Bukooli, Namayingo District, 9 September 2022.

Bukooli, Namayingo District, 12 September 2022

In early 2022, I accepted an opportunity to document and become involved in the work of Play Action International, a charity working in rural Uganda. Their mission is to provide play facilities and teaching in poverty-stricken areas of sub-Saharan Africa. I have linked their website below, and a small subsection of this page is dedicated to some of the work that we achieved whilst creating a playground at a school in the east of the country.
For me it was an incredible privilege to explore and be immersed in Uganda's beautiful and vastly varying countrysides, and wonderfully colourful way of living. 

Children in Bukooli, Namayingo District, 12 September 2022.

'Light and Shadows' Bukooli, Namayingo District, 12 September 2022.

Diary Extract
"Coming to Uganda with few premonitions left me happily unprepared for what I would find here. My time so far has been filled with the unexpected, wonderfully so. Upon walking from the plane to the shack of an arrivals room in Entebbe, Uganda became a reality, not some distant, intangible dream.  
During your time in the airport, and upon meeting one of the swarm of drivers that greet you after leaving its doors, the honesty of the people becomes apparent. A contrast to the hostile, predatory sentiment towards tourists that can be found in parts of Northern Africa, there is a genuine sense of welcome, and excitement to induct guests into the country.
Once passed by the immigration official to the rundown baggage area, visible is the Ugandan’s distrust of the debit card. Even the exchange bureau decline them, and inspect every US dollar for tarnishes and tears. The Uganda shilling is a vibrant note rather like the ones found within a monopoly set. At the time of writing, 5000 shillings are the equivalent to just over one British pound. Enabled by a purely cash society, no taxation is added to goods, and is very rarely deducted from wage packets.
There was no definable centre to Entebbe, as we would later discover of Kampala. Instead a main street lined with little booths selling rolexs, chapati and pizza. Visible everywhere are the logos of Airtel, and Mtn, the main phone service providers. Almost every stall brags of being able to top up your phone, and many residential dwellings are painted in the colours of the companies, the logos sprawling across the walls. Towns and villages countrywide are synonymous in the use of this branding, and indeed advertising in the nature of huge billboards and innumerable logos. Outside of centres buildings are single story, with the majority lacking windows. Most have a commercial purpose, with mud huts forming a considerable percentage of residential dwellings."

Grey-crowned Crane at Lake Albert, Uganda.

The Playground
"It takes a village to raise an African child"
An African proverb, quoted by Dennis, the Director of the Adero Foundation School in Bukooli, sub-district of Namayingo. The school was started under a year ago by himself and his father, the name Ader being inherited from his grandfather, a man who did much to push education and community within the local area. We spent around two weeks at the school, and during this time the sentiment the Dennis expressed could not be felt more tangibly. The community was incredibly welcoming to us, and we were accepted with great warmth and hospitality to the area. 
 These pictures below were captured on open day of the playground, when the 200 so students of the school were let loose! Admissions at the school increased exponentially after news of the playground reached the local community, and student attendance is expected to improve dramatically. 
The Road to Bukooli
Travelling by road is one of the most valuable ways of seeing a country. Little snippets of music and smells filter through the windows, telling of a constantly changing landscape which is new and exciting. These fleeting glimpses translate to photos which are full of movement and energy. 

'Airtel, MTN', Namayingo District, 11 September 22

'Downpour', Namayingo District, 11 September 22

'Shelter', Namayingo District, 11 September 22

Jinja Market

'Rice Sorter', Jinja Market, 9 September 2022

'Cheeky, Adoration', Jinja Market, 9 September 2022

Jinja market is a large symmetrical poured concrete building, sprayed in the vivid yellow of MTN, one of the mobile network providers. The top two layers are devoted to fabrics (mainly mass produced imitation football t-shirts),  with the bottom two being given over to produce. These images were taken from one of the higher two levels, looking down on the ground floor. 

'Delivery', Jinja Market, 9 September 2022

'Casual Melons', Jinja Market, 9 September 2022

You may also like

Back to Top