Rwenzori Trust

We’re a small-scale charity, established in 1992, committed to the highest standards of integrity and transparency

Having recently completed our project with the Ruboni Community Camp, we are about to complete the Reading Room project. Going forwards, our sole focus for the foreseeable future is the Child Sponsorship Programme.

Our mission

The advancing of education in Uganda for the public benefit

Our goals

The sustainable empowerment of young people in Ruboni through education

Transparency
Completed Projects
History
Trustees

Transparency

  • Our income comes from donations from friends, family and generous strangers. We also own the intellectual property rights in the ‘Guide to the Rwenzori’ by Henry Osmaston and we generate some income from sales of this book. Please contact us if you’d like a copy!
  • Our trustees personally meet the UK running costs of the Rwenzori Trust, such as this website. We don’t claim expenses. - When dealing with Africa, or indeed charities generally, there is always a nervousness around money disappearing. We minimise this risk by sending our child sponsorship programme money once per term to a designated account in Uganda, from where it is transferred directly to the relevant schools.
  • Our overheads are limited to bank charges on our transfers to Uganda, and a retainer of 50,000 Ugandan shillings (approximately £10) plus limited out of pocket expenses each term that we pay to a local teacher who coordinates the payments, the student selection and who reports to us each term on the Child Sponsorship Programme.

Completed Projects

  • From 2008 we earmarked 30% of all the money that we sent to Ruboni to be put towards projects to benefit the whole community (whilst the remaining 70% subsidised school fees). That pot of money was known as the “community pot”. In 2008 the community decided that this pot of money should be used to complete and improve the community-run eco-tourism camp that was nearing completion in the village, known as Ruboni Community Camp. The community pot helped expand capacity at the camp, building more “bandas” and tented accommodation, upgrading the water and heating systems, the toilets and the dining area. This camp is now a brilliant place to stay for tourists visiting the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Located just 1km from the park gate on the dirt road leading to the park, with views of the stunning Portal Peaks, surrounded by dense vegetation, this is an excellent base for exploring the mountains or just relaxing.
  • From 2014, with the Ruboni Community Camp fully functioning, the community decided that they wanted to build a “reading room” in the village, as a community space where local students could come to study. In 2019, that reading room is nearing completion, with some added financial support from the Ladkin family.
  • Throughout this recent history, the Child Sponsorship Programme has been subsidising secondary (and some tertiary) education fees for local young people. We’re extremely proud of our graduates, who have gone on to start careers thanks to our programme.
  • From 2019 onwards, with the whole-hearted support of the community, we intend to focus all of our financial resources on the Child Sponsorship Programme, and money that we previously set aside for the “community pot” will be used to increase the subsidies paid to our students.

History

  • The Rwenzori Trust was founded in May 1992 by Henry Osmaston and David Pasteur, who transferred their intellectual property rights in the Guide to the Rwenzori (the first edition of which they published in 1972) to the newly created charity. The trust was registered as a UK charity with Andrew Stuart as the third original trustee. Each of the original trustees had spent periods of their working lives in the colonial administration in Uganda.
  • The trust was established for the purpose of advancing education in Uganda for the public benefit. This purpose includes, but is not limited to, supporting training, research and conservation on Ugandan mountains.
  • To this end, the initial aim of the Rwenzori Trust was to raise funds through sales of the Guide to the Rwenzori (by Osmaston and Pasteur) to support the carrying out of research in, and maintenance of accommodation and paths inside, what is now the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. That aim has translated into the intention to design and construct a new hut within the Rwenzori Mountains National Park to accommodate researchers and park staff working in that area. Nigel Osmaston (Henry’s son) and Andrew Wielochowski, who both joined as trustees in 2006, are primarily responsible for the assessment of, and eventual delivery of, the research hut project.
  • In 2007 Sarah Stafford contacted the Rwenzori Trust looking for a forum through which to operate her proposed Child Sponsorship Project and that proposal became reality in February 2008 when 35 children in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains started their new school year supported by the Rwenzori Trust. Sarah first worked in the Rwenzori area in 2001, on a teaching placement, and has since worked with the local community to build an eco-tourism facility at the entrance to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. If you’re planning to visit this area, the Ruboni Community Camp is an excellent place to stay.
  • In 2015 we welcomed our latest trustee, Chris Noakes. With university qualifications in international politics and water engineering, and a period of living in Uganda, he brings relevant skills to the board, and he will focus on oversight of the Child Sponsorship Project.

Trustees

  • Andrew Wielochowski (chairman) - [tbc]
  • Nigel Osmaston - Nigel’s father, Henry, was one of the founders of the Rwenzori Trust, and one of the author’s of the Guide to the Rwenzori. Nigel was born in Uganda and [spent his early years there]. Now based in Cambridge, Nigel is an engineer specialising in large scale infrastructure often in developing countries.
  • Sarah Stafford - During Sarah’s first stay in Ruboni in 2001, she made the initial introductions to start the funding and construction of the Ruboni Community Camp. In 2007 she joined the Rwenzori Trust and set up the Child Sponsorship Programme, which started supporting children from February 2008. Based in London, Sarah travels to Uganda every 3 or so years to monitor the Trust’s projects. Sarah’s legal background  supports the legal record keeping, accounting and general administrative duties of the Trust.
  • Chris Noakes - [tbc]

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