I was able to travel to Kampala, Uganda in April to meet with Mboligihe to investigate the feasibility of hiring an engineering firm to design and build an assembly hall for the new school in Dungu. Mboligihe had obtained a rough estimate of the cost from Invisible Children engineers and we (the U.S. Partnership Committee) had obtained commitments for funding based on that cost estimate. The need for an assembly hall arises from the fact that the school has grown to over 800 students and there is currently no place for them to assemble together for chapel and other school purposes. While there we were able to put together a Request for Proposal (RFP) for detailed design. One of Mboligihe's contacts from Invisible Children in Kampala provided office space and was very helpful in writing the RFP and identifying reputable engineering firms to contact. He was also very helpful in evaluating the proposals that we received subsequent to my return home.
Unfortunately the cost components of the proposals we received were too high to warrant further discussions. However, we gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about the project and are currently investigating alternative means for completing the project. Those plans will be discussed when Mboligihe visits the U.S. for the annual PIEI meeting in early November.
Another purpose for the trip was to secure supplies for our upcoming trip to Dungu to train selected lay people in basic dentistry in late November. We were able to meet a dentist friend of Mboliighe's and he was able to introduce us to dental suppliers in Kampala. He also agreed to purchase the supplies and arrange shipment to Dungu prior to our trip in November. We are very excited to be partnering with ITEC on this trip. ITEC (itec.org) specializes in bring technology to underdeveloped communities in a way that does not disrupt. They are providing three trainers (retired dentists) to make the trip. By providing training instead of just a clinic we will be developing a sustainable capability. Please pry for us as we make the trip November 28- December 12, 2015.