During a recent visit to Mbale, Uganda, we visited 2 schools: one Jewish and one Islamic. We first visited a black Jewish primary school located in the hills above Mbale. The school, with an enrollment that is approximately 65 percent Jewish, appears to be well financed (by Ugandan standards), but their playground area was in a state of disrepair. We promised to help. We didn’t have our swing set equipment with us, but we were able to provide a locally-constructed climbing tower.
According to our guide, who was born Jewish, there are about 2,000 Jews in Uganda. Only about 500 live in the Mbale area, the rest are dispersed throughout the country. The Mbale community has a very nice synagogue. I need to learn more about this unique community.
We next visited an Islamic primary school located near our driver’s ancestral home. A couple of years ago, we had installed a swing set there. This time we promised to provide a climbing tower like the one provided to the Jewish school. The school director agreed to handle the installation.
According to estimates, about 30 percent of Uganda’s population is Muslim, and that includes our driver (who also heads up our playground installation efforts).