Fontes Foundation started the construction of the Internet café and a latrine in January 2012. The project will provide the village with desperately needed access to the Internet and other secretarial services such as printing and typing. Currently, people have to travel more than 10 km for this. The café will also serve as a stop-over place for tourists and travelers, where people can rest in the forest and have a drink as they access the Internet. Potential customers are travelers, tourists, Uganda Wildlife Authority staff (the headquarters of UWA are only 1 km away), the primary school, Fontes Foundation staff and local residents.The café is located on primary school land only about 70 m from the main road, and marketing with signposts and banners is planned to attract customers. If funding allows, Fontes Foundation also plans to organize short courses in computer skills for local residents and children from the primary school in future.
Through the efforts of Rowena Musinguzi, Chairman of the Board of Fontes Foundation Uganda, Standard Chartered Bank organized a Corporate Social Responsibility event at the Potentiam Youth Development Centre. On the morning of the 3rd of November 2012, about 20 staff members from the bank came to Muyenga, and were joined by approximately 50 youths. The event, one of the biggest at Potentiam since its inauguration ceremony in May 2012, inspired everybody – bank managers, entrepreneurs, local politicians, and not least the youths, among which there were many students from the courses offered at Potentiam. During the event, the Music, Dance and Drama group performed local dances, its rhythms motivating various staff members from the bank to join in. After an initial session about living with HIV/Aids, which was facilitated by the bank, the audience listened to the life experiences of two local speakers. The first one, a local politician, told the participants how he left his home village and came to Kampala with close to nothing.
Yet through hard work, patience, truthfulness, and with a fair dose of luck, he has become a very prominent businessman, with stakes in many businesses and real estate. The second speaker, the sales and marketing manager of the Hotel International in Muyenga, explained which qualities he looks for when he hires employees.
The event was honoured by the presence of two Ugandan celebrities, a local TV personality, as well as a player of the Uganda Crances, the national football team. Cleopatra Koheirwe told the youths about the challenges she faced when she told her guardians that she wanted to become a professional dancer. After this, applauded Uganda Crane Tony Mawejje handed over football equipment donated by Standard Chartered bank to the football team of Potentiam. Everyone at Potentiam, but also the members of the Standard Chartered staff, enjoyed the event, which showed how local engagement can support the youths and guide young people into the right direction.
Since 2005, Fontes Foundation has been facilitating an exchange between Oslo Montessori School and Katunguru-Rubirizi Primary School, a village school situated close to Fontes’ very first water installation in Queen Elizabeth National Park, south-western Uganda. The students at Oslo Montessori School in Norway have regularly raised funds in order to provide their sister school in Uganda with safe water and school uniforms. The donated pens, books and footballs have been highly appreciated and, through the years, the older students of both schools have been writing letters to each other in English.
This autumn, the Montessori art teacher Lisa Pacini came up with the idea of exchanging art works between the two schools. The art works by a group of children at Oslo Montessori School was brought to Katunguru-Rubirizi, as well as the materials to produce similar pieces of art. During a recent field visit, the Norwegian art works were presented to a group of children at Katunguru Primary School and the the Katunguru pupils were shown how to handle paint and brush, something which was completely new for them. Then, the children were allowed to paint freely. They were getting totally absorbed by their art works, mixing colours and creating shapes on their canvasses. These children have hardly come across a piece of art before, except from the colourful materials of their mothers’ dresses. Indeed, one girl painted a pattern similar to the one on her own dress. Another source of inspiration was the Ugandan flag with its colourful horizontal stripes.
Thanks to a donation from Rotary Club Eiksmarka in Norway, the water supply system in Kisenyi, Rubirizi District, was extended to the local primary school and health centre.
A small water tower was constructed just behind the health centre in order to provide the additional pressure required. The tank on the ground next to the tower is an old rain water harvesting tank which gives the health centre some additional water for free.
In addition to the construction works, considerable efforts were put into training the local water committee which is running the project. They needed technical training on how to operate the new extension, but also how to manage the collection of payments. Fontes Foundation will monitor closely the operation of the extension to help the committee run it and the rest of the system properly.
Two separate lots of students successfully completed their Short Courses in Computer Skills, English and Basic Literacy, Music Dance and Drama (MDD). A total of 39 students completed the courses.
The graduation ceremonies took place on 20th September and on 6th December, 2012 respectively. During the ceremonies students were awarded certificates and guest speakers expressed their excitement about the initiative and encouraged the youths to stay focused and utilize the knowledge and skills productively. The third lot of 29 students for the short courses was enrolled and started classes on 10th December 2012 and will complete early 2013.
Fontes Foundation Uganda with support from Balder Foundation started the establishment of a youth training centre in Bukasa in Muyenga, Kampala. The main objective of the Youth Centre is to empower young people to achieve their full potential and contribute to the sustainable development of their community. The launch of the Center was a grand event which was attended by local leaders, the community members and the Executive Director of Fontes Foundation in Norway, Dr. Andreas Koestler.
Potentiam Youth Development Center has embraced extracurricular activities as a means of helping young people to remain active and motivated. The Center has enabled the youth to participate in both football and volley ball. However, the dominant game is football where they have gone ahead to try and form a team. The football team of the Youth Centre has grown tremendously and is catching up with the required standards for an organized football team. During the year, the team participated in the Elijah cup tournament competition that attracted all Makindye Division football teams. The team is evidently building up in strength and is hopeful of winning one of the tournaments next year.
In addition to the football team, the Centre also has a Volley ball team. Thanks to the community that once again donated land for the Volley ball pitch. Although the volley ball team has not constituted itself well enough to face any major competition, they are optimistic of joining at least one of the local tournaments next year.
The safe water project of Katunguruâ€Kasese, which was implemented in September 2011, has been one of the major activities of the Lions Club Slemdal in Oslo, Norway for the last year. With big interest among the ClubÊ¹s members to see how the project hat been realized with their own eyes, finally, in late January, a large group of club members visited the village and were invited to a wonderful ceremony to inaugurate the water project. It was a warm welcome by both the people and the authorities. The colorful and inspiring dancing gave everyone an unforgettable impression. Besides understanding and learning more about the hardship of these fishing villages in the West of Uganda situated inside the Queen Elizabeth National Park, it was the enthusiasm, the will to change their future and the effort to make a water supply a daily improvement of their own health and prosperity, which gave the Club members much more than what they expected from the trip.