Charity details

Registered address
17b Seamons Road,
Altrincham,Greater Manchester
WA14 4ND

0161 941 1435

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Kathy's Centre

Kathy's CentreKathy's Centre was built in memory of Act4Africa co-founder Kathy Smedley and opened in September 2017.  The centre draws together all the issues that mattered most to Kathy under one roof.  We can't think of a better way to celebrate her life.

Opening ceremony

Click on photo to see video of opening ceremony

Built on a 3-acre plot, close to Mayuge Town, South Eastern Uganda, Kathy's Centre provides the community, including vunerable women and children of the district, with vital health and support services, pre-school education and agricultural, enterprise and financial literacy training.


The Kindergaten provides quality early years education for over 40 of Mayuge's children aged 3-6, including AIDS orphans and children of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.  Without Kathy's Centre, these children would, quite simply, not be educated during these formative years.

HIV Testing and Counselling

The rural district of Mayuge has one of the highest rates of HIV prevalence in Uganda (10%).  Kathy's Centre provides a permanent base for Act4Africa's HIV & STI testing and Counselling services at the heart of the community in need; increasing knowledge, improving health and literally saving lives.

Micro-finance and Enterprise Training

Women attending the Centre receive information and training sessions on gender equality, women's rights, sexual health, basic business skills, animal husbandry and agricultural skills.  Adolescent mothers and young women develop skills to gain economic independence and a voice in communities where women are often silenced.


Goat Farm

The surrounding land has been developed as a model goat farm.  The goat farm enables us to train the local community in best practice for animal husbandry and basic veterinary skills.  It also provides sustainability to out HEAL Project. HEAL group members are given goats to breed themselves, providing women and girls with access to their own income, enabling them to support themselves and their families.

Goat Farm

Goaty McGoatface

Brick Making

An eco-friendly brick making machine also helps provide an income for Kathy's Centre itself, ensuring it continues to have a positive impact on local lives for years to come.  The Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) press was donated to Act4Africa by EfOD, following construction of Kathy's Centre.  Local labourers were trained to use the press to make the high-quality bricks to build the centre.  Two of them are now employed by Act4Africa to make bricks for sale to the communities of Mayuge district.

Brick making staff

A Flagship Building

We partnered with Engineers for Overseas Development (EfOD), a charity run by young professionals from the construction industry, to ensure Kathy's Centre was built sustainably and to a high-quality standard.  Together we developed an eco-friendly design for the building, complete with solar panels and modern EcoSan toilets with disabled access.  

partnering with EfOD

click on photo to see video of construction

Why does Mayuge need Kathy's Centre?

Gender inequality in rural Uganda is entrenched.

  • Poverty, gender bias, and teenage marrige and/or pregnancy contribute to just 40% of girls attending primary school, and only 15% completing their secondary education.  Girls who fall pregnant are often excluded from school and prevented from returning to continue their education after the baby is born.
  • High rates of teenage pregnancy lead to unsafe abortions and death in childbirth for girls simply too young to bear children.
  • Women are too often denied the confidence, knowledge, or power to demand safe-sex practice from their partners.
  • Poverty and lack of opportunity forces many girls into the sex-work industry, or lures them into harmful relationships with older men promising money or gifts.
  • These inequalities mean women constitute 2/3 of those living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa

woman and baby

Extreme poverty leads to lack of education and opportunity.

In rural Uganda, 20% of people live on less than £1 a day.  Education plays such an important role in lifting the population from poverty, yet children in Uganda have, on average, less than 6 years total schooling.  An early years teacher herself, Kathy knew the importance of early childhood development and of giving children the best start in life.  90% of our brain develops before the age of 5.  The future of Africa lies with the well-being of its children. Today's investment in children is tomorrow's peace, stability, security, democracy and sustainable development.

Kathy's Centre, with its combined health and education facilities, aims to break the mother-to-child cycles of poverty, ill-health, inequality, and lack of opportunity that condemn local families.

mother and child

How can you help?

We have big plans for Kathy's Centre, but we still desperately need your donations to fully equip the Centre and  train and develop staff.  We currently need donations towards:

  • educational resources and equipment for the Kindergaten
  • Materials for skills workshops for adolescent mothers
  • furniture and resources for the HIV/STI testing and counselling rooms

If you can donate on a regular basis:

£50 a month will pay for a beading workshop for adolescent mothers

£25 a month will pay for a child's fees, uniform, lunch and hand soap

£12 will provide a nutritional daily breakfast for 20 children

Please help us establish Kathy's Centre as the beating heart of Act4Africa and a support, education and health hub for the people of Mayuge District, Uganda.

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