Bupadhengo Secondary School

School Motto:  Education is a Necessity

In 2004 Bupadhengo Secondary School was little more than a patch of land with no permanent structures.  Only six students attended the school and they had their lessons under the shade of a tree.  Secondary school children from the local area were walking up to 15 km each day to attend the nearest quality secondary school.  In 2012, thanks to our support, the school now has 600 students, with over 150 in their first year, and a staff of 20 teachers.  The number of students has risen by over 100 in one year and there are now an incredible 221 boarders – 144 girls and 77 boys.

Completed Projects have included:

All of these projects have involved working in partnership with the local community which has donated food for the builders and bricks towards each project.

These improvements led to the school becoming part of the Government of Uganda’s Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme in 2007.  This provides free secondary education to all students who can attain grade “C” or above at primary level.  This partnership enables even the poorest children to gain access to a decent education.

The head teacher, Robert Mukisa, came to England in January 2009 on an exchange with a teacher from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) in Penrith, Cumbria, England.  These schools are now twinned and we hope this will lead to further developments in Uganda.

In June 2009 Charlie van Straubenzee (Henry’s younger brother) and his friend Tom Brooksbank both ran the gruelling 26 mile Kenyan marathon.  Thanks to the generosity of many friends, they raised the necessary funds to build a 62.5’ x 25’ dormitory block which comprises two x girls’dormitories, plus a matron’s room and a storeroom for washing bowls and cooking equipment. We are incredibly grateful to all who donated.  This will make a huge difference to the number of female borders.

We have recently purchased 10 bunk beds, thanks to Kimpton Parish Church, where Henry used to worship, and a donation given in memory of Geoff Medcalf.

During 2010 we completed 4 new teachers houses, 5 girls latrines and a washroom thanks to funds raised at our 2009 Carol Service.  7 teachers can now live at the school leaving 8 still living away from the school.  Thanks to another donation, we were able to give the school 35 new 3-seater desks which will mean 100 children will now have a proper desk and will no longer be sitting on the dirty, dusty ground.

Also thanks to a donation by the AV foundation: www.avfoundation.org we have given the school three 7,000 litre water tanks using our new curved brick ISSB machine. This will alleviate the problem of children walking across the road to the nearest bore hole.

Money that was raised at The Chakravarty Polo Cup in July 2010, by our Patrons, Prince William and Prince Harry, has been used to provide a new boys’ dormitory, plus matron’s room.  Also 8 boys’ latrines have been built, thanks to funds raised in the 2010 Run to the Beat half marathon, by Nick Cookson, Edward Stileman and Oliver Tomalin all very good school friends of Henry - we are very grateful to all of them.

We are very grateful to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) for organising a container to be sent from England.  Within the container there were 389 boxes of textbooks, revision books, Biology, Geography and Maths books, exercise books, library books, board games, second hand books, encyclopaedias, bicycles, shoes and PE equipment, arts and office equipment, hymn books, files and ring binders, cushions for dormitories and musical instruments.  This was a very generous donation by the school and our thanks go to Phil Crudge, Maria Bates and Rebecca Hall, in particular, for co-ordinating everything.

During 2012 we constructed a further 4.5 classrooms thanks to funds raised at the leavers event in March 2011 at Bryanston School in Dorset.  This was organised by the head boy James Schuster Bruce and head girl Rhian Richardson.  Various volunteers from England, noteably Julie Bonham Cozens, Rio Ball, Charlie Northcott and Jake Wakefield all helped to unpack the various QEGS boxes and to organise the library for the Secondary School.  We are incredibly grateful to all donors and volunteers.

The Uganda Club at QEGS also helped to complete the 6 general latrines in 2012.

This is a school that during the last 8 years has been transformed beyond recognition.  We look forward to continuing to support it, as long as we have the funds.


Head Teacher:  Mr Robert Mukisa

Number of Pupils in March 2012:  615