United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Past and Future


Each of our lives is shaped by what we have experienced and by the people we have met, and our decisions today and in the future will be based on the knowledge gained from those experiences. This is the same for everyone and applies to both the big decisions we make for example Will I take this job?' and the smaller decisions such as ' Will I go out with Jane to-night?'

As individuals and as members of communities and countries it is good to be aware of our past as it will help us understand how quickly life is changing and how we can help direct these changes rather than just adapt because of them.

Activity - Life in the Community

Ask the Cub Scouts to find out as much as they can about life in your community 10, 20, 50 or

100 years ago. Perhaps each Six could find out about a different period of time, and then you could look at the changes through the ages. This could be done by:

  1. Visiting the local library.
  2. Talking to older members of the community.
  3. Talking to parents or neighbours about their lives.
  4. Collecting old postcards.
  5. Finding out the games children played.
  6. Bringing along examples of toys.
Perhaps you could put together an evening of games, stories, songs or a visual display and invite some local residents of different ages along.

Ask the Cub Scouts to draw pictures of typical family life in their communities now, and 50 years ago, and compare this with life in Uganda in both an urban and rural community. It should include everything we use which uses energy; central heating, cookers, fire, cars, hairdryers, electric toothbrush, T.V.'s, and videos.

Count up the number of items each person in an average family has, and see how they have increased over the years in this country and how much more energy is required in urban life here to that in Uganda.

Home life we take for granted

In urban homes in Uganda, many items would be similar to those found in homes in the United Kingdom. Electricity is provided and used for light, for cooking and for television and radios. Uganda has the potential to provide electricity for the whole country. This comes from hydro-electric power and the power station is situated at Jinja, near Lake Victoria at the source of the river Nile. (It is actually where the water starts to flow from Lake Victoria rather than a small spring which we sometimes think of as the source of a river.) Electricity is supplied to many of the larger towns in Uganda but it is not always available in the countryside.

Homes in the countryside have none of the modern conveniences as we know them. Cooking is by firewood or charcoal. Water which has to be fetched from the nearest well, pump, or stream is not always clean and there is no sewage system so latrines have to be made.

United Kingdom 50 years ago
A family might consist of - four children and two adults. now it might have two children and two adults.

rural family - six children and three adults urban family - six children and two adults.





Activity - Saving Energy

Energy is being used at an ever increasing rate. Ask the Cub Scouts to make a list of how they and their families could use less energy for example:

Walking rather than going by car.

  • Buying fewer processed foods.
  • Using one television.
  • Switching off electrical items.
See how many more ideas the Cub Scouts have and then challenge them to change and use less energy.

A quarter of the world's population use more than three quarters of the petrol and more than 90% of the natural gas produced.

Game - Snakes and Ladders

Ask the Cub Scouts to make their own game of snakes and ladders, to help each other learn about saving energy.

Give each Six a large sheet of coloured card with a grid of 100 squares drawn on it. One Cub Scout can number the squares in a corner.

The Cub Scouts can make seven or eight snakes and ladders of different lengths and then think of statements which can be placed at the bottom of the ladders and at the top of the snakes. The snakes and ladders can then be added to the board with the appropriate statements in each square. The Cub Scouts could then either play their own game or pass it round so that they learn from each other.

Can the Cub Scouts list eight ways of saving energy or water and eight ways of wasting energy or water.

Since Independence

Uganda has been an independent country since 1962. Independent Uganda inherited a divided nation of at least seventeen major ethnic groups and a number of minor ones. The south of the country was much wealthier than the north, and the country was also divided by religious sectarianism which permeated into political life.

The first elected government was overthrown in 1966 by Prime Minister Milton Obote. Idi Amin overthrew Milton Obote in 1971 and the country was then under a military government. Many people disappeared or were killed during Idi Amin's regime and many Asians left the country. All foreign businesses were nationalised (became property of the state).

From 1979 to 1986 the national leadership changed a number of times. Milton Obote came back to power for a short period and was overthrown finally in 1986 by Yoweri Museveni who came to power.

Since 1986 President Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement have been engaged in an effort to bring peace and security to the country. Uganda and her people have suffered greatly during twenty years of war and the infrastructure, including education, health services and the building of roads, have been neglected. The country is now working hard to reinstate those services and generate its economy.

Activity - If ruled a country

Invite the Cub Scouts to become national, world or local leaders for the evening. Ask them to write down five rules that everyone living in their world, county or community must obey and ask them to design a national costume and write a motto.

Ask the Cub Scouts to draw something which helps everyone to live peacefully with each other and write a prayer for peace.


Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 3 January 2004


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