Uganda Volunteers Help Make Bricks for Northern Uganda School
In February, two Uganda volunteers from the U.S. visited Agwata’s northern Uganda school. The community was hard at work making bricks for the fourth classroom block at this northern Uganda school which is located less than 50 kilometers from the Sudan border. Over 10,000 bricks need to be made for the northern Uganda school before the April rains begin. As a show of support, one of our Uganda volunteers, Rick, eagerly helped out two different work crews for an entire morning. After working in the hot sun until noon, Rick commented that he understood why they only work until noon” on a project like this.
Muddy Job at Northern Uganda School Does Not Deter our Uganda Volunteers
Each parent at Agwata’s northern Uganda school has been assigned to one of four work groups which sets its own brick making schedule. While our Uganda volunteers made bricks voluntarily, each community member was tasked to make 100 bricks for the new classroom block. Construction is scheduled to begin later in May. However, since the rains begin in April, brick making needs to be completed before the rains begin.
Brick making is a muddy job involving the entire community. Usually, it is the men who make the bricks. Most often, the women and older girls carry water from the bore hole to help wet the soil to make the right consistency of mud. Younger children watch the babies while their mothers are working. Once several rows of bricks are made, another worker will cover them with grasses or dry dirt to prevent them from cracking in the hot sun. Usually it is the women and older children that will collect the grasses needed for this part. Care must be taken that the previously gathered grasses do not catch fire since it is a very dry time of year when many bush fires are burning.
More Uganda Volunteers Will Help Northern Uganda School With Building Construction
Once these bricks are thoroughly dried, they are then stacked with an opening in the center. Firewood is placed into this hole, and the entire stack of bricks is burned for one to two days. Then, they are allowed to cool down.
After some more time, the bricks will be ready to use in the fourth classroom block which will house two classrooms plus provide a staff office for Nursery teachers and secure storage space for Nursery equipment. In the meantime, we still have four classes of students meeting in the original mud and thatch building which is in a very dilapidated condition.
According to David Ocitti, Project Coordinator, building is scheduled to begin in mid-May. At this time, additional volunteers from the U.S. will come and help the local Ugandan building crew to build this building and perhaps also work on a smaller project such as the moving and rebuilding of the school kitchen.
Once the fourth class block is finished later this year, “we hope to begin work on a Nursery playground which will be fenced so that these youngest students can play safely in a space just for them”, said Carol Davis, Outreach Uganda’s president. Currently, there is no playground equipment at the school, only a soccer field and netball hoops for older students. We are seeking other partners to help us with the playground construction.