10 Things You Don't Know About Our Work in Uganda

Bet you don't know these 10 things about BOH in Uganda! Why do students shave their heads? What are the villages like? Where does US staff stay? Find out here!

  1. Area Size: WOCAP, our Ugandan partner organization began in one village, Namagera. Since then, WOCAP expanded to include women from two others, Bubugo and Nakulkwe (but BOH's Uganda office is still proudly located on Namagera’s main road)! These villages have people dispersed throughout wide rural areas and could include a few thousand people.

    BOH Sign in Uganda
    ABOVE: BOH's sign on the main road in Namagera. BSSP Coach Emmanuel painted it himself!

  2. US Staff Visits: While in Uganda, we stay in a room next to Cathie, WOCAP founder & current Uganda BSSP Adviser. We enjoy sharing meals, watching soap operas, and spending evenings on the porch with Cathie when we visit! 

  3. Student Hair Cuts:Students attending school in Uganda are required to shave their heads as part of their school uniform and it helps with hygiene. 

    BSSP Students in Uganda
    ABOVE: BSSP primary students smile for the camera (L-R, Front to Back): Sandra, Winnie, Viola, Christine, Resty, Mary, Job, Edirisa. Meet the Students Here!

  4. Ugandan Venmo? Ugandans use their cell phones for banking with a service called “Mobile Money”. They can load money onto their phones as airtime and send it to another number to be cashed out at any Mobile Money stand. Basically, it’s their version of Venmo, and they were using it waaaayyyy before we started sending friends $$ with perfect emoji descriptions.

  5. Home Building: Some of the women we work with make their own bricks to build or restore their houses. Serious DIY.

  6. Savings Program: The women in all three villages started their own savings program without BOH’s assistance or oversight. They’re still using this program today to buy their pigs!

    Uganda Rural Savings Program
    ABOVE: Recognize these faces? Ndhaye Mariam, Semakula Jesca, Nankya Esther, and Naigaga Rose are all some of the “founding mothers” of WOCAP living in Namagera village. We have endless of photos of them!

  7. Farm Tools: Along with a garden hoe, the machete is the most common tool for farming.

  8. Ugandan Kids & Culture: Children are highly valued members of Ugandan culture. Asking someone if they are “good with children” would be an absurd question in Uganda. Everyone interacts with the children in their area and the average family size is much larger than in the U.S.

    Family in Uganda Because of Hope
    ABOVE: BSSP Student Shakira (second to left, in red shirt), her mother and WOCAP member Kagoya Hadijja (center, in red dress), and their family.

  9. Transportation: The women sometimes walk 1-2 hours if a meeting is in another village. Walking (or as they say, “to foot”) is common in rural areas. Roads are dotted with walkers at all times of day. Because BOH’s Ugandan staff members travel to multiple locations each day, they use motor bikes to travel between villages and schools.

  10. Village Life: Each village centers around a main road lined with brick buildings painted with advertisements, wooden stalls for evening markets, airtime and mobile phone charging stations (if there’s electricity - like photo below!), and other shops. People walk back and forth leading livestock, delivering water jugs slung on bikes, or carrying harvested crops on their heads. Ugandan pop music can be heard in the distance, children squeal while playing games, and men and women stop and chat. Branching off this main road, smaller roads lead to homes and farms. In between villages, stunning open spaces are dotted with banana trees, covered in green rice paddies, or filled with leafy sugar cane fields.

    Uganda Village Main Road Charging Station
    ABOVE: This shop is located on the main road of Namagera Village, the same village where the BOH office is located. You can see clothing for sale, painted words advertising mobile phone air time loading and charging, and just inside are the speakers which blast the latest Ugandan pop songs throughout Namagera. This shop doubles as a hair salon (...even though it says "saloon" on the outside)!

Blog by Mackenzie Lanphear

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