The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Our three core values are community involvement, local investment and minimal overhead. Our projects work because we have a dedicated Ugandan team whose training, health and progression are intertwined with the health and progression of the charity. Each playground and sports project starts with a school or community contacting our Ugandan team and arranging a community meeting. For a year prior to the start of the build the community and our Ugandan team develop a partnership that fosters community involvement and ownership. The community must agree to support the projects however they can.
Our Playground are all built by our Ugandan building team and use all local materials including recycled items. Our sports program has been designs alongside the International Netball Federation and the Craig Belleamy Foundation to train teachers and parents on how to become good sports coaches. We do this because in East Africa there is very little training in Physical Education for teachers. This leads to low standards of coaching, which leads to children missing out on the benefits of sport. In one month our sports program aims to leave a community with a teacher and several parents who are able to coach the children to a high level in Football, Netball and Volleyball. We also work with partners to provide each school with the sports equipment to continue their coaching. We follow up the program with regular visits and tournaments between the schools we work with.
How we finance the projects is key to the success of our work. We have developed our volunteer projects to be able to fund our programs as well as giving a great value volunteering opportunity and experience to people in the UK. After every recruitment faze we can access our budget for the year and then plan for the amount of projects we can run. At the moment we are running 8 volunteer projects a year. This has enabled us to invest in local people to develop our Ugandan team. We started with 1 builder, 1 welder and 1 apprentice all fulltime in 2010. Now are team has grown to 1 area manager, 3 builders, 2 welders, 2 apprentice welders and 3 sports coaches. Each member of our team has to start as a volunteer for one month so that they can understand the ethos of the charity and show their commitment to our work. Then once both parties are happy we start each employee on a health care program and training program in areas specific to them. Every year we have increased the amount of volunteer projects we run which in turn creates more playgrounds and more sports training programs. This means more children gaining safe and fun places to play whilst more teachers and parents are able to learn coaching skills and gain sports equipment that will ultimately benefit the children and the community. The more work we do the more local people we can invest in and train as builder, welders or managers.