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Uganda: Update on the two school businesses at Mackay Memorial College

The Egg Production business has rapidly developed since the arrival of the new chicks on the 8th of May. The teachers and students involved have been told that the chickens will start laying this month, so everyone is eagerly awaiting the very first egg!

Over the last two months, the teachers and students have learnt a huge amount about chicken-rearing and how to run a business. The project has experienced a number of challenges, which has forced both the teachers and students to think on their feet and cope with different problems. Over 90 chickens have died since the start of the project due to a variety of factors, including receiving poor advice, lack of knowledge on chicken nutrition, human infection, cold weather and even red ants! A vet has been working very closely with the teachers and students to ensure that the chickens remain healthy and do not get another harmful infection. Despite all of these challenges, the project has now stabilised and the teachers and students have learnt a huge amount from the business. None of the teachers and students involved in the project had previous experience of rearing chickens, so the last two months has been a huge learning curve for everyone. 

The layers in the chicken house. The layers now eat greens, as well as the normal feeds, to help them start laying

Last week, the students involved in marketing went to nearby areas to research potential buyers of the eggs and chicken meat. At the business' weekly meeting, the students reported back to the whole group what their findings were. They identified a potential customer who wants to buy 500 eggs per week at 10,000 UGX per tray (approx. £2.30 for 24 eggs) and also a local restaurant who wants to buy 5 cocks a day at 50,000 UGX each (approx. £11.25). The members of the business are very excited about their first sale and to see their hard work paying off! They are also planning to re-invest some of the profits made from the business to buy more chicks and expand the project.

The broilers (cocks) in the chicken house - the larger ones now weigh between 4kg and 5kg and are ready to sell

 

The Entertainment Business has been spent the last two months preparing for the National Music Dance and Drama competitions. For the competition, different schools from all over Uganda compete annually to be crowned the best school in Uganda for Music Dance and Drama, which is a highly prestigious title in the country. Mackay College has never won the competition but has always been in close 2nd or 3rd place. After competing in the first round of the competition, the school was chosen to represent Kampala and to compete with the other districts in Uganda. In total 28 schools took part and after 3 days of performance, Mackay was awarded 1st place for the 2014 competition!

               

 

They have received 5 trophies for the categories that they came first place in and the whole school is really proud of their students for winning this year's competition. They celebrated by hosting a buffet at the school for the students involved, teachers and school board members, who presented the trophies to the students. The teachers and students are planning to build on the publicity they've gained through winning the competition to market the Mackay Troupe and to get more bookings. They are planning on having a 3 month 'marketing push' which will include recording a radio jingle and creating a sign to put up outside the school.

 

                  

             

            The Troupe performing at school


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