Tools for craft school in Uganda
Pakwach, Uganda

In 2017, the Van Doorn Foundation financially supported the Pacer Community Polytechnic with the purchase of tools for the various courses and management training and retraining of the teachers.
In 2019 an additional contribution was made for the purchase of teaching equipment and a training in the use of these equipment (computer, LCD projector and screen, on- and offline demonstration videos).

Thanks to this investment, the Pacer Community Polytechnic can provide annually around 160 young people with vocational training.

Project has been executed successfully!

Amount donated : € 16.000.-

Sponsor: Addo Kranendonk Fund, MKB Woudenberg e.o.

Project information
The situation

Uganda has in recent decades made substantial progress in combating poverty. But 43% of the population still risk falling back into extreme poverty. Particularly in the Northern Region of Uganda there is poverty because of high youth unemployment, gender inequality, lack of access to basic services and low economic development.

The West Nile sub-region in Northern Uganda is the poorest sub-region of Uganda. Here, 70% of the population lives below the poverty line of USD 1.25 per person per day. The West Nile sub-region borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and the population comprises four ethnic groups – the Lugbara, Alur, Madi and Kakwa. The borders pass through these ethnic groups. Conflicts in Congo and in Sudan, therefore, are felt and have a direct impact on the population of the West Nile sub-region.


The importance of the project

The community of the Pakwach district mainly lives from fishing on the Nile. In fact they don’t have other crafts and it is increasingly difficult for them to be self-sufficient. People lived there for 20 years under the terror of the LRA (Lord Resistance Army) and still the situation is not completely normalized. Youth unemployment in the Pakwach district is high; the majority of young people are unemployed. They do have the will to work, but they lack the skills and the opportunity to learn a craft. While the West Nile sub-region has potentially enough work for young people, especially in the agricultural, service and construction sectors and in small handicraft businesses.

The implementing organisation

In the Pakwach district the Pacer Community Polytechnic is situated. This craft school offers government recognized professional training in which young people are trained to become a carpenter, mason, plumber, electrician, concrete worker, mechanic or tailor. They receive a diploma at the end of the training. The school also provides a number of non-accredited vocational training as a cosmetic, hairdresser, caterer, painter, blacksmith, welder and handicraft. These courses do not result in a certification.

The school can accommodate about 180 students, but until 2015 there were only 109 students because of a lack of tools. The government pays the teachers but lacks the budget to help the school with sufficient or better equipment. Of course, that’s a shame because vocational training is for those young people from this poorest region of Uganda the only chance to find work – employed by someone or self-employed – and to provide for their livelihood.

The envisaged project results

In 2017, the Van Doorn Foundation received a request from the Pacer Community Polytechnic for a financial contribution of € 8,905, – for the procurement of necessary equipment and tools for the various courses and € 3,300, – for school management training and training of the teachers. Thanks to a fundraising campaign from SMEs in Woudenberg and surroundings, € 4,450 was collected for the purchase of tools at the beginning of 2017. The rest was made available from the Addo Kranendonk Fund as well as for the management training and in-service training of the teachers. In 2019, the Foundation made an additional € 3,795 available for the purchase of educational materials (computer, LCD projector and screen) and training in the use of these materials. These extra funds were also made available from the Addo Kranendonk Fund.

This investment allows annually 20 young people to acquire skills to start their own furniture or a carpentry workshop and 40 young people to start a car or motorbike workshop – as employee or self-employed. Ca. 30 young people will learn how to make clothes after which they may start a tailor workshop. Ca. 40 young people will acquire skills enabling them to earn a living in construction and about 30 young people will have the skills to work in a metal workshop or to start a workshop themselves. So the Pacer Community Polytechnic now accommodates about 160 students per year!

The chance of sustainability

In Uganda a student with a diploma earns an average of USD 2.40 per day. With such an income, they can meet their basic needs and social obligations, leading to an improvement in living standards and social status. And already during the training, they can make some money with products they make. No wonder that young people are eager to go to this school!

That is why the Van Doorn Foundation together with the Tools To Work Foundation joined forces and tried to make the best of this craft school in 2016 and 2017.

The progress of the project

This project is implemented by Pacer Community Polytechnic.

In 2017 the foundation Tools To Work made (refurbished) tools available. In the workshop of Tools to Work in Teteringen (Breda – The Netherlands), they refurbish and recondition tools and equipment by trained volunteers, along with people from the labour market.

The management training and retraining of the teachers was provided at the end of 2017 by the Education Local Expertise Center in Kampala – Uganda. In 2019, additional teaching equipment was made available by the Education Local Expertise Center and teachers were trained to use these equipment.

The result

In addition the Van Doorn Foundation has paid the school fees for the most disadvantaged young people. Together with school management, the most-needy students are annually identified; young people whose parents cannot pay the school fees. Scholarships have been made available to them in 2017 and 2019, so they can continue the training without running the risk being expelled from school.

Check this great video at YouTube:!
You will find more videos about this project on our playlist ‘Pacer Polytechnic School’ on YouTube!