2013: Kilkenny House
Almost Done
Roof Sheeting, 2012
Last year our wonderful team of volunteers built a new house in Kamuzinda Children's Village. As it was largely funded by students and ex-students of Kilkenny College, and many of the team were from the college, it was subsequently named Kilkenny House. While we were there, we built the foundations, floors and walls of the main house, and its separate kitchen and toilets, and on the main house the roof trusses and half the sheeting. Afterwards we had the rest of the roofing, plastering and interior painting and water harvesting done by local builders.
Over Christmas the house mother, Aunt Milly, moved in with 15 students. We decided to do more work on the house this year.
Veranda Painted, 2012
Outside Painting
While we decided on other jobs to be done, we started painting the outside of the house and kitchen. Meanwhile, we organised tiles, sand and a tiler for the main room, and a carpenter to help hang the doors to the bedrooms and stores. These doors had been made last year, but apparently were left unhung in the hope that Josh would be back to fit them! The carpenter also put shelves in the store rooms, and made up a door for the kitchen store. In the evenings in our guest house Siobhan and Triona made curtains for Kilkenny house.
In the kitchen, they continue to cook traditionally, on an open fire. It was suggested that we build a more fuel-efficient stove, that would use only 1/3rd as much timber, with a flue to take away the smoke, saving time collecting firewood and improving health for the cook, but the cost would be around €300. An alternative would be to get a fuel-efficient charcoal stove, but then charcoal has to be bought and collected. It is not clear which is the more sustainable.
New Shelves
Tiles and Curtains
New Tiles and Curtains
Normal practice on houses like this is to have a concrete step, locally called a veranda, all around the house. Not only does it help to protect the bottom of the walls against damage, particularly from heavy rain, it is also a convenient place to change from outdoor shoes (you never see a Ugandan wearing their outdoor shoes into a house), and helps to keep the inside of the house clean. The photo to the right shows a typical veranda. We did not have time nor manpower to build one, but have commissioned a local builder to do it. He will also do some work to improve the flow of water from the guttering to the rain tank, as only about half is getting through at present.

There is no electricity in Kilkenny House, and even if there was there would be no money to pay the bills. We considering putting in a small solar panel system that would provide maybe 5 lights for a few hours at night (it would need a battery, obviously) but it would be quite expensive, maybe €1200, so we have to wait until we have a sponsor. By the time the children have finished their chores in the evening, it is getting dark, and electric light would be safer, cheaper, and more conducive to study, than paraffin lamps.

Veranda Step at the Guest House
Group Photo
Loading Sand
Group Photo
At the Front Door
Cooking Dinner

Email us