United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Surrey Books for All 1997
Photographs of the Project

In 1997, a team of thirteen Scout leaders(17.8k) visited Iganga, Uganda.(map) They camped with over 250 Ugandan Scouts and visited many schools. That was the climax of long winter nights collecting and packing over 50 000 books covering all age ranges and educational topics.

This is a report written by Sarah Corbett - ACSL, 4th Dorking

"I was part of the Surrey team that went out to Uganda for three weeks in July. There were thirteen of us, unlucky for some maybe, but not for us, as we all had an excellent time. This was my first trip to Africa, so I was not too sure what to expect but, I have to say, it exceeded all my expectations and I can't wait to go again.

We spent the first week camping with about 250 Ugandan Cub Scouts, Junior Scouts and Rover Scouts; This was a fantastic opportunity for both them and us. They all made their own tents from natural materials, which they also used to build a range of incredible gadgets. We became involved with their community projects which included building a mud hut for an old lady, repairing a well, tree-planting and doing a litter-pick around a slum. Scouting is a very large part of their lives and as well as being dedicated to it, more importantly they really enjoy it! We spent every evening around a campfire and I can honestly say I have never experienced campfires quite like theirs, and probably will never again. Everyone was singing, dancing, clapping their hands and having FUN!

We spent the rest of the time visiting schools which had Scout Troops linked to them. Our carrier full of books finally arrived and we spent time handing these books out to the many schools and colleges The response of the students and children when they received them was one of happy, smiling faces.

During the last week, we visited a game reserve which was on the west side of Uganda. It was fantastic to see the various animals at such close quarters. In fact, one morning I woke up at 3.45am to a very unusual noise which, when 1 looked out the window, turned out to be a mother and baby hippo munching the grass just a few feet away.

We finished our trip by spending a couple of nights at Kaazi which is a national campsite. Here we met some Scouts from Rwanda and even some Venture Scouts from Northampton! (Bwaise)

Unfortunately, the three weeks went all too quickly. I had a fantastic time, one I shall never forget. I made so many friends and have so many memories - all of them very special.

So, finally, on behalf of the team, the students and children of Uganda a huge 'thank you' to everyone who made this project work. "

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Books for All

The comparison:

Here in the UK we have plenty of resources which every year we throw away. Text books, reading books and reference books.

In Uganda most schools have virtually no books at all.

So what could be simpler?

Collect up the books, pack them in boxes and ship them to Uganda.

You still think its simple?

Well here are some of the problems.

Only send "appropriate and useful books".
Raise £6000 for a container.
Sort, pack and find somewhere to store several tons of books.
On the day the container arrives organise a team to fill the container.
Either raise money to pay import duty in Uganda or obtain from somewhere a magic wand that will give these gifts duty free entry into the country.
Arrange onward travel for the container from the point of arrival in Uganda.
Ensure that each person, school and college that you promised books to is adequately supplied.

Now if you still think that shipping resources to a developing country is simple then please join the Network - we could do with people like you. If you now realise how difficult it is then join us anyway and help us to give more young people a chance of a better tomorrow.

Click here to join the Network

Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 9 April 2002



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