Homes & Homelessness
Programme Ideas


1. Making Ugandan bricks

Try making bricks the Ugandan way (see recipe and instructions below). Make enough bricks to build a small building, for example a barbecue or an altar fire when at camp. Calculate how many bricks you would need to build a small house and how long it would take you to make all the bricks (A typical Ugandan house is a single-storey and has two or three rooms).


  • Water
  • Soil (preferably with a good sand content)
  • A block shaped wooden mould (remember a block is about twice the size of a normal house brick)
  • Firewood


First mix the water and soil and blend into a good sticky consistency. Leave outside on the ground overnight, or longer if possible, to allow excess water to drain out. Fill the mould and pack down firmly then tip the brick from the mould.

To prevent cracking completed bricks should be allowed to stand in a cool place for up to three weeks (the longer the better).

Now you are ready to fire the brick by stacking them in a pile with space at the bottom for the fire and a chimney up the middle. A good hot fire is needed to heat the bricks and bake them. Allow to cool and test by thumping with a hammer to see how hard they are!

-A well made Ugandan block will be as hard as one of your own house bricks. Could you build your own house? 

2. Bricks in the United Kingdom

Arrange a visit to a local brick factory and compare the similarities in both production techniques.

3. Camping in Uganda

Imagine a Scout camp without any tents! This is a typical situation for most Scout Groups in Uganda as tents are too expensive. Instead, the Scouts make shelters from local materials for example bamboo, wooden staves, grass and leaves. This is starting to have an impact on the camp sites' ecology so Ugandan Scouts are now encouraged wherever possible to re-use materials or find alternatives. Some Scouts weave banana leaves or grass into sheets then they can be used for walls or roofs which can be taken away and used again. Also plastic sheets are now being used, as they last longer and don't involve killing plants and trees.

Unit challenge:

Could you survive a camping weekend without the use of tents? Could you build your own shelter without destroying too much of the surrounding environment?

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