Kulika was established in 1981 in the UK with a focus on providing educational opportunities through vocational and academic scholarships to Ugandan people. Since then, Kulika has developed into a fully independent Ugandan registered NGO with an emphasis on community development and the provision of educational opportunities to help people improve their livelihoods.Particularly important to Kulika’s strategy has been the development of a Sustainable Agriculture Training Programme which started in the mid-1990s and through which many families and communities in Uganda have been transformed.The Education Programme remains an important part of Kulika’s work, equipping Ugandan people with the skills they need not only for their personal development, but also to meet the development needs of the nation.Kulika Uganda now has a staff of twenty-six, operating from headquarters in Kampala and with activities across the country.
Our History: The love for children led to Kulika's birth
A young girl’s interest in Africa led to the foundation of Kulika Charitable Trust Uganda 25 years ago. Patricia Brenninkmeyer’s interest began when her piano teacher used to tell her stories about children in Africa who needed help. “It was not until many years later that I arrived in Uganda – a fully qualified child care officer with very little experience but boundless enthusiasm. I was given an amazingly varied insight into how life was lived in every corner of Uganda,” she explains.
Wherever there were Catholic missions caring for orphans, she made sure the children were well-catered for. The following years broadened her horizons and influenced the direction which Kulika Trust would take.“I found a job with The Commonwealth Students’ Children Society (CSCS), which worked with students, mostly from West and southern Africa who had brought children with them to the UK, but discovered it was difficult to find accommodation and child care,” she recalls. Many resorted to fostering their children with English families, unaware of the different expectations of the foster family, the cultural clashes and the confusion it would bring to the children torn between the two families.
“After seven years with CSCS I decided to set up a children’s home to care for students, where parents would stay or take their children home at weekends or for holidays. We also started a small farm to provide eggs, milk and meat for the kitchen and dung for our large vegetable garden.”
This venture and the increasing involvement with conservation projects in the area formed the basis of the sustainable agriculture focus of the Kulika Trust. The home was, however, closed in 1991 but they couldn’t find a buyer for it. Later the farm was turned into a training centre for African farmers. A small working party was formed consisting of Reverend Merfyn Temple, Mathias Guepin, Brian Evans and herself. The farm was surveyed and deemed very suitable for the project, with Dr Anne Stone as Project Manager and in 1993 the first two trainees arrived from Uganda – Elijah Kyamuwendo and Josephine Kizza. Together, they worked hard to turn the farm into a real training centre and they made sure the syllabus was truly applicable to the Ugandan situation. Between 1993 and 2000, a total of 40 farmers were trained at Warren Farm. During the first five years they sponsored 42 students from 11 different countries, 27 of them being Ugandans.
“On this occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Kulika Trust, I would like to tell you how proud I am of all that has been achieved. I am very impressed by the developments in the last couple of years and by our success in finding some new partners to help carry the work into the future,” she comments.