Thursday, June 28, 2007


Linking Communities in Uganda with the outside world
Links between Uganda and the UK are numerous.Can they be encouraged, developed and supported?

In the 1980s, different communities, towns and villages, schools, local authorities, churches, community-based organisations, commercial organisations and others in the UK began to explore the potential for developing partnerships with counterparts in the developing world or the South, as common discourse has it.

In response to this interest, UK One World Linking Association was formed in 1984 as an umbrella support agency. Over the past 20 years, UKOWLA has provided a newsletter, conferences and workshops in UK, Africa and Europe and, in particular, the opportunity for partners in the South to dictate the terms of these relationships.

Southern partners are clear that these partnerships are about mutual support, reciprocal visits and learning for action at both ends of the relationship. We live in a global society and first hand knowledge of different cultures and faiths can help to bring about greater security both internationally and also within diverse societies in the countries involved.

The market town of Marlborough in rural Wiltshire, an all-white community of 7,000 people has had a 23 year partnership with the Muslim fishing community of Gunjur in The Gambia with a population of 12,500 people. The relationship has involved the exchange of 800 people between the two communities, living in each other’s homes, an integrated development programme (pre-school education, literacy for women, micro-credit, business education, water and sanitation, health education) and an education programme in rural England based on the knowledge of The Gambia that has been accumulated over the years.

Teachers from Wiltshire make study visits to Gunjur to learn about that community and bring that learning back into their schools. It’s a real partnership based on a written memorandum of understanding and clear strategy worked out between the two communities. But it has also enhanced relations between Christians and Muslims in Wiltshire and The Gambia as the knowledge of Islam and Christianity has increased amongst people in both communities.

Many schools in the UK have partnerships with Ugandan schools either through the Department for International Development’s Global School Partnerships (DGSP) programme led by the British Council or through Link Community Development

School partnerships are a vital means of introducing children to a wider world, to global issues, to different cultures and faiths. These schools partnerships can develop through the medium of the internet, through letters and exchange programmes. They provide a wonderful opportunity for the international dimension to be brought into all areas of the curriculum, whether through music, religious education, languages, science or mathematics.In November 2004, a conference was held at John Kyrle Secondary School in Ross-on-Wye, UK, linked to Kisiki College, Namatumba in Uganda. It was organised by UKOWLA.

It provided a wonderful opportunity for people from all over UK representing local authorities, schools towns, Church groups and in particular Ugandans living in UK, to get together to share experiences, to network, to discuss common issues and to move forward in the knowledge that there are so many others involved in these crucial partnerships for mutual benefit.
(Conference report available from UKOWLA at £5.00 including postage and packing).

UKOWLA is here to give advice and support. It is not a grant-giving organisation and cannot act as a “marriage brokering service” between communities that are thinking of linking. But it can point you in the direction of where to find schools and communities that might be interested in forming a link and it can also provide advice about underlying principles.

UKOWLA is particularly keen to hear from Ugandans living in the UK who have structured connections to their communities at home that could be built on and supported by others in UK.

Linking communities is an exciting and important adventure. Let’s all do it!!
Nick MauriceDirector, UKOWLA
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THE FORMER PRESIDENT AL-HAJI IDI AMIN DADA FOUNDATIONwritten by ALEMI AMONYE JUNIOR, June 29, 2007Re The Promota. thank thank you for for magazine front page. Emailed to me. great job you are doing to promote African cultures around the globe. keep the good work. check my blogs. theres alot of stories about the late, our beloved father, Al-Haji Idi Amin Dada. go through and select what you would like to include to your magazines. like families group photos, also check this website. created by my young brother, Jaffar Remo s/o Idi Amin Dada. my regards to all Mr.Alemi Amonye Junior & Family in Vancouver Western Canada. June. 28, 2007.
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