Kibuye Project overview

AASU’s first community project is focusing on the village of Kibuye in North Eastern Kamuli, on the shores of the Victoria Nile. Kibuye has an estimated population of 60,000 people and is spread over 27 by 35km. The majority of the population is highly dependent on subsistence farming and barter trade within village in order to survive.

Before the project began, Kibuye was dependent upon one borehole for safe drinking water. Due to long lines when collecting water many have been choosing to fetch water from the river, which has caused illness through water born diseases. The village also only has one school, consisting of two classrooms accommodating roughly 600 children. The children that can’t walk the distance to the school simply don’t attend. The majority of children do not attend school, either due to distance or family circumstance, consequentially 80% of Ugandans over the age of 15 are illiterate.

So far within the Kibuye project AASU has been able to buy four acres of land at the East end of the village on which we have built a bore hole and are currently building classrooms for the Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School which is due to open for the start of the school year in February 2011.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beads, beads, beads

Those of you who are fashion conscious will already know that this season’s must have accessory is AASU beaded jewellery. For those of you who don’t know – no need to worry - it’s a well kept secret but we’ve decided to let you in on it!

In order to fund its projects AASU makes and sells a huge variety of high quality, handmade, beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Each one is lovingly and painstaking made by hand from paper and securely varnished to ensure its longevity . . . . so you can wear it time and time again!

AASU necklaces are truly unique and beautiful, with such variety in styles and colours, there is something for everyone, you will be spoilt for choice!

Other products  
We also have an exclusive range of bags that are perfect for almost every occasion.

Whether it is a ‘slouch’ or ‘fashion’ bag, as with all our products, each one is handmade to the highest quality. Again colours are styles vary . . . . and if you have something specific in mind we will do all we can to help create it.
AASU has recently expanded its range to include earrings. From brightly coloured options, to more natural tones and traditional patterns, AASU has such a vast selection of earrings there’s bound to be a pair that takes your fancy. And of course we couldn’t miss the opportunity to bring you our intricate and delicately crafted ‘paper bead’ earrings.

Look and feel great

Not only will you look great wearing AASU products but your conscience can rest easy knowing that you have contributed to a worthwhile cause. To date, the majority of funds for AASU’s work have come from its income generating ‘beads’ projects.

AASU provides local Ugandan women, from the Kamuli and Jinja Districts, who have either low paying or no job, with the opportunity to make an extra income. We supply the women with materials, tools and technical knowledge, as well as ensuring a regular and decent wage. With the women’s permission, the remaining profits are channelled into funding AASU projects.

N:B My photography does not do these beads justice!

As there are far too many styles and colours to display on here, if you are interested in finding out more about any AASU products (buying or selling) please contact We will happily supply samples to any one that would like to see them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kibuye Community Education - hygiene class 1

At the end of last month Arise and Shine Uganda (along with 8 of its trustee volunteers) lead its first (hopefully) of many successful personal hygiene classes in Kibuye.

The turnout to the session was much better than we could ever have hoped for, with over 100 adults and children attending and actively participating in the class, demonstrations and fun that ensued. Whilst general hygiene was discussed, the main focus of the session was dental hygiene – with hopes for other complementary hygiene classes to come to Kibuye soon.

Staff and volunteers took turns in leading the session, passing on vital healthcare knowledge and practical advice. One of the volunteers (thank you Crystal!) was even able to bring along enough toothbrushes and tooth paste for everyone, which were generously donated by ‘Colgate’. These were a huge hit, especially when we discovered that none of the children at the session had ever even used a toothbrush – and that only a very few of the adults used them ‘once in a while’.

After being shown how to look after their teeth and taught the reasons why it’s important to do so, most of the attendees returned home, toothbrush in hand, promising to clean their teeth after every mean or at least twice a day.

After the session, some of the villages’ children (all of which will be attending Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School, when it opens in February 2011) joined the AASU volunteers on a guided tour of the village, proudly showing them around their home.
All in all the day was a massive success and we are planning to establish many more regular community education events in the future. Arise and Shine Uganda would like to thank everyone who attended and donated their time to the session. Webale nyo!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School Kibuye

Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School
AASU is currently raising funds for, and building the first classrooms of, the ‘Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School’, Kibuye which is due to open in time for the start of the Ugandan term in February 2011.

The education system in Uganda is slightly different to many of those in other countries. In order to attend school, students must pass entry exams and provide school fees each term. Classes are based on an assessment of the student’s ability as opposed to their age and are therefore often a mix of ages working at the same ability. If students cannot provide school fees they cannot attend school, even if they have already made it halfway through the school year – they must repeat again the next year or whenever they return to school. If students do not pass the end of year exams they must also repeat the year (and pay school fees again). Instead of repeating school years and paying more school fees many children turn to finding work in unskilled labour in order to generate an income. Those that cannot afford school fees simply do not attend school.

