STAND ON YOUR OWN is an NGO fully registered in Uganda and focuses on improving the EDUCATION HEALTH and WEALTH of rural and marginalised village communities in Western Uganda.
Nursery & Primary School
Schoolling for 500 Children in Rural Uganda
Vocational Training Centre
Developing for a range of Vocational Skills in young people
McNeil Medical Centre
Providing community medical services and outreach work
Evolving from a local community Based Organisation (CBO) started in 2007 this NGO was registered in 2012. It receives ad-hoc donations, mainly from overseas funders and especially from the UK, where a small dedicated UK registered charity raises money to help with the health education and income generation of these rural village families. (See www.supportugandalodge.com)
In Itojo Sub-County, Ntungamo District the NGO supports Ruhanga Development Nursery & Primary School where around 500 children, 200 of whom are boarders, receive a good, heavily subsidised, private education. For the past 5 years the school has gained a 100% pass rate for the Primary leaving exams with most getting Grades 1 or 11. This puts these students in the top 10% of the country, but unfortunately many will not afford senior school.
To combat this, the NGO built additional classrooms and opened a Vocational Training Centre in 2015. Young people are learning tailoring, knitting and hairdressing and because they serve the local community and make school uniforms during their training, the classes have managed to become self-funding.
A partly built training kitchen/restaurant is the next step and once sufficient funding is obtained to complete the building, many more students will receive business skills and also learn a wide range of catering and hospitality skills. A boarding section is planned so we can offer these skills to a wider audience in the future.
In 2012 funding from the NGO enabled work to commence on building a gravity fed clean water supply and with help from the surrounding villagers 20+ taps were installed near their homes and also to three local schools.
In 2013 funding was received from a UK company to build the McNeil Medical Centre and they also funded the running expenses for the first 5 years after opening. Many different services have been offered at various times, thanks in no small part to overseas and local medical volunteers offering services such as dental check-ups, eye tests, HIV and other counselling, plus community outreach work and advice.
Currently in 2020 we employ a Doctor, Lab technician plus a Nurse and provide free treatment to all the children at our school, and free consultations plus a small fee for tests and medicines for the rest of the surrounding villages.
The NGO ‘Stand on Your Own’ also supports two marginalised fishing villages situated within the boundaries of Queen Elizabeth National Park – KASENYI (Kasese District) on Lake George and Kisenyi (Rubirizi District) on Lake Edward
At Kisenyi the 1000+ inhabitants rely entirely on the fishing industry and at Kasenyi its very similar although some villagers do gain an additional small income from salt gardens on Lake Bunyampaka
The NGO has supported both villages by giving them practical advice on how to attract and benefit from low impact tourism. The results have been the making and selling of crafts and setting up budget accommodation plus offering guided community walks.
The village elders have also been sensitised on preventing the children