Team EFOD in Uganda
Helping handsHelping a hospital improve facilities and an education trust set up a computer laboratory are just two examples of how staff have turned enthusiasm and enterprise into practical ways of making a difference for communities in Uganda.
Our South Wales director Ian Flower is the common link. Building on his work with Care and Share, a charity active in Uganda, he launched Engineers for Overseas Development (EFOD) as a branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Wales Association. “The aim is to help improve public health through international partnerships with local people and charities in developing countries,” explains Ian.
One of EFOD’s mission’s involved constructing and commissioning an incinerator for Kitovu hospital serving the town of Masaka in south west Uganda. Charlotte Rodwell and John Farrow both from Ian’s team and Tom North from our Bristol office went to help – after they’d each raised £700 to cover their own expenses and together generated another £10,000 for materials through various initiatives including a 24-hour sponsored bike ride. “We were part of a group of six engineers, split into pairs each working for a fortnight at the hospital,” says Tom. “I was in the first team which set up the site office and laid the groundwork for Charlotte who went over in the second team. John helped train the local workforce and complete the project.
Soroti in north-east Uganda is the new home for several Cardiff office PCs now in use at a computer teaching facility run by the charity Agape Education Trust which Ian came across during his first visit in 2000. “After an IT upgrade we took the opportunity to have the machines refurbished and air-freighted to help the Trust educate people who work on the land to improve productivity and thus enhance their quality of life,” Ian explains. Course subjects range from English and health to animal husbandry and fishing. “The PCs have given the Trust a real boost,” he adds, “and I was privileged to see them in action in the first teaching session.”