United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Friendship First

A small village in Nottinghamshire had 100 Scouts and Leaders who in the 1990s worked hard to forge links with Uganda Scouts and to help others do the same. Many of the present projects have grown out of putting friendship is the first priority.

Uganda Uganda Uganda Uganda
The 1998 visit to Sherwood 98, the College at Bwera, the Outspan School Band and the Iganga Scouts



Chris Wilkinson, who was in the 90s Scout Leader in 1st Farnsfield Scout Group and also International Adviser in the County first went to Uganda as part of the Unite Study visit. Sometimes he visited more than once a year, often taking with him Venture scouts from his own group but more recently Scouts from 3rd Royal Eltham in London.

Their mission has been to travel the country supporting Scouts and Leaders in the Districts and the staff at BP House Kampala. Often just shaking hands, siting and talking with children, listening to Leaders. The friendships made have been considerable and these have developed into projects often undertaken by others in the Network.

The project became known as Friendship First because it concentrated first on establishing friendships which have later grown into substantial projects.

Amongst the activities of the Farnsfield Group have been a children's nursery in a hospital in Bushenyi, support for the Outspan School Band, bicycles for orphans attending Secondary Schools in Kampala and for health work in Iganga, the creation of Secretarial and Tailoring courses in Kasse District and capital for a craft workshop.

In 1998 the Group hosted the first ever visit of "young" Scouts from Uganda to the UK, aged 8 to14, paying all the costs of the orphans and meeting all UK costs for the full party. The visit was a "text book" success providing instant experience for families in the UK and building friendships between Scouts in one of the poorest countries of the world and the UK.

The Group members supported an orphan to the World Jamboree, and provided computer equipment for BP House Kampala.

To Chris's acute embarrassment a college in Bwera, Kasese District bears his name. The "Chris Wilkinson College" offers courses in carpentry, stenography, secretarial, tailoring and driving to young people who have dropped out of education and look to Scouting for a "Return to Learn" approach. His brother Canon John Wilkinson and vicar of Kings Heath Birmingham has recently been to the college to find it in need to substantial support. The recent troubles in the area leave the college in a precarious financial position.

Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 12 April 2002



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