Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Uganda Humanist School: Construction Begins On Nursery!

Day four of KHPS Nursery building construction.
Awesome news from Kasese Humanist Primary School in Uganda. Although the total fundraising target has not yet been met ($5,495/$35,000), a portion of the money raised so far has been forwarded to the school in advance.

So construction of the school's new permanent home Rukoki, northeast of Kasese, Uganda has begun!

I'll be including some extracts from e-mails I have received from Bwambale Robert, Director of the school.

So as of this post, we are just complete day four of construction of the second building on the new site - the nursery. Construction on this building has been started in advance of the planned March 2014 date because of a tangible need in the region for its services by local parents. Bwambale has been able to secure some 60,000 bricks, sand and murram.
The locals were more interested in seeing a school operate in their area. This has motivated me to listen to the locals and act as a responsible citizen after all some funds to facilitate this activity are available. However, we might manage to put a few classrooms and as our fundraiser is still at large and moving slowly, we remain optimistic and do encourage more people to support this cause.
Builders taking initial measurements and defining borders on day one.
The idea here is that as more people in the world humanist and atheist community see the real life progress made in this project. Hopefully this will bring more momentum to the fundraising effort and hopefully things will pick up and maintain steam.

The project is ambitious and this is merely the second building in a planned campus that will provide a secular education for local children from nursery to primary levels. This would make it the only Humanist school in the region offering these early childhood services -- if not in the whole country, as I know of no other Humanist school in Uganda offering early childhood education based solely on science and humanism without religious bias.

Recently drafted building plans submitted, the city authorities gave Bwambale the go ahead to put up the buildings on the property.
As we intend to put in place classrooms all the way from Nursery and Primary Section, I have been compelled to begin by constructing the first building to house the nursery section which is distributed into 3 classrooms: Baby, Middle and Upper Class. The room sizes have been set to standard as required by the Uganda Education Ministry and will be accommodating 50 children per classroom.A provision of a resting room and playing material area will be made.

The foundation takes definite shape on day two.

The work is being undertaken by a local group of young men mostly belonging to the Kasese United Humanist Association. As such, they are highly motivated to do excellent work. This is truly Humanism in Action!

As you might expect, this humanist organization is keeping costs down by literally doing this themselves! They are also saving money by using as many local building materials as possible.
These guys have a great experience in building and construction and as you might see in the photos we are using local available material murram to join bricks, we shall however apply cement when we reach window levels and on corners and mandatory we shall but a ring beam after the windows level which will be made from mixing gravel, cement and sand.
More work on the foundation level.

Bwambale continues to mention some construction details that I must admit I know very little about. Suffice it to say, they have ordered cement and will be using it to make sure higher levels of the building as more secure than what murram can offer. One hundred bags of cement, in fact.

Actual walls take shape above the elevated foundation. The murram is the reddish brown goop on the lower left.

For those of you who may be seeing this project for the first time, Bwambale was also nice enough to summarize it as well.
The classroom construction exercise aims at putting in place 10 decent classrooms and 3 toilets plus a kitchen at the permanent site. If all goes well at this site before February 2014, then the locals in this area may start to benefit from our services in our long journey of promoting free thought, reason and science among Ugandans through education.
If you would like to be part of this, check out the fundraiser.

Buttress-like pillars are being added to the side of the building (see right) for extra support.

And I do realize that some of you would probably prefer to donate via PayPal without having to log in with Facebook or your e-mail and password. You can do this directly at Atheist Alliance International!

Remember to specify you're donating to Kasese Humanist Primary School!

Naturally, I'm biased towards people using my own fundraiser. Besides, it offers a publicly visible fundraiser tracker to show people where we're at. But in the end, the fundraiser and the PayPal link end up going to the same place!

Porter wheels wheel barrel on day four. Check out the building to the right.
In fact, Atheist Alliance International has so far sent two $4,000 transfers to the school. Some of this money has come from this blog's fundraiser itself!  While other money has come in directly to the AAI website and through other charitable sources. It's this injection of money that has enabled this construction to begin right now.
Atheist Alliance International has so far sent in 2 big transfers totaling US$ 8000. These funds are making difference in transforming people's lives mostly our children who have benefited a lot  by getting a balanced secular education, exposure to computer lessons, egg nutrition, vocational skills and letter writing programs.
Thanks to all the fantastic donors -- across multiple secular organizations! -- who have helped this school flourish in Uganda!

I am getting to you this picture of the structure at the close of  today  (Day 4). We are halfway done on window level and if all goes well, we shall finalize the entire window level, then next step is to fix ring beam possibly on Friday or Saturday.
I know it can sound a little cliche but it's true. With a simple click of a button, you can directly affect the lives of hundreds of Kasese school children, their families and their community.

It really doesn't take much to do great things.

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