Winston Churchill once called Uganda
"The Pearl of Africa" and that´s exactly what it is.
Located equatorially in the midland of Eastern Africa, this country full of manifold unique beauty of nature has a landscape that consists of savannah, opulent forests as well as rocky areas .
Uganda is incomparable to any other country in Africa. This beautiful country´s abundant green vegetation, the terraced landscape, marvelous mountains and hills, the wide open plains, and a new panorama at the next corner – Uganda really has much going for all of this.
Although Uganda neither has such an immense animal abundance nor such a variety of nature as its neighbouring countries Kenya and Tanzania do; it is featuring spectacular landscapes, rich bird life and most of all, genuine encounters with the most pleasant people.
In the southeast of the country Lake Victoria which is feeding the White Nile river is located. With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sqmi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the third largest natural lake in the world.
Uganda is also one of the world´s poorest countries. In all parts of the country it is a big challenge to the residents to make a livelyhood by covering the basic needs for their families. Food prices have more than tripled from 2010 to 2012.For instance, two pounds of sugar are more expensive in Uganda than in
Germany and yet income is mostly below one Euro per day.
Due to the political troubles in the recent past mass tourisms has not developed yet. This is why "Genuine Africa" will be experienced when travelling this country.
Most people are radiating optimism and hope.
English is spoken almost troughout the country. Swahili is another language which is connecting all East Africa. Beside these two official languages there are another 52 local languages. 80 % of the population live on agriculture.
In health care the short life expectancy as well as the high rate of childhood mortality and maternal death are the biggest challenge. In particular the consequences of HIV/Aids are grave in Uganda, as these are causing more death than malaria and tuberculosis.
Uganda shows the highest rate of children and adolescents amongst the population of all countries worldwide – more than half of all inhabitants are younger than 14 years of age.
Although cumpolsory education is obligatory by law a major part of Uganda´s teachers is not sufficiently trained.
Enrolment figures are barely 15 % in secondary schools.
Ugandan government has enforced primary education to be free of charge within the last years. Unfortunately, the schools that grant free attendance are mostly unable to impart sufficient education as they are lacking financial resources to buy school books, pens and excercise books for the pupils. These are really dissatisfying preconditions for a good education. In addition many parents cannot afford to buy school uniforms for their children and orphans have a chance least of all.
45 % of Uganda´s children and adolescents are unable to attend school and there are more than two million orphans due to Aids.
Some orphans are fortunate to be accepted into foster homes. The major part of these foster homes are managed by women. These women are often widows who are in the first instance raising their own children and the children of their late siblings. In the course of time many other children, such as street children
or children from the neighbourhood are joining. Some of those women are taking care of more than 50 children without receiving any kind of support from whomsoever. The very challenge of feeding all these children is a true masterstroke and the women deserve to be held in high esteem.
Meanwhile there are some organizations imparting sponsorships for these children. While visiting one of the foster homes Mara met a 17 years old girl who was laughing and crying with joy at the same time. She explained to Mara that it has been the happiest day in her life when she learnt that a sponsor had been found. The girl had then been cheering and dancing until she was completely exhausted. Before that she had, actually, already given up hope to ever attend school again – but now her biggest dream would come true. She will now do all she can to become the best student.
This girl was from then on attending a so called "boarding school"; that´s where older pupils live and study during schooling. A few weeks ago we were informed that this girl has been severely injured when the residential´s ceiling came down during night time! Luckily she did not suffer any permanent harm.
These news were another huge motivation for us to found "kwa moyo" so girls can live and study in a safe environment!
Here is some more information regarding Mbale where our education center will be built:
Mbale is Uganda´s fourth largest urban center of about 77 000 inhabitants located in Mbale district in eastern Uganda close to the Kenya boarder.
Mbale lies at the western foot of the extinct volcano Mount Elgon which rises 4321 meters into Mt. Elgon National Park which is known as a true hiking paradise.
There are further touristic points of interest in the Mbale region, such as Lake Kyoga and the rock paintings in Kumi or Kakoro which are estimated to be abot 2000 years old.
Mbale was founded by European settlers at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The roads were, therefore, lattice-like constructed. Most of the
buildings were built during the time of World War Two. The economy is mainly ruled by Indian merchants. Indians are also representing a big part of the inhabitants. Mbale is the center of coffee growing in Uganda and a lot of green is found there.
Mbale has a railway connection, called the "Uganda Railway". It is located at the route from Kampala to Nairobi, respectively Mombasa in Kenya. Moreover, Mbale is also a point of intersection in Uganda´s road network with lines to Soroti, Jinja, Tororo and to Kenya.