Hi! My name is Jacek and I’m from Poland. I just finished my MSc in management science at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Currently, I’m taking part in ICS Entrepreneur programme in Kampala, Uganda, a scheme organised by Challenges Worldwide and UK Department for International Development. Along with other UK and Ugandan volunteers, I will be supporting local entrepreneurs. I have decided to take part in ICS Entrepreneur programme because I want to gain unique experience by working in a developing country. I also want also want to contribute to international development by helping others. I believe that ICSE programme creates a great opportunity for young people and I’m sure it will be a great experience.
We arrived at Entebbe Airport on Saturday morning. After a a quick health check and visa queue we met our team leaders, Hazel and Agbas. We took two cabs and set off to our Hotel in Ggaba, a southern part of Kampala. We are staying here for a week and after that we are moving to our host families.
My first impressions: wonderful landscapes, people who love to smile and dance, and crazy traffic full of speeding boda-bodas (motorcycles taxis) and matatus (minibuses).
On Sunday we had a chance to meet Ugandan volunteers and Herbert, our in-country manager. After lunch and short introduction we all went to the city carnival, one of the biggest events in Kampala. There were African music everwhere and thousands of people dancing on the streets. In the evening we had a chance to see amaizning 4hour dancing show.
On Monday we started our 5 day training. We covered four areas: consulting skills, business operations, finance, and marketing. We also found out more about the enterprises we are going to support. There are six companies which Challenges Worldwide supports:
– Volcano Coffee – a coffee shop
– RASA – a coffee liqueur company
– Mushroom Tech – a mushroom distributor
– Afri Jewellery – a company that produces jewellery from banana paper
– Omega Juicers – a fresh juice producer
– Ream Food – a silverfish company
I will be working with Trudy, a Ugandan volunteer and recent IT graduate, supporting Ream Foods Ltd. Ream Foods is based in Mukono, a small town just outside Kampala. Trudy and I will be mainly supporting marketing and finance of the business.
We’re about to move to our home-stays. I’m going to live with Henry, Tom (UK volunteers), and Peter (Ugandan volunteer) in Kisaasi, northern Kampala. We’re also starting to work with the businesses very soon so make sure you follow our blog.