Rural Education and Environmental Development Organization / Nkuringo Integrated Model School

Nkuringo Integrated Model School is located on the outskirts of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. The school was established in 2013 by Dennis Bilungi with the aim of giving children a formal and vocational training. This resulted from the recognition that the prevailing schools were not meeting the needs of disadvantaged children, especially the Batwa and orphans. The school now serves 185 elementary and middle school pupils of whom 47 are Batwa.

The Batwa were evicted from Bwindi forest in 1991 when it became a National Park (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park). They lost their rights to resources, such as, honey, medicine, wild meat, wild yams, fruits, shelter, etc. These were their source of survival. They are now some of the poorest people in Kisoro district with the highest infant mortality rate and a low life expectancy. Malnutrition in form of lack of a balanced diet is common amongst the Batwa. When their children enroll in schools they find it hard to concentrate because of hunger and under nourishment and this eventually affects their academic performance. The Nkuringo Integrated Model School has a priority on complementing their diet with mushrooms and vegetables. The school has a beautiful garden that supports the school feeding program, teaching the students how to garden, and is an active income production enterprise. The school also have a new water system that was provided by Empowers Africa in 2014.