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Images from International Friendship Week 2015 in Uganda


Photos by Andrew West

In June 2015, our chairperson, Peter Furness, travelled to Uganda where he visited two humanist schools run by the Ugandan Humanist Association. He travelled with a group of six which included members of the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust (UK), the British Humanist Association and the St Louis Ethical Society (USA). Participants paid for all their own travel expenses.

The schools are doing incredible work providing secondary education in rural Uganda. Approximately half of the students board at the schools in dormitories due either to the distance they live from the campuses or because it is considered more practical whilst completing their studies, especially in the final two years of their A levels.

Many of the students (around 50%) receive scholarships provided through the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust and would otherwise not be able to obtain a secondary education.

The two schools visited were:

• Mustard Seed Secondary (Secular) School, Busota, Kamuli District, Eastern Uganda.

• Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Central Uganda.


Click on any image for a full size picture.

Peter Furness (Humanist Aid Australia) with students at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Students at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Students at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Morning Assembly at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

One of the classrooms and students at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Students selecting by popular vote who will take part in the school debate. Debating at schools in Uganda is a major and highly competitive endeavour. Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

The votes are taken - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

There are often students with various ages in the same class, as they may have started their education late or had to take years off to work and/or look after family members - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Students at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Students at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Students at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Boarding students lining up for dinner. Approximately half the students board on the campus - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

A room in the girls' dormitory at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Some students' younger siblings and other children who live nearby attracted by the camera - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Some children who live nearby play on the school grounds after lessons - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

We visited some of the homes and families of students who are receiving scholarships to allow them to come to school. These children struck me as extremely bright and keen to get the most out of their time at school - Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Motor bikes are a very common form of transport and this couple are showing off their new one. The house is also the common type of housing for much of rural Uganda - Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

One of the scholarship students with her family - Mustard Seed School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Another scholarship student with her father - Mustard Seed School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Children at a nearby primary school. Universal primary education was introduced in Uganda in 1997, but only a few students go on to receive any secondary education - Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Trisha Rogers with three teachers in the computer room. There is still no internet access at the school. An offline version of Wikipedia has recently been obtained - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

I was overwhelmed at how keen the students were and how seriously they took their studies - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

One of the students, Phiona, during the debate - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

This speaker knew how to entertain the house - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Some parents prepared a welcome lunch for the group - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Some parents prepared a welcome lunch for the group - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Leo came across as a very capable and popular teacher. I am sure students will remember him for many years after school - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

A member of the support staff - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

The lunch bell - Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

A student at Mustard Seed Secondary School, Busota, Kamuli District, Uganda.

Mustard Seed Secondary School formed its own Scout Group. With the support of a generous donor in the UK, they recently obtained uniforms and competed in a pan-African jamboree in neighbouring Rwanda where they came second. The school now hosts scouting events with other scout groups in the Kamuli district.

Left to right: Ed Schmidt (St Louis Ethical Society, USA), Trisha Rogers (British Humanist Association, UK), Steve and Hilary Hurd (Uganda Humanist Schools Trust, UK), Andrew West (British Humanist Association, UK) and Peter Furness (Humanist Aid Australia) - 7 June 2015.

Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Students at Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Humanist Aid Australia has been a contributor to the new boys’ dormitory. Landscaping has recently been completed near the entrance - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

A very tidy room in the boys’ dormitory - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Francis is both a teacher (Agriculture) and the warden of the boys’ dormitory. He was especially friendly and helpful during our stay - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Boarding students at play after school at Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Science equipment - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Students talking with Trisha Rogers (British Humanist Association) - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

We were greeted on Sunday afternoon (not a school day) with a drum and dance display by boarding students - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

We were greeted on Sunday afternoon (not a school day) with a drum and dance display by boarding students - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

We were greeted on Sunday afternoon (not a school day) with a drum and dance display by boarding students - Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

A teacher at the Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Peter Furness (Humanist Aid Australia) discussing humanism with secondary students at Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Students at Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Students at Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Students at Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.

Peter Furness (Humanist Aid Australia) with the mother of two students at Isaac Newton High School, Katera, Masaka District, Uganda.