As of 2023, Tasaaga primary school celebrates 16 years of giving free education to the orphans, affordable education to children from not so well to do families and Shs250,000 fees for children whose parents can support their education.
While residents are celebrating the achievement, Mr. Bruhan Mubiru, the proprietor of Tasaaga Schools gives all credit to Robin Galan, a British National who responded to Bruhan when he asked for volunteers to help him construct the first school in Sitabaale village, Kiwenda, Nansana Municipality.
“A donor had helped me buy land for the school but I still needed help with the construction. I wrote a post on a website requesting volunteers to help me out and it was only Robin that responded,” Bulhan Mubiru explained
He explains that his intention was to construct a wooden structure but after Robin came, the idea of a permanent building structure came with him. He talked to architects, spent two months planning and learning and four months of construction. The school was launched in 2008 by President Yoweri Museveni in the absence of Robin.
Robin, who is a builder in the UK explains that at first, he came to construct a building and left. He was then impressed with the lives he and Bulhan had impacted.
“I came here originally to build a building and leave. I left a day before Mr. Museveni came to launch the school because I have to work. I am not a rich man. The problem is that when you are a Mzungu everybody thinks you are rich. I feel like in sixteen years we would have been able to do more but we struggle, we struggle, we struggle,” Robin explains
Tasaaga used to be the only school in Sitabaale. It was built for the poor. It had no electricity, no Water and the village was very small. However, things have changed of late.
“This is a school for the poor. We always charge less and always give free education to people who are under privileged or can’t afford it. we will always be like that. We are non-profit and we have work to do. I feel like the school is a school now and no longer just a building. and when I left, I realized the school is not just a building. It’s the teachers, the parents, the director, the lightning conductor, the toys, the amusements, everything,” Robin said
After the construction and launch, Robin has been coming back every year to see how the school is fairing. He does the maintenance, renovation and expansion. He also facilitates the school’s necessities and pays the school staff.
“I feel like what we have here inside these broken down buildings is a real functioning school that gets good grades, we have success stories and I feel that when I am here, I feel a little bit of satisfaction when I see the children actually learning because that’s what the school is for,” he says
Things changed however after the pandemic happened. He says the school needs a lot of maintenance and every year when he comes back, a bit more building is done yet the bills are very high these days.
He explains that their economy is not good among other factors. Robin and his friend with whom they had started a charity organisation in the United Kingdom (UK) to help Tasaaga school lost one of their biggest donors who was also the mother of his partner.
“It’s always been a struggle to find a way to fund it and it’s always been touch and go and now that our biggest donor has passed away, we need to find a different direction. We have few donors because it’s very hard these days. Some of my friends raise some money at weddings but costs are still very high,” he said
Adding, “For the past years that we have existed, the school has had no scandals and the performances are good so with good proposals, I think we qualify to get some better funding but not to be self -sufficient because we got that covered. We need to make it better like a level one school should be,”