stevehurd@uhst.org Uganda Humanist Schools Trust

Kanungu Humanist Primary School

Robert’s Humanist vision

Robert Magara was deeply affected by the religious cult murder of 780 people, who were poisoned and burned alive in church in Kanungu in the year 2000. He is concerned to live in a society where people care for those less fortunate than themselves, where there is no discrimination and where people use reason and think for themselves.

Motivation for starting school

Robert became disillusioned with religious discrimination. He read widely about different religions and came across a pamphlet on Humanism, whose views on evidence, rationality and the essential unity of all human beings struck an a chord with him. He decided to start a school to help the many orphans, and which all children are free to attend irrespective of the beliefs of their parents.

Finding a good site

Robert used personal savings and sold property to raise money for building a school. He later had additional funds from a U.S. Humanist organisation (Brighter Brains) and more recently substantial sums from Uganda Humanist Schools Trust. He first found a site for the school in the valley but it was prone to flooding. He built a school up on the hill, but the construction was poor ,and strong winds blew the school down. Finally he used his own savings and land given by his father to obtain the current site.

Community response

Robert found some initial resistance to a Humanist school that is open to all religions and none. But he has made an effort to visit different local groups to talk with them about the philosophy of Humanism. They seem to be happy with what he is doing to provide a new future for the children of the community.