In 2012 Harris HMC raised funds for small communities in Uganda, donating through the inspiring group at Musaale (the local dialect for friend). Our donation went towards:
- Building a residence for 8 homeless children in Gulu
- Providing treadle sewing machines to double the sewing class numbers in the village of Buwagogo
- The installation of a water tank, septic system and facilities to ultimately set up a medical clinic.
Over the years and as a result of people’s generosity, Musaale have also been able to purchase 40 pedal sewing machines for the local community centre, as well as providing sewing kits to the women in the village – teaching them to sew. To see the change that this small thing has made to the self-worth and confidence of these women has to be seen to be believed. Giving them a purpose and source of income has changed their lives.
The New Project
Musaale’s new goal was to provide the men of the Buwagogo village with a similar opportunity.
On a visit in 2014, the team built rooms for a clinic in the Musaale Community Centre and a new building to house the future woodwork training project to be undertaken in 2017.
The new space is a place for the men to congregate, socialise and learn some new skills. The plan was, as electricity in the area is either not available or unreliable, to collect donations of hand tools and equipment, as well as items that can’t be sourced locally, to teach the locals some craft skills. These items were to be collected and transported to Uganda in a shipping container before the Musaale team arrived in Buwagogo.
In 2015 and 2016 Harris HMC collected donations of new and used wood working tools from our sites and community groups in and around Melbourne, with a total donation from Harris HMC of 2 full pallets of tools and equipment to the cause. In addition to tools, Musaale took a large quantity of clothing, and various other donated items such as a generator (capable of powering the workshop) and electrical cabling and lighting.
The team of 11 volunteers travelled to Uganda just after Easter this year with some skilled tradespeople to teach the locals basic craft skills that will allow production of items for the local markets or items for every-day use. All volunteers are self-funded and are of the view that donating their own time, skills, money and energy is prerequisite to being involved.
A great initiative and a fantastic achievement by everyone involved!