Harpenden Spotlight on Africa pursues sustainable long-term development to help transform the lives of some of the poorest people in Africa.


Founded in 2007, HSoA is committed to creating links between communities in the UK and Africa through charitable projects relating to education, health, clean water, and economic development. We work together with an experienced Ugandan team to ensure a lasting difference is made to the lives of people in desperate need. 

SOA Uganda works in the slum communities around Mbale in Eastern Uganda, helping families displaced by generations of conflict throughout the region.



Harpenden Spotlight on Africa is a partnership between a team of volunteers in the UK with responsibility for community links, fundraising, strategic oversight and financial management, and our sister organisation Spotlight on Africa Uganda Foundation, delivering our projects in the Mbale region of Eastern Uganda.

SoA Uganda Foundation is led by experienced local development workers with deep roots in their communities, and excellent working relationships, both with local government at all levels and with other small local and international NGOs.

Our costs are extraordinarily low; UK costs, primarily audit fees, will represent less than 5% of funds raised in the current year, and our team in Uganda works for salaries that are adequate by local standards but a pittance in UK terms, ensuring that your donations get right to the spot.  Our close cooperation with local communities and authorities then maximises value for money on the ground, improving people's lives day by day and pound by pound.

For more detailed project and financial information, view our accounts here

My goat is my wealth and my future. There is nothing as dear as the ability to meet your own needs.
— Namaye Deborah, beneficiary of Musoto Goat Project


Harpenden Spotlight on Africa works through its sister organisation, Spotlight on Africa Uganda Foundation, in the slum villages of Bukasakya subcounty near Mbale in eastern Uganda.  Mbale has a reputation as a peaceful area, which is why for the last 25 years people displaced by conflict have been settling there, on marginal land outside the town with limited access to public services of any kind.

For people in these displaced communities, life is fragile.  None of the basics we expect as a right - education, elementary healthcare, clean water, and the chance to earn a living - can be relied upon.  Many families have been ravaged by war, HIV/AIDS, and tropical diseases.  In our seven years in the Mbale district, we have made great strides, but there is so much more to be done. 

Bukasakya subcounty has a population of just over 33,000, a little bigger than Harpenden's. 

  • We have 23 GP's; they have none
  • We have 10 state primary schools and 3 secondary schools; they have one state primary school and no state secondary school
  • Our life expectancy is 85 years; theirs is 58



  • Built a 10 classroom primary and nursery school, including a library, kitchen, offices, and toilet facilities.
  • Delivered a further primary and nursery school in an isolated area, serving 450 pupils previously unable to attend school.
  • Delivered vital equipment and facilities to enable the smooth running of both schools.
  • Provided clean water to over 10,000 people by drilling over 20 deep permanent boreholes.
  • In partnership with the Ugandan health authorities we have funded and trained nearly 250 Community Health Promoters.
  • Supported widows and orphans through our goat-farming economic development project.
  • Piloted fish farming projects to develop sustainable sources of income.
  • Set up joint programme with Rothamsted Research and ICIPE to improve crop yields by natural chemical-free pest control methods.



  • We will continue to support our primary school to ensure the children of Musoto can have the education they need to move out of poverty
  • The Community Health Promoters will receive further training to enhance their role at the front line of preventative care
  • Many more boreholes will need to be drilled to ensure that all households in the area we serve have access to reliable supplies of clean water
  • Fish farming and "push-pull" agricultural techniques will provide improved livelihoods for families living in extreme poverty
  • When funds permit, and in partnership with local government, we will build a primary care clinic and a secondary school in these impoverished communities


You could make a difference today