The Government's Role in Private Education in Uganda

The Government's Role in Private Education in Uganda

It’s time for the government to regulate private schools and institutions of learning

A lot has been said on this subject over the years by many parents and guardians but the efforts to address the frustration and the challenges encountered have not been forthcoming from the concerned party, which in this case is the government. In the past the government of Uganda had restricted private players into management, ownership and startup of primary and secondary schools. However, in the 1980s due to overwhelming demand for inclusive education that can be accessed by children in rural and urban areas, the government adopted new polices of privatisation, liberalisation and regulation to enhance improvements and expansion of the education sector.

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Parents Meeting

Parents Meeting

We today had a meeting with all the parents and staff in the newly renovated Livelihoods room that we will use as our Salon. This is something we do regularly throughout the year as we are a Community Based Organisation (CBO), which means our beneficiaries are members of the charity in Uganda. Coincidentally, the Council representative in charge of re-registering our CBO licence (who we had been expecting for the past three months) turned up during the meeting. 

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Furbishing the Salon

Furbishing the Salon

We are excited to be installing our latest purchases for the Salon in the Livelihoods centre. We are excited for being able to better equip more women towards living a self sufficient life. Massive thanks to all those who donated towards seeing the salon and equipment, including all those who contributed through coming to our 5th Birthday in 2016. 

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Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence - Part 2

Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence - Part 2

I could carry on from Part 1 of this post, by sharing more stories of child sacrifice, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), murder, corruption inc. police brutality, abduction, sex exploitation, slavery; all of which are forms of violence that are particularly detrimental for those who lack wealth, education and stature within their community - but I won’t. Instead we need to get informed and understand the root causes of violence, so that we can be proactive and effective in supporting the most vulnerable people around the world.

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The Complexity Of Poverty

The Complexity Of Poverty

Unsurprisingly, I often find myself in conversations with people, chatting about the work I am a part of in Uganda. I find myself simplifying what we do as a charity to fit into a couple of sentences, even when I have 20 minutes in front of an audience, the best I can do is give a brief overview that gives you a hint of the complexity. Poverty is complex, but important to talk about.

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New, exciting opportunities

We are so excited to announce that we have 4 volunteer job opportunities for you to apply for (full details can be found by clicking on one of the job adverts under the Jobs tab above).

Megan and I (Mark) co-founded the Charity in 2011, alongside our three Ugandan friends Moses, Joshua and Francis. We are extremely proud of the effect we have been able to have in the lives of those who live in Katanga, Uganda. We have an amazing team out in Uganda, all of which have plenty of experience in various areas and have helped develop our programs from a couple of volunteers in 2011, teaching 15 children, to severn members of staff, working directly with more than 65 families, helping families towards living self sufficient lives. 

For the past four years, and with the help of recent volunteers, Megan and I have been working to raise funds, record our accounts, write reports and update our growing number of supporters. At Hope for Life, we pride ourselves on not only helping families in poverty towards self sufficiency but also our sustainable model as a charity, and for us to continue towards sustainability, we have divided the UK work into four managable sections for volunteers: Marketing, Finance, Fundraiser and Sponsor Relations, all of which will be overseen by Chris Boddy (Trustee) to ensure a smooth running of the charity. These sections will mean our operations are not only more manageable but also have rooom to expand our potential for supporting more families in Uganda.

As well as a more sustainble running of the charity, Megan and I realise that Hope for Life is not about us. The birth may well have been fuelled by a passion and conviction for releiving poverty but it is really about the families in Katanga that are struggling to provide the basics for their families. Second to that it is about our shared human desire to see injustice and get involved, using the vast resources that we are entrusted with, whether they be financial or written skills, wealth or infuence. As we go forward, Megan and I will continue to be trustees of the Charity, being passionate about the work we do and the families we are working for.  

So, we are looking to you; could you join our UK team, helping to make a massive difference to the families that we work with in Uganda? Whether you have the skills, qualifications, influence or just enthusiasm to get involved then we would love to hear from you. Have a look at the four Volunteer Job Adverts and see which area you would be interested in joining and send us an email at with your CV, names and contact details of two referees, the specific job you are applying for and why you would like to be involved in the work we are doing in Uganda.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


We all have things we like to spend money on, which isn't a bad thing. I more than anyone, enjoy buying ice cream, new books and flights to exciting new places, for new experiences, learning something different and even sometimes, just for the pure pleasure of that ice cream hitting my taste buds. 

We are here to enjoy what life has for us. 


There are times though, when I would think about others who live in poverty, should I really be spending the money I have on a new bike, pair of shoes or even a chocolate bar?

I remember clearly being in this dilemma, even before going to Uganda for the first time, and wondering what should I do? I 'lived off the land' for 9 months, although those who genuinely do this would call me a fraud. I did quite well though, mostly only eating things that were grown from the ground; potatoes, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and I could only eat meat when I knew which local farm it came from. The only sweet thing I ate was honey. I had honey on everything. 


I also tried other things like giving up plastic and only buying necessities (and I mean necessities) all of which helped remind me of the situations of people living in poverty all around the world but I still felt something was missing. I missed the occasional cake, sharing home brewed cider with friends or even going to see a band play. I was missing out on some parts of what makes life good.

I wanted a way of enjoying the life I have, whilst at the same time remembering and even benefiting those who live in poverty. So instead of giving up good things, for a month in 2010 I matched the money I spent on alcohol and donated it to charity. 

We are now asking if you would like to join us for #MatchitMay? Matching money in May to help support families in Uganda out of poverty?

Watch the video below, choose an item and then let us know what you will be matching on either our Facebook Page, Twitter or by commenting on this blog below...

Day 6 - Dress a Girl (& Boy) Around the World

We had such a good day handing out lots of dresses and shorts made for us by many people all over the UK. We received many dresses from the charity, Dress a Girl Around the World UKThe Blue Room, an art and craft shop in Nailsea (near Bristol), and many individuals who are passionate about both tailoring and seeing smiles on the faces of those less fortunate around the world. 

A couple of pictures I particularly like are, the girl holding tight her new dress and the class praying, being thankful for those who have made and given each of them a new dress or pair of shorts.

We really want to say thank you to all those who have contributed and made dresses. We have given out more dresses and shorts to those in Katanga but we aren't able to share them because of child protection reasons. We are saving some of the clothes to give out over Christmas to many more children throughout the community. 

Below are just a few pictures of the women in our Livelihoods program, who share a passion for tailoring.

If you would like to find out how you can support these families in Katanga Slum, Uganda further then fill out the form below and we will be sure to get back to you with some ideas. 

Name *

Prepare for crafts

We have bought home lots of hand-made crafts to sell back here in the UK. I had the joy of spending time with these amazing people over the past month, trying out making a bag for myself, understanding how much work and effort goes into making them.

We will be selling them at the Nailsea Tithe Barn Christmas Fair on the 29th of November and at the Tesco Nailsea Christmas Fair on the 13th of December. If you are local then come find us.

Day 4 - Staff training

Today was a day of staff training, catching the team up on our broader vision and working out how we can practically fulfill that vision from day to day in Uganda.

Of course we had lots of food and laughter, getting to know each other a little bit more, especially as Megan and I had only met 4 of our staff members for the first time this visit.

It is investing in days like these that a team can really unify as we aim to be a solid support for the families we work with in Uganda.

Fixing my Jacket

Both elbows on one of my favourite jackets has worn out. I have had this jacket for many years now, so it is no surprise it is wearing thin. I would like it to last a few more years though. 

I took it into our Livelihoods building one day to see if any of the women we work with wanted to fix me some elbow pads. They were all scared to work on my jacket but this lady was up for the challenge, putting her newly acquired skills to her first paid, tailoring job.  

I am so amazed to sit in class with these women, seeing their determination to succeed in a new skill.

Day 3 - Painting

This morning we spent time with the children. After some written work, the children were given snacks (breakfast for the majority), today they had an egg and porridge. We played singing games outside to release some built up energy. All the children painted, the newer children had never done this before and they all did surprising well.  


Day 2 - Play, Rain & Soap

It was so fun to meet the new children in our catch up classes. There are only a couple remaining from when we were here last because all the previous children have been sponsored into a school in the city. The sponsored children have a inset day tomorrow so we will get to see them all for the first time this visit. Because they are normally at school during the day, we don't get to see them easily, just evenings and weekends. 

We had fun playing and getting to know the children; fun and laughter translate in any language. 

Megan and I are here to do some 'proper' work too, reviewing our programs efficiency. Megan is reviewing the success of the loans we have given out to different individuals. Whilst we are looking at the papers, one of the mums has come into the Livelihoods building to make liquid soap to sell. Maureen, the Livelihoods Officer, talked us through how to make the soap... a lot is involved; mix the right ingredients and quantities together before mixing the liquid every few hours for 24 hours, you can then add the scent you want, bottle it up and it is then ready to sell.

We were just about to leave the slum, when the famous Ugandan rain began to pour. 

Heading back to Katanga

So... the time has come for Megan and I to head back to Uganda. I will be away for a month and Megan will be away for 2 weeks (she has a real job she needs to get back too).

We are hoping to accomplish a number of things whilst we are in Uganda, all of which will become clear as you keep up to date with what we are doing via this blog and on our Facebook Page. 

Hope for Life Breakfast

Come join us for breakfast, while we hear from our guest Nkurunziza Francis (Co-founder & Director of Hope for Life Katanga) as well as the rest of the Hope for Life team from the UK.

Francis will share a little about his background growing up in Uganda, before talking about the exciting work we are currently doing in Katanga (& beyond?). Francis, Megan and Mark will be sharing stories, pictures and videos throughout the morning.

There will be a time for Q&A at the end too, all while you enjoy a cup of coffee, croissant and perhaps a Ugandan chapati.

There will be a crafts area in the hall, as well as lots of outside green space if the children (or adults) want to run about.

Please register that you are coming to the breakfast by ‘purchasing’ free tickets from our event page.

We would love to see you there.