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Sunday, 31 March 2013



The strangest customs search I have ever been through was when I went by road from Uganda to Rwanda.
No search for cigarettes or alcohol but a very thorough search for plastic bags or plastic bottles. They are not permitted in the country as part of a programme aimed at keeping the country free of mess and litter

And it really works. But then they also have UMUGANDA.

In Rwanda, there is a mandatory community service day from 8:00am to 11:00am, on the last Saturday of each month called Umuganda meaning community service.  The day is called umunsi w’umuganda, meaning “contribution made by the community which is designed to be a day of contribution and building the country by citizens themselves. By law all able bodied persons above the age of 18 and below 65  are expected to participate in volunteer community work. The start of this practice goes back to colonial times and is still practiced today. 

Participation in Umuganda is usually supervised by a manager, or Umudugudu chairperson who oversees the effectiveness and efficiency ofcommunity participation.On this day, business activity halts, public transportation is limited, and people are seen everywhere working. People participate in cleaning streets, cutting grass and trimming bushes along roads, or repairing public facilities or building houses for vulnerable persons. People with particular skills offer their services for free on this day.  For example, doctors may offer free medical examination.

The benefits of Umuganda are not merely economic.  The day is intended to build community involvement and strengthen cohesion between persons of different background and levels.   One such a benefit is that people can access authorities to articulate their needs and voice opinions on various issues.

The labour cost from Umuganda contributes to national development programs.  By reaping the rewards of the volunteer labor and by having more capital to invest in the country, Umuganda has contributed to the growth and development of the Rwanda   .

Our Head Teacher at the Rukira school is planning to work with the Umugganda Local team to see if they can level the school site in preparation for putting in a good drainage system.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Help for Teachers

Learning from Uganda is a web based teaching aid for both students and teachers who may be interested in learning about Uganda and Africa.

It has stories, video and pictures, and lots of information about the country and its people and culture.

Teachers can have free access and students can use it with project work. It was designed and produced by HUGS Trustee, Denise Ead.

If it encourages some local fund raising for HUGS that would be welcome but we are more interested in sharing information about the wonderful country and the kindness of it people.

To access the site please click here

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Manchester 10K Run

Once again we are putting a team into the Manchester 10K run on May 26th this year.

This is a really great fun event and we have a small number of places reserved for HUGS Supporters to take up. Entry is £50 per person but we have already paid this.

So what would like runners to do is to raise at least £50 and £100 is a nice target so that all the profit can go to the charity.

There are special categories for children too and the Manchester 10k Web site gives details


The picture shows Trustee Charlotte with her team last year.

Do contact us for details. But hurry because these can be in great demand.