Ugandan Upcycle

Beautiful donated Christian Artwork to be sent to Ugandan Village Church

These beautiful artworks consist of a Brass Moulding, Tapestry and Painting.  Donated by a very generous customer, we have decided not to sell them.  Instead, a friend of the project, Rachel, who is on her way to Uganda, will deliver them to a village church there.  The church has currently got no decoration at all, due to the extreme expenses of items like this.  I hope they are pleased with their delivery!

Update on this:- The pictures arrived safely, and were very well received by the local church:

What does Upcycle do for Uganda? 

The Forest Upcycling Project has branched out even further, and now employs a woman from Uganda, named Stella Aguti. Her role in the charity is to buy and ship African products to England, and also to manage our small Grant giving scheme. Working for the charity means Stella has a steady income of money, meaning she can send her children to school and can have enough food to eat.

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Map of Africa with Uganda highlighted in red
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Stella Aguti

“Hello, my name is Stella Aguti I am a mother of three children living in a place called Namatala in the town of Mbale in south-eastern Uganda.  For most of the past decade I have been making a living through buying a few perishable goods (tomatoes, onions) at the central market each day and selling them onto my neighbours.  I live in part of the town that some would call a slum.

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The slum where Stella and her family live.

I have a two room dwelling where I stay with my husband and three children.   Like many people in Uganda I have a good education, but have not had the opportunity to put that education to use.  There are so few jobs, and those who get them often pay a bribe to be selected.  I want to make sure my three children grow up and have a better life than the one I have.

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Stella and two of her children

I cannot describe how totally grateful I am for the opportunity Forest Upcycling has given me.  With a monthly wage and the opportunity to put my business skills to better use.   With your help I can educate my children properly and think about improving my living conditions.  I will work with all my strength for Forest Upcycling.  Though I am many miles away, I share in your desire to make the world a better place.  THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

Stella has been managing the distribution of £50 business start up grants to families in her town of Mbale.  Families are selected to receive a grant based on their current level of hardship and the sustainability of their idea.  Stella, being a local Ugandan woman, is best places to make these judgements as she knows the people, the area and the businesses.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT MBALE?  The Mbale district is one of the poorest regions in Uganda with 90% of households declaring themselves as poor.  68% of households live in huts and struggle to meet the costs of living, with many people surviving on less than $1 a day. 


Our unique programme of grant giving in Uganda relies on just one trusted member of staff to assess the applicants and process the giving.  This means that much more money goes directly to those in need, compared to larger organisations. 

In 2017-8 Stella issued 12 £50 grants to families in her region.  Here are some of the people we have helped. 


Case Study 1: Adongo Kana

Mbale district

Adongo Kana is a single mother of two children.  Making a little money by travelling from house to house to wash clothes for other villagers.  The purchase of a sewing machine and some clothes to work on and sell with provide her with a means to support her children with the hopes of raising enough funds to feed them and pay school fees.

arujo1Case Study 2: Arujo Jesca

Amuria district

Arujo Jesca is a single mother of 3 children.  The purchase of this sewing machine will bring them from the poverty line as it will allow Jesca to make an income to feed her children.

asio128129Case Study 3: Asio Anna Grace

Amuria district

Anna Grace is a single mother of 5 children, abandoned by the father.  She is using the grant provided by Upcycling to start a produce business.  Buying large sacks of ground nuts and beans at market and selling them to the local villagers.  This grant has allowed her to start her business by buying stock and a method of transporting the sacks.  The profit from the sales will make it possible for Anna Grace to buy more stock and support her children in a long term sustainable way.


Case Study 4: Atim Sultana

Kumi district

Atim Sultana is a widow supporting her family alone.  The grant from Upcycle has allowed her to purchase 3 goats which she now intends to rear and breed.  The sale of the kids will allow Sultana to support her children well and send them to school.

isaac1Case Study 6: Ochen Ismail

Mbale district

Ochen Ismail could not complete his education due to lack of funding from his family.  He now has a family of his own to support, but without qualifications this is difficult.  Ismail used the funds from Upcycle to buy aluminium and coal so that he could make his own saucepans and pots.  He will be selling these to local households, schools and businesses.  Funds he makes will be used to support his family and complete his education.


Christmas 2018, Upcycle launched an idea over their facebooks sites to give customers the opportunity to buy a goat for a Ugandan in poverty as a special Christmas present for someone.

This was a hugely successful scheme with 16 of the poorest Ugandan families from the Mbale region receiving the gift of a goat.  Our contact in the region organised the purchase of the goats and sent back personalised Thank You videos from the recipients to the donors.

At a cost of £16 per goat, this was a life changing gift for these families, many of which are surviving on less than $1 a day.