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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Candle project

Hello, I'm Kazuo, the volunteer from Japan. I'm doing internship here in AASU from the beginning of  October. I have experienced a lot of new things that I've never in Japan since I came here. The life in Bandali village is one of the most wonderful experiences I've ever experienced.

There are some projects AASU does in the village, such as adult literacy, beads project and HIV session etc. Each volunteer who works in village takes their own project. For me, the project I'm now responsible to is Candle project.
Candle project is one of the community outreach projects. AASU involves people in village and make candles then volunteers/stuff market them. The profit from the sales would compose of income which helps people in village.

In recent weeks I have  got experienced in making candles. The way how to make candles is not so difficult and anybody can master it. But it needs some certain tools and time. It takes around 3hours to make one set of candles from start to end. As candles are very fragile, we have to take much care when we take them from the tube. It is great time to see the vividly colored candle come out of the tube.
 One day, I and the teacher Deo in village came back to Jinja and tried to sell candles. The way we took to market candles is, very plain and simple, that we gave a brief explanation about the product including the background of AASU to mainly the people who are in market along the main street with showing the products. I was worried if they accepted our product at the beginning. But contrary to my negative expectation, we could sell most of candles we had in a day! It was delightful surprise for me. 
I think the colored candles were unusual for people and probably attracted their interest. It is also possibly thought that the background of the product and AASU brought about their sympathy somehow. Generally selling candles to people succeeded.

Then we also went to some hotels and negotiated with them to lend us some space to promote our products. It is integral for our community outreach projects such as beads project and candle project to get the fixed route we market them in order to get continuous profit.
Fortunately one hotel understood our objective and agreed with us to put and sell our products at its lounge. I hope the products made by AASU's project will be exhibited and sold in every hotel in Jinja near future and many visitors to Jinja recognize them as the best souvenirs.
 Prepared by Kazuo

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