A better chance at education

Within Kibuye, the nearest school to AASU is approx. an hour’s walk. It currently has around 600 students and only two classrooms, meaning the majority of lessons take place under mango trees outside. Given the villages economic dependence on bartering and subsistence farming, incomes are low. The average family, many of which are single parent, has at least 8 children to, theoretically, provide school fees for. Those that cannot travel the distance to the school, or afford its fees, currently do not receive any education.

AASU is currently building a primary and nursery school in Kibuye to assist with educating the villages’ children. Currently temporary classrooms are being built, in order to open in time for the start of term in February 2011. The temporary classrooms are sturdy structures big enough to accommodate 50 children per class, whilst funds are being raised in order for the permanent classrooms to be built. Initial plans are for 8 classrooms of 50 students each, totalling approx 400 students, with future plans of smaller classes. Eventually students’ ages should range from 4 – 12, on the basis that students attend school from 4 and pass exams in order to progress through the grades. Given that AASU aims to provide high quality teaching, for a minimal school fee (see below) it is hoped that the ‘usual’ causes for students not progressing are avoided. However, initially children outside these ages will be able to attend the school in order to catch up on their education.

The current situation in Kibuye is that the majority of children out of education are girls. It is often the case that girls are viewed as being of a lower status than boys and more useful either being either sold into marriage or used in order to provide an income for the family – often to send their siblings to school. AASU is addressing the issue of girls education, immediately by having affordable school fees but also more gradually through community education sessions regarding the rights and women and girls.

As Sharon (AASU’s founder) is a village girl herself, she is a great example of the opportunities an education can bring to both boys and girls. AASU has been holding meetings throughout Kibuye and will continue to do so, addressing the importance of education for both boys and girls. We currently anticipate a 2:1 ratio of boys to girls enrolling in February 2011. Whilst this is an encouraging start, it is hoped the numbers of girls enrolled will continue to rise and this imbalance will be addressed as the school becomes more established and the community awareness is raised through the educational sessions.

Staff and Salaries

AASU is initially recruiting qualified volunteer teachers from within Uganda and overseas in order to provide high quality teaching to its students with the hope of eventually being able to pay full time Ugandan teachers (If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at After conducting extensive research in the Kibuye, assessing affordable school fees AASU will be charging 30,000 UGX per child per term (around £8.56 / $13.29). This will include meals at breakfast and lunch, school fees and uniform. This amount should be affordable by every parent however for those that are still unable to pay these nominal fees, AASU is recruiting and training staff to work in the school and on its other projects in the area in order to provide them with an income.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kibuye Project Overview

Community Education and Advocacy

AASU has already begun to conduct community education programmes and hopes to be able to develop these as opportunities arise. There are many issues to be addressed such as the rights of women and girls, domestic violence, health (particularly regarding sexual health due to the culture of polygamy that increases individuals’ exposure to STDs), hygiene, diet and nutrition.

In order to provide the highest quality community education sessions, AASU attempts to use trained professional volunteers to partake in its programmes. We are currently recruiting a range of volunteers to assist with community education, if you are interested in helping in anyway please email us at

Adult Education

AASU also hopes to eventually be able to provide adult education opportunities for men and women who have either never attended or never completed school. By providing basic literacy and maths classes, along with vocational training and language classes AASU hopes to be to be able to assist Kibuye to develop as a community and to be able to interact and trade with other communities across the country. Those within Kibuye have shown great interest in adult education already, however due to limited funds and resources AASU is initially focusing on establishing the school and other projects before embarking on this – hopefully in the not too distant future.

Bore Hole

AASU has completed its first successful project in Kibuye by building a bore hole on the land we purchased at the East end of the village. Using local craftsmen and builders the bore hole is providing clean and safe drinking water to Kibuye. Prior to the installation of AASU’s borehole, the population of Kibuye depended on one borehole for safe drinking water. However as many would end up walking long distances and queuing for a long time in order to access the only bore hole, they would often choose the much quicker alternative of fetching unsafe/unclean water from the Victoria Nile, upon the banks of which Kibuye lies. AASU hopes that by providing another bore hole for the village, in a different area, as well as acting a safe source of water for AASU’s Nursery and Primary school, it will help to lower the number of illnesses and deaths in the village that have been attributed to lack of access to clean water.