The Princess Royal, accompanied by Sir Tim Laurence, is undertaking a four-day visit to Uganda in support of a number of her Patronages.
The Princess Royal started the visit at the Medical Research Council (MRC), Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Ugandan Research Unit.
Her Royal Highness is Chancellor of LSHTM, and their Uganda unit is an internationally recognised centre of excellence.
During the visit, The Princess toured the facilities and learnt more about the unit’s work to conduct high quality, energy efficient research that is contributing to the development of strong health policies for the control of infectious and non-communicable diseases.
Her Royal Highness later had an Audience with the President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Mr. Yoweri Museveni.
As Patron of Opportunity International UK, The Princess Royal opened Opportunity Bank Uganda Nakivale Branch at the Nakivale Refugee Settlement UNHCR Base Camp.
Opportunity International is a charity that works alongside local partners to ensure that people have the access to loans, training and saving to help to help work their way out of poverty.
Her Royal Highness unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the charity’s first bank in a refugee settlement.
In Sangano, The Princess then met members of the Wenzetu Women's Group to discuss how Opportunity International has worked with the group to assist families of people with disabilities.
Her Royal Highness later visited Unleashed Youth Employment Project to meet refugee entrepreneurs who have benefitted from Opportunity Bank loans.
On the third day of Her Royal Highness’s visit, met families in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in Uganda, to learn more about the impact conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has had on children’s lives.
Uganda currently hosts 5 million refugees – the largest refugee population in Africa.
The Princess visited a school in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement where she joined a Save the Children Catch-up Club and took part in an activity with children to work together and build a story from pictures.
Later, Her Royal Highness also met children who have fled their homes due to the ongoing conflict in the DRC and are being supported by Save the Children’s child protection activities at a Child Friendly Space.
The Princess Royal became the Patron of Save the Children UK in 2017 after serving as the charity’s President since 1970.
On Friday 28th October, The Princess Royal, as Patron, Sense International, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, was due to visit the Salama School for the Blind in Mukono District, Uganda. As a result of the tragic fire at the school on Monday, Her Royal Highness visited the charity at its Head Office in Kampala, where Her Royal Highness met charity representatives and families it supports. The Princess Royal also had opportunity to pay her respects to those affected, by observing a minutes silence.
Her Royal Highness has shared the following message.
'I was shocked to hear the news of the tragic loss of life. The work of Sense International across many countries is hugely appreciated, working with such a vulnerable group of children. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and staff.'
To finish her visit in Uganda, The Princess visited the