Volunteering with KCK

Miriam Denis Le Seve has been volunteering with Kids Club Kampala in Uganda, whilst undertaking research into our water and sanitation projects for her Masters dissertation. Here she tells us about her experience:

"It has now been a month since Zee and I arrived in Uganda and were introduced to the wonderful work of Kids Club Kampala. Alongside the obligatory Rolexes and exhilarating boda-boda rides, it has been a month filled with inspirational people, gifted children, life-changing community projects and limitless positivity. We’re here as part of our Master’s program in International Development, undertaking research for our dissertations whilst carrying out assessments for The Long Well Walk and, of course, getting stuck in with the Kids Clubs. My research focusses on water provision and management in Namavundu- a large rural village just off one of the two main roads which lead north out of Kampala. It’s been really interesting to explore how and why access has changed over the last decade and to connect this with wider demographic, economic and political transformations. A substantial chunk of my research will draw out the differences in water delivery between private, public and NGO bodies, giving emphasis to the construction of the new community well which was built in partnership between Kids Club Kampala and The Long Well Walk (a Sheffield based charity facilitating water and sanitation projects in Sub-saharan Africa.)

The well has made such a huge difference to the lives of many people in the community. It has helped to reduce the likelihood of contracting diseases, slashed the amount of money people would previously pay for clean water, or charcoal to make it safe for drinking or cooking… and has even helped boost people’s self-confidence because their clothes are no longer washed in muddy water. It’s amazing how far the positive impacts of this seemingly small project have spanned and I look forward to hearing about future water projects in other areas of Kampala. I’ve really enjoyed my time spent in Namavundu and it’s been a privilege to work with such warm and hospitable people.

Zee’s research has been examining the impact that the women’s groups, supported by KCK, have had on their empowerment and agency. She’s been working all over Kampala, including Katanga, Mulago, Mutundwe, Komamboga and Namavundu, conducting focus groups, interviews and doing participant observations. The mushroom project in Katanga she found particularly impressive and we’ve both been very tempted by their craft products that are on sale in the guest house.

Next week we’re off to conduct an impact assessment for a latrine project on Bunjakko Island so have to say a reluctant goodbye to the lovely people at KCK. But everyone here will remain in our hearts (…and minds as we slog through our dissertations) and we definitely hope to return in the future!"

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