Giving HUGS — What our charity does and how it works.

Helping Uganda Schools (HUGS) began in 1995 to pay for the education of 15 vulnerable Ugandan children, living in an impoverished rural area, who were unable to afford to attend school.

Over the last 20+ years we have helped develop 6 schools, including the first for Special Needs in western Uganda, and touched the lives of 1000s of children.

We are a UK registered charity; our charity statement is to:

Supporting the building and development of schools in Uganda and other African countries. To facilitate and enable the advancement of the education of children and young adults from the earliest years through to undergraduate level. The major focus of the work will be in Uganda.

We work through a network of trusted representatives; motivated, caring trustworthy local people and help them to realise their dreams. They set the direction of our projects and we help to advise and finance. We identify and liaise with other partners to provide technical expertise and special project funding. We broker trusted continued relationships between our schools and these organisations, which in turn provides future project opportunities. Over the years we have been flexible to new ideas in order to provide the largest impact with the donations we receive from our sponsors.

We have been involved in:

  • Building 8 new schools that educated over 1,700 children in 2019
  • Sponsoring primary, secondary and university students
  • Providing teacher training
  • Paying for school meals for reception classes
  • Giving sports and play equipment
  • Ensuring malaria protection for residential children, by providing hundreds of mosquito nets
  • Assessing sight and hearing problems
  • Paying for sight treatments and hearing aids
  • Vocational skills training opportunities within school
  • Funding the creation of an income generating coffee plantation
  • Flattening a slope to make a football pitch
  • Funding latrines and sanitation
  • Providing an IT lab at a secondary school
  • Paying for water catchment facilities so children do not have to carry water long distances
  • Teacher exchange programmes
  • Supporting a women’s cooperative to help them earn money to educate their children

All our donor’s money is spent in Uganda and Rwanda. We have invested £1.5m since the charity began. If you want to know more then read our blog.

Our safeguarding policy

The Charity Helping Uganda Schools (HUGS) recognises its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within the legal framework of the Children Act 1989 and 2004. Because our schools are in Uganda and Rwanda they would come under the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child. The Charity also recognises its responsibility to safeguard vulnerable adults.

We are aware that children, young people and vulnerable adults can be the victims of different kinds of abuse and everyone has a responsibility to safeguard against this happening.

The charity HUGS works in the UK as a registered Charity and has no day to day direct contact with the children we support who live in Uganda and Rwanda. However, we do endeavour to make sure our partners in East Africa are aware of our responsibility (and their responsibility) and this is clearly demonstrated by the information we provide on the Charity’s website.

We will endeavour by our work to make clear that:

  • Children and young people are listened to, valued and respected.
  • Vulnerable adults are treated with care and respect.
  • Staff at the projects we support are aware of the need to be alert to the signs of abuse and know what to do with their concerns.
  • Any paid and unpaid staff are subject to rigorous recruitment procedures.
  • Any paid and unpaid staff are given appropriate support and training.

The Charity, Helping Uganda Schools is committed to providing excellent education to all the children who attend our schools in Africa. We are also committed to providing the children with as safe an environment as is possible. As Chair and Trustees of the charity our main role is to raise funds to enable the schools to be built and run. However, we also have a moral and ethical duty to make as sure as possible that the schools we build are safe places and that the children have an enriching experience. We have informed our schools that we are expected to carry out our work legally and in accordance with the U.K. Charity Commission rules and expectations. We expect our partners to work within the framework of this statement.

Download the Teachers Handbook here;

Teachers Handbook for use in schools in Uganda

Permission to use images

We have sought permission to use images from all of the individuals featured on our website.