Just moments from the tranquil shores of Lake Victoria in the village of Kigo, Uganda, a small secondary school buzzes with life. Students chatter as they are dismissed for the day, notebooks tucked under their arms. Someone pumps water from the school’s borehole, a steady stream flowing into their vibrant yellow jerrycan. Several students drift into the courtyard for an impromptu game of soccer, while others gather for afterschool clubs and group study sessions.
And in the midst of it all, a group of visitors tours the school, learning about its history and meeting the students and staff that make up this community. At the end of their visit, the visitors unload a suitcase, unzipping it to reveal soccer balls, stacks of young adult novels for the school library, toiletries, and school supplies.
This is Awegys Secondary School, and it’s just one of the proud partners of Hornbill Treks and Safaris’ Pack for a Purpose program.
Safaris with Purpose
In today’s world, responsible tourism and sustainable travel practices are more important than ever. As a leading safari company in Uganda, Hornbill Treks and Safaris was founded with a genuine commitment to giving back to local communities and conservation efforts with every trip. And with programs like Pack for a Purpose, our travelers have the opportunity to get directly involved and make a difference firsthand.
During their journeys in Uganda, many of our guests choose to visit Awegys Secondary School for a chance to see what daily life is like for the youth of Uganda. The school was founded in 2004 by Alice Wegoye, a former teacher and school administrator. When there was no secondary school for youth in her village, she gave up her home, turned it into a secondary school, and began teaching a small group of students.
Today, the school educates nearly 200 students at a time, and has an ever-growing staff and faculty, and has facilities such as a science laboratory, library, borehole for drinking water, growing computer lab, and more, for its population of day and boarding students.
But it’s not without its challenges. Many of the students at Awegys come from disadvantaged backgrounds, unable to pay school fees or purchase supplies. Both the school and our team at Hornbill are honored to help support them and their education.
Explore, Engage, and Empower
When our travelers bring a soccer ball, or help purchase local ingredients for the school’s meal program, or donate funds for a laptop, they aren’t just making a simple donation. They’re providing hours of joy to youth who need it most, paving the way to good health, or opening the door to new ways of learning.
While our team at Hornbill is happy to deliver the supplies, our travelers are welcome to visit the school during their stay in Kampala and bring them in person. This direct interaction not only allows travelers to see the impact of their contribution but also fosters a deeper connection with the local community.
By being part of Pack for a Purpose, our travelers are able to easily access the needs lists for our partner schools, and they know they can save a little room in their suitcase to make a big impact.
And after visiting the projects and seeing the work firsthand, many of our guests are inspired to help further. For example, after returning home from their honeymoon safari, two Hornbill guests reached out to us, offering to help with our computer lab initiative at Awegys School.. They generously donated the funds to install internet connectivity as well as provide a year’s worth of internet. This step is especially crucial as schools recover from the learning loss experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. With internet access, the school is better prepared to deliver remote learning as well as connect its students to the world on a regular basis. And with the school’s computer lab being accessible to the community, this is a gift that will further bridge the digital divide beyond the school’s borders.
Leaving a Legacy
With every guest who chooses to Pack for a Purpose, we’re able to support our partner schools, like Awegys Secondary School, by providing valuable supplies. Our guests can connect with the local communities of Uganda and help us build a legacy that lasts well beyond their journey…Now, that’s truly transformative travel.