Constructing a community based training complex in Lubanda Village, south western Uganda, had long been a dream of our Suubi Centre director, Ssemwogerere David.
In late 2007, after a chance meeting with Helen and Adrian Brown from Australia, Ssemwogerere shared his vision of creating a centre where people in the village could come to support each other and learn a variety of new life skills. His belief that, "everyone has the desire and capability to improve their own living standard, but perhaps not the opportunity," struck a cord with the Browns. After realising they shared a similar philosophy Ssemwogerere and the Browns formed a strong partnership and they worked towards finding ways to create that necessary opportunity.
From that point on Ssemwogerere inspired fellow Ugandans to get involved and went about setting up the Ugandan based NGO, Development Plus, while The Brown's returned to Australia and established the not-for-profit organisation, HUG - Help Us Grow
. They both began working, on different sides of the world, toward the same common goal!
By late 2008 the necessary funds had been raised in Australia and Nankya Madalena, David's Mum, had agreed to donate a piece of the family land for the centre to built on. Soon the Suubi Education and Community Centre began to spring to life! Check out the gallery photos below to watch the building being constructed. (Click images to enlarge)
'Suubi', as the centre is affectionately known, now stands as a beacon of 'hope' for the many communities around it. It is a place that caters for young children and youth, to the very old. A place where people can come and learn a large variety of skills, a place to share ideas, a place for friends to meet and have fun, but most importantly it is a place where all of these people are getting the 'opportunity' to improve their own lives.
It is Suubi's wholistic approach that we are most proud of. We realise that not everyone learns in the same way, or are passionate about the same things. It is with in mind that we have developed the many and varied programs and projects
that run at the centre.
At Suubi our aim is to help the community to develop relevant life skills in the following five key areas.
- Environment and Development
- Entrepreneurship and Skills Development
- Reproductivity and Community Based Health Care
- Resource and Information Unit - including a community based library and computer classes.
- Best Friends for Life - Connecting people via letter writing to their overseas counterparts
Recently the Suubi complex has taken another huge step forward with the addition of the Suubi Community Health Centre on this site. A purpose built clinic was constructed between December 2010 and July 2011. Check out the gallery photos below to watch it go up. (Click images to enlarge)
We feel very sure that now the structure has been completed it will provide us with the perfect space to integrate community health related services into our existing programs. Through education and support programs we aim to focus on preventative measures, encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle. Areas including, sanitation, reproductive health, mother and childhood development, nutrition, family planning, malaria and HIV support will be addressed. The availability of medical treatment and laboratory testing which is now available at the clinic has been greatly welcomed by the local community. Our focus, however, will always be on helping to prevent illness rather than having to provide a cure.
So as you can see, Suubi is evolving. We feel very excited by this and we hope that by reading all about it you have been inspired to become in involved. You may even like to spend time volunteering at Suubi! If this is the case you can check out the Suubi Accommodation Page to give you all the details about banda accommodation we have at the centre which helps to make our whole project self sustainable. To find out more contact Ssemwogerere David in Uganda or Helen Brown in Australia. We would love to hear from you.