Despite all the challenges we’ve faced, 2021 has been an incredible year for AFFCAD. Like everyone, we’ve faced new hardships during these last 12 months, but our dedicated teams have continued to make a huge difference to lives of people in Bwaise. Here are some of the highlights of a truly memorable year for AFFCAD.

AFFCAD Business and Vocational Training Institute Makes a Triumphant Return

After a year-long closure due to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed in Uganda, the ABVI finally re-opened on 1st March. Our wonderful team in Bwaise immediately made up for lost time, putting a series of exciting programs into action.

Between March and April, in partnership with the British Council’s Active Citizens program, AFFCAD trained 15 teachers to be active citizens within their community, teaching them networking and team building skills.

AFFCAD also led several initiatives as part of the fantastic Combatting Barriers to Education (CoBE) project. These included hosting a girls-led dialogue between adolescent girls and their parents surrounding involvement in education, home learning, and child safeguarding, followed by action points and recommendations on the issues which emerged. AFFCAD also held important meetings with local leaders, teachers and police officers to review the impact that the program had on the community of Bwaise.

In May and June, thanks to the Adolescent Girls Power Program, the ABVI also successfully implemented projects aimed at creating awareness surrounding important issues in women’s health, such as teaching girls to make reusable sanitary towels and educating girls and young women about sexual and reproductive health, as well as carrying out HIV and AIDS testing.

ABVI was temporarily closed again between June and July due to new restrictions, but that did not stop our hardworking team from striving for self-improvement; they undertook training in safeguarding and protection, and participated in 5 days of training at the Youth Action Forum in Nairobi, Kenya.

ABVI re-opened its doors again in late July, and since September, has trained 78 students directly, and 110 students indirectly through home learning programs. AFFCAD’s monthly assessments highlighted an increase in learners’ performance and motivation to study, showing how the institute has bounced back from the pandemic to continue making a difference to young people’s lives.

AFFCAD School Goes Remote, but Teaching Goes on

AFFCAD school was only able to re-open briefly in the period between April and June, but used this time to implement some great projects to benefit the students. Highlights included children watering trees around the school when learning about environmental conservation, and excited pupils getting their first computer lessons. In addition, the children were able to experience an exciting visit with, and receive presents from, Lynette Nabossa, founder of Emu.

Since June 2021, AFFCAD school has been closed in line with government restrictions, with the aim of re-opening in January 2022. Nevertheless, this has not stopped the team from finding new and innovative ways to continue to make a difference. AFFCAD has implemented a remote learning system targeting 78 students, which involves regular phone calls between pupils and teachers, and the creation of a WhatsApp group for parents and teachers to communicate and share work. The school has also introduced a visual learning program and distributed lessons through CDs. Finally, in October, in response to positive feedback from parents, we introduced an affordable fees contribution towards the students’ remote studies.

We are confident that there will be many more exciting projects coming in January 2022, and cannot wait to again welcome the students back into classrooms.

AFFCAD UK Gets Valuable Support

Throughout the year, our team of volunteers has been busy raising money to help the implementation of these fantastic projects, as well as for basic necessities to help families struggling during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Our social media campaign in June and July raised £500 to distribute emergency packages containing basic food necessiites and hygiene products to families in need in the community of Bwaise. We also had two runners, Jack and Will, fundraise for us during the Brighton Marathon in September, raising close to £2,400 through their incredible efforts.

Our grants team has also been busy securing important funding. We are extremely grateful to the Fonthill Foundation for supporting us during this difficult year and ensuring that ABVI and AFFCAD School stay functional and able to support young people throughout the lockdowns. We would also like to thank the Souter Charitable Trust and the Aga Khan Foundation for their generous donations, which will go a long way to ensuring that we continue to make a huge difference to the community of Bwaise as we move into 2022.

New and Familiar Faces

In June, our team in Uganda had to say their farewells to Liz Parker, who has moved to another country, but AFFCAD UK will still continue to work as closely as ever with the AFFCAD team in Uganda.

This year we have also welcomed Parvez Bhatty as our new chair of trustees, who has already contributed so much to our work. We’re excited to continute working with him on innovating and improving all of our projects.

If anybody is searching for a rewarding challenge to take on in 2022, we are looking for volunteers to join our small, friendly and dedicated team. You can take a look at our vacancies here:

Thank You for all Your Support and Hard Work, and Happy New Year from AFFCAD!

Finally, as we head into another exciting new year, we’d like to express our thanks to all of our supporters, staff, trustees and volunteers, whose dedication and support has allowed us to overcome some of our biggest ever challenges, and continue our much-needed work in Bwaise.

We would also really appreciate your valuable support during the holiday period, please spare a minute to look at the different ways in which you can contribute:

Everyone at AFFCAD is excited about the projects we have lined up for 2022, and enthusiastic to see them make a real difference to the community.