On the 14th of July, 2023, Makerere University in collaboration with the South African High Commission kicked off commemoration of the Nelson Mandela International day with a community service at the Makerere University Primary School. On this day, we honored and celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of service of selfless service. In so doing, members of the society converged at Makerere University Primary School and conducted a community service for 67 minutes, each minute reflecting the aforementioned 67 years.
The event which started at 9:00am at the Makerere University Primary School begun with a band led by the pupils who welcomed the delegates with a marching procession. Present at the venue were the South African High Commissioner, H.E Lulama Xingwana, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and the Headmistress, Makerere University Primary School, Ms. Nabirye Juliet. Also in attendance were a number of partners to the South African High Commission namely, Stanbic Bank Uganda, Tree Adoption Uganda, Gustro Book Centre, Multichoice Uganda Limited and MTN Uganda Limited.
After the band march and welcome, the primary school pupils assembled for an address from the school’s visitors. The Headmistress warmly welcomed the delegates to the school and ushered in the start of the community service. Secondly the assembly was addressed by the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe who encouraged the pupils to work hard, be disciplined and read their books so that they can join Makerere University and reach heights as great as becoming Vice Chancellors like him.
All assembled then listened to H.E Lulama Xingwana who was very happy to meet the pupils. She started off by introducing them to who Nelson Mandela was and thanked them for singing the South African National Anthem very well.
After the school assembly, the visitors and guests planted fruit trees around the school compound. The fruit trees included mangoes, avocados, guavas and oranges. The trees were planted by the following parties; the South African High Commissioner, the Vice Chancellor, COO Stanbic Bank Uganda, KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority) Administrator, a representative from Multichoice Uganda and lastly the Headmistress of the host school.
The delegates present proceeded to clean the school compound by sweeping, engaging in proper garbage disposal and later painting of the classrooms and pavements along the walkways of the school. The 67 minutes of community service were culminated by session speeches from the various partners present and the school administration.
In her speech, the Headmistress said, “I thank God for the grace and opportunity He has given us to receive you in our school and choosing us as an activity ground for commemorating Nelson Mandela Day. Makerere University Primary School is beautiful in that we have all it takes to make a good school and also have the opportunity to grow because we are accessible, have space, and at the same time connected to Makerere University as an institution of higher learning.
She further noted, “I would like to thank the Vice Chancellor for the support he always extends to the school through the School of Education and the Estates and Works Department. The School Management Committee has done well in terms of managing the school and Estates Department has contributed tremendously by providing us firewood and recently, it fenced the school with wire mesh and barbed wire. We are really grateful to have you.”
The various organizations present donated a number of items which were received by the chief guests and the school administration. Among the donations rendered were; 70 trees by Tree Adoption Uganda, Gustro Book Centre which donated 2 boxes of children’s books and primary school textbooks. MTN Uganda donated yellow T-shirts, Coca Cola Uganda limited donated cartons of soda for the pupils, Plascon Uganda donated Paint, and the South African High Commission donated 10 garbage bins, cleaning materials, scholastic items, 100 kilograms of rice to staff, to mention but a few.
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,907 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
Apac District gains from CEDAT’s Research on Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model and Efficacious patient management system
The School of Engineering at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) shared findings of research that was conducted in Apac Districts through two projects namely Piloting a Rural Broadband Connectivity Model (RCBM) and Efficacious patient management system (EPMS).
The findings of the research sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University research and Innovation Fund(MakRIF) were disseminated during a dissemination seminar held in the College on Friday 24th November 2023, where it was revealed that Apac the host District greatly benefited from the services that not only led to the increased uptake of internet services but also gained through other socio economic areas.
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