Nichola Shenton, Learning and Skills Manager for Real Skills Training Ltd based at their Leeds training venue in Holbeck was deployed to Uganda as part of 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment last week. The medical team from 4 Mercian has deployed to Uganda to train Ugandan medics in first aid skills. The team of Reservists, of which Nichola is a serving member, have been mobilised for two weeks to conduct the training with The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), previously known as the National Resistance Army, the armed forces of Uganda .
4 Mercian has its own combat medical technicians, a role which is open both to men and women, Nichola is pictured on the right with two other members of the regiment on location in Uganda and teaching the UPDF valuable medical skills.
The economy of Uganda has great potential, and it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development. Chronic political instability and erratic economic management since self-rule has produced a record of persistent economic decline that has left Uganda among the world’s poorest and least-developed countries. Local children have been interested by the regiments arrival and some members have taken the opportunity to hand our pens, paper, sweets and drinking water to children they have met, more information and pictures will follow from Nichola’s time in Uganda.
It’s interesting to have a member of our rail training company in Uganda as the Ugandan Government in collaboration with other Partner states within the East African region is undertaking efforts to revitalize the railway transport system. Government will fast track the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) throughout Uganda. In 2016, construction started on the 1,614km standard gauge railway (SGR) line in Uganda, aiming to connect the country with its East African neighbours Rwanda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Also known as the Southern Corridor Railway, 90% of the project will be funded by the Export-Import Bank of China, with the USD3.2 billion construction to be undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Company. It will stretch from western Uganda’s Kasese district via Kampala, to the border town of Malaba, to meet Kenya’s own SGR (under construction and due for completion during 2017). It is due for completion in 2018.
In the meantime here in the UK our trainers are keeping her groups of youngsters occupied and engaged in their training until she returns to continue the English and maths elements of their course. We hope Nichola may get to witness rail developments during her time in Uganda and we look forward to hearing accounts of her experiences.