Kathy's Centre, Mayuge, East Uganda.      Project completed - September 2017

EFOD NW successfully completed the construction of Kathy's Centre in early 2017 for the UK charity Act4Africa and their local team have now moved in to their new premises. This is the third project EFOD NW has completed and another excellent addition to our growing legacy.

Kathy's Centre is a community facility in the Mayuge district of Uganda which will allow A4A to continue their excellent work in gender equality, social enterprise and HIV/AIDS testing, and allowing them to expand into early childhood education, social services operating from an administration hub within the community they are assisting.


Figure 1 The Completed Building.


This project started in April 2015 with our team of Engineers designing, fundraising and managing the construction of the centre. Construction started on the 1st of August 2016 and 22 volunteers flew to Uganda in pairs to supervise the construction over a period of 6 months. Our aim when designing this project was to produce a facility capable of providing A4A and the community of the Mayuge district with a sustainable, spacious building utilising local labour, products and materials.









The centre is a large facility of 155m2 total floor area with fresh water and composting sustainable toilets. It currently has three functions : a learning area for kindergarten children, office space and medical testing facilities. Throughout the building we designed in multi-functionality so A4A can tailor it as their needs change. Sustainability is at the heart of the design. A monopitch roof provides passive ventilation, solar panels provide power, Interlocking Soil Stabilised Bricks (ISSB) fabricated in site avoids the need to fire clay bricks, and EcoSan composting toilets provide manure for vegetation.


Figure 2 Ground breaking ceremony with A4A directors, local governors
and with EFOD members Sean and Dan.


Figure 3 Roof on and almost complete!

The Kindergarten.

This is the largest room with the no central columns allowing a large space for the teaching activities. This room can also be used
for training / meetings outside of school hours with the community of Mayuge keen to get youth activities established in the area.

The Administrative and Medical rooms.

This area is separated by a wall and foam sound insulation to allow activities in the kindergarten and medical rooms without disruption.
The largest room is dedicated to the operational staff of A4A who will have seven desk spaces and amenities to allow them
to carry out their work. Adjacent to this are two testing and two counselling rooms with a reception area.
A4A will utilise these rooms to continue the ever important HIV / AIDS testing they do and to add other forms of counselling and medical testing.
The counselling rooms are separated by a temporary wall to allow flexibility to suit A4A's future activities.

Utilities.
An important driver for this development was to reduce running costs, so 8 x 24volt solar panels were installed to provide a reliable low cost power supply which overcomes the frequent cuts to mains power. We also built a sustainable EcoSan composting toilet to be used by the staff and kindergarten kids. EFOD trained A4A staff on its management since by-products can be used as fertilisers used on A4A's own land, or sold to local farmers.

Local Legacy and Training.

The structure was designed to European Standards to ensure quality and resilience throughout its lifetime.
EFOD NW were keen to transfer building skills to the members of the Mayuge community and so employed six local apprentices to work on site for the duration of construction. They were taught building skills and provided with the correct PPE. Excitingly they also learnt how to make the Interlocking Soil Stabilised Bricks (ISSB) utilised in the construction. The ISSB's are a sustainable form of masonry made with murrum, a naturally occurring mixture of sand and stones. When mixed with water and cement and compressed in a bespoke press the resulting blocks are cured in the sun before use. The alternative, clay bricks require considerable timber to fire, contributing to deforestation. This use of local materials in such a sustainable manner represent an exciting future for African construction and we are delighted to have introduce these skills into the community of Mayuge.

Figures 4 & 5 Trainees learning about ISSB's and sharing construction knowledge.

The 22 Engineering Volunteers who supervised the project in Mayuge gained invaluable experience in practical engineering,
leadership and collaboration. Everyone loved their time with the workforce and enjoyed the back and forth engineering dialogue, transferring of skills and sharing best practice in management, construction and Health & Safety on site between the local workforce and the EFOD volunteers.

Our Thanks.
This amazing scheme was only possible through the generosity of our kind sponsors and donors
which enabled us to reach our ambitious fundraising target of £ 68,000.

Martin Smedley, CEO Act4Africa has this to say about the centre,
'It will provide the vulnerable women and children of the district with a kindergarten, youth club, and community education centre
with HIV testing & counselling facilities.
The Centre will draw together all the issues that matter most to Act4Africa under one roof
and have a positive impact on local lives for years to come.'.

Working at Kathy's Centre was a fantastic opportunity for Haileybury Youth Trust to further promote the use of ISSBs. This all-inclusive project gave HYT graduate masons the chance to exchange knowledge, both with local masons who were trained on the job, and the international team from EFOD NW who freely imparted their expert skills and professionalism. This was a hugely valuable experience and a highly successful collaboration.

The Haileybury Youth Trust went on to gain the prestigious Ashden award for sustainable buildings at Mayuge.    Click here   for more .

Who is Kathy?

Kathy Smedley was the co-founder of Act4Africa, who worked tirelessly for fifteen years to help the people - and especially the women of
Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. Having lost her own battle with illness in 2014, Kathy's Centre is a legacy project that will bring together
the issues that mattered to her most - HIV prevention, gender equality, and the rights of women and girls to a healthy life, an education
and an ability to prosper.

Who are we?

We are Engineers for Overseas Development (EFOD) and Act4Africa.

Engineers for Overseas Development (EFOD) is a charity run by young professionals from the construction industry.
Our projects support communities in developing countries and provide our members with the opportunity to broaden their skills and experience.
We have over a dozen builds to our name in sub-Saharan Africa,
and always seek to partner with a locally connected organisation to ensure smooth project handover.

Act4Africa is a Manchester-based charity working in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. Their mission is to change attitudes, transform communities
and save lives via innovative interactive training in HIV prevention, stigma reduction, gender equality and enterprise. We have been operating
in Uganda for fifteen years, and have worked with the women of Mayuge District to design a brief for the Kathy's Centre project.

   Click here   for the link to their website.

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