FUM is proud to have supported Urambo FDC for over 50 years, seeing its range of courses adapt from the original emphasis on farming practice to modern ones in domestic electrical installation and computer skills.
Late in 2018 we heard from Mr Nestory, Principal at Urambo for five years, that for health reasons he is moving to Sengerama FDC, in Mwanza Region. He has been a very good leader of the FDC and will be greatly missed by students and staff. The new Principal, Mr Elias Gulmay, started in January.
As a result of Urambo FDC's strong performance under Mr Nestory's leadership it was selected by the government to be in the first 20 out of 55 FDCs chosen to be upgraded. Work on male dormitories, the dining hall, kitchen,latrines and a classroom for the popular Electrical Installation course is already nearing completion. Female dormitories, the motor mechanic and carpentry workshops and the computer room will follow shortly.
Devon House at the FDC recently hosted visitors from the longstanding Minchinhampton Nkokoto link.
Late 2017 update
Due to poor winter rains the 2017 dry season
was the worst for 10 years and water had to be rationed. Fortunately the autumn rains were good and came early so the maize and other crops are now growing well.
The downside was that an unusually bad autumn storm damaged the roof of Devon House, used by guests at the FDC, and cut off the electricity supply. Both these have now been repaired.
New water supply For many years the FDC has not had a reliable supply of clean water. With the help of the local water 'boss' Mr Lucky Mgeni FUM has paid for the FDC to be connected to a new town borehole.
This has made a big difference to students and staff in terms of sanitation and hygiene and the vegetable garden is now thriving.
Students update Mr Nestory has reported that student numbers are excellent. The·great popularity of domestic electric installation and motor mechanics reflects the growing demands of the local economy. 25 students from poor families receive support from FUM. There are still the traditional courses in tailoring, masonry and bricklaying, and carpentry. Eight students are registered for the 3-month short IT course.
Kindergarten This is thriving with 30 children now attending daily, supervised by a local young woman. Parents pay Tsh.3000 (about £1) a month for breakfast for the children.
Devon House for accommodating visitors has had the bathroom upgraded and a new fridge and wi-fi router installed. FUM chairman Richard Pratt and Jo Taylor stayed there in November 2016 and three UK doctors are there in April/May 2017 while spending their 'elective' at nearby Urambo Hospital. They took some laptop chargers for the FDC computers.
Huruma Centre is a nearby refuge for orphans and children with albinism. FUM is now supporting the centre by providing specialist sun hats, much needed to reduce melanomas.
FUM FDC Co-ordinator
The Principal, Mr Herman Nestory, arrived in 2014 and has shown much initiative in taking the college forward with self-funding initiatives. As well as the farming business there is now a college crèche.
The college was the first to produce modern bee-hives, more efficient and far more environmentally friendly than the traditional bark-ring style which kills the tree from which the bark came.
To complement the hives tailoring students at the college use the sewing machines (from a FUM partner Workaid in UK) to produce bee-keepers' outfits for sale.