Great Lakes High School

Building the High School meets an important need in the area for a high-quality secondary education for pupils leaving primary schools around Kanungu.

Six years ago, it was just a field. Fundraising by Highgate School in London provided money to build two classrooms and the admin block so the school could open and first year group be recruited. Each year, the pupils move up the school and another year group joins, so more funds were needed for the next classroom, dormitory, laboratory, library, staff house etc.

The school now has all year groups and the first cohort have achieved their “A” levels, some moving on to Great Lakes University.

Teaching starts broadly but, for senior pupils, is focused on subjects which will be of most use to them, for employment, and to the community. This leads to a bias towards scientific subjects.

Creating a new school from scratch was quite a challenge. It is a great achievement which is already changing the lives of the boys and girls who spend their important teenage years there and will enable them as adults to have a real impact on the entire community.

Boys revising at the High School

Boys revising at the High School

What hit me hardest was finding that many of Loyce’s brothers and sisters did not have the opportunity to go to school, as it dawned on me the harsh reality that many parents in Uganda face; choosing which child will have a formal education… Click to read full article Ella Lane, visiting student
from Highgate School
I was surprised to find that the students at Great Lakes are learning science topics to the same level as in the UK. Visiting ”A” level student
from Highgate School

News from the High School

Karen has just returned from her trustee visit in July 2017. These important visits enable us to monitor progress at the school, inspect current projects and plan how to meet future needs.

Water Project Underway

The new water source

The new water source

Work has started on the source for the new water supply. Multiple underground springs spread over a 400 m2 area above the construction area have been consolidated to feed into one box where the water is filtered. From the box it is fed with a short pipe into a waterproof stone tank and left to balance its pressure for the long journey - 5km by underground pipe to the school.

We are delighted to see a yield of about 2 litres per minute.

Most of the piping is being relocated from the old spring which has dried up following a prolonged drought (which has also caused a food shortage in the region).

It will be a relief to have enough water for drinking, cooking and washing.


December 2017

Highgate Walk 2017

New truck

New truck funded by Highgate School walk

The Highgate School fundraising walk in October 2017 has been a great success, raising over £100,000 to help much-needed projects. Two are already underway:

  • Water project: the school depends on a spring 5km away for water for drinking, cooking and washing. A two-year drought has devastated harvests and dried up the old spring. The money raised will pay to open up a new spring 7km from the school and relocate & extend the existing piping.
  • School truck: the existing truck was old when purchased and is now end of life. The replacement second-hand truck was delivered in November, bringing the first batch of water pipes from Kampala. It is needed daily to transport students, food, water and equipment, so a more reliable replacement will be much appreciated.

November 2017


High School girl

Girl revising at the High School

The school has 300 boys and girls with 24 teaching staff. It is a boarding school in lovely countryside around a mile from the nearest village.

The pupils come from many local primary schools and stay up to “O” or “A” level. We are monitoring the next steps for recent leavers and the results are encouraging.

Meeting the children is a delight. They are clearly happy and engaged in learning and the many other activities at the school (football, volleyball, netball, debating, drama and scouting for boys).


July 2017

New Headteacher

High School Head and Deputy

Naboth & Jackie in front of their staff accommodation

Naboth and his wife Jackie we appointed head and deputy head in January 2017. They are pictured above in front of staff accommodation for eight teachers (which was recently built to enable us to recruit a high calibre of staff).

Naboth shows great commitment to the school; his determined character is already making a difference to the quality of education provided.


July 2017

Current challenges

Young people collecting water

Young people queueing up for water at the local spring

Some basics we take for granted remain difficult at the High School.

  • Food: a drought in Uganda has affected harvests for two years. Food prices are high, impacting the food budget (particularly as older children eat more!)
  • Water: the drought has dried up water sources we previously relied on so drinking water must be fetched in the school truck.
  • Electricity: the mains connection is not yet live so there is limited power for revision in the evenings and for using the IT library; the generator is expensive and solar panels have limited battery capacity.

July 2017

New dormitory

New dormitory at the High School

Opening the new dormitory at the High School

The new sixth form girls’ and boys’ are now complete and in use. The senior pupils are excited at living in a less overcrowded space.

The photo shows the opening ceremony during the visit by Highgate School pupils.

New science equipment

A science practical

High School students sitting a science practical exam

Great Lakes High School teaches science subject up to “A” as these are important both for pupil’s future employment and for their contribution to the development of the community.

New science laboratory equipment has been recently installed and more is required for other year groups. Consumables such as chemicals for practical experiments are an ongoing expense which is significant in Uganda.

Highgate & Hull School Visits

Highgate School visit Uganda

Highgate School pupils & staff visit Uganda

This year both Highgate School and Hull Collegiate School visited Kanungu from the UK.

These visits are hugely valuable for everybody concerned. The UK pupils get to understand something of life in Uganda which, for some, puts details of their life at home in perspective. The Uganda pupils get the opportunity to talk to people of their own age from the wider world, giving an insight into what they may be part of later in life.

And, just as important, everybody really enjoys the visits.

Sports Pitch

Highgate School sports pitch

The new sports pitch

The new sports pitch has been levelled, fenced and the largest stones have been removed. It now needs a chance for grass to grow over the rough ground to make it fully usable.

Great Lakes Highgate School vs. Highgate School results: GLHS won the football and Highgate won the netball, so honours even!

Mosquito nets

Girl with mostquito nets

Mosquito nets in dormitories

The mosquito nets, funded by Hull Collegiate School, have been installed in the dormitories so every child has a new net.

This is important as malaria is a major issue in the region. As well as avoiding the children getting sick while at school, use of nets sets habits for life and encourages their families to use them at home.

Life stories

Duncan Muhereza

Duncan Muhereza

Duncan, a former pupil at the High School, has published a book «Making Right Choices».

He was one of the first pupils, joining the school in 2008 when it only offered “O” levels, so he completed his schooling at San Gionvanni Secondary School and then graduated in environmental science at Makerere University.

He lives with his aunt and financially supports his brother (having to sell his motorcycle to pay towards his brother’s education). He is setting up a local project to support unemployed young people to set up enterprises.

Sponsors and Donors

A big thank you!

All this has been made possible by the generosity of the sponsors, who pay for the monthly running costs, and donors, who pay for the individual small and large projects which are building this new school.

Thank you to everybody who has contributed, including:

  • Highgate School, London
  • Hull Collegiate School, Hull
  • Felsted School, Essex
  • Rotary club of Holderness
  • Rotary club of Hull
  • And many individual sponsors & donors

Current needs

  • Truck: the school truck, needed to collect water, food and firewood as well as school outings, is at end of life and needs replacing.
  • Science lab: the school focuses on science but one lab is only enough for older children; a second lab is required to ensure that all year groups get important practical science education.
  • Water: despite piping to a new water source and installing rainwater collection, the drought means that most days drinking water must be collected by the truck. We are investigating relocating the piping to a more consistent source 13km away.
  • Solar batteries: solar provides power for the IT lab and for a short time in the dormitories in the evening, but batteries degrade after three years and replacements are due.
  • Mosquito nets: the new nets are in good condition but we must budget to replace them each year.

How can I help?

Our main funding comes from sponsors who pay £15 each month per pupil. 120 children currently have no sponsor.

The families also make a contribution. There is a “hardship fund” for 40 children, mostly orphans, who pay no fees.

For just £15 per month, you can ensure a child gains an education.

We will send you regular newsletters and, once a year, a letter from your sponsored child with their photo…so you can see what a difference you are making.

100% of your sponsorship & donations go to the schools, none of it is spent on UK marketing or admin.

Click here to download your sponsorship form:

Sponsor a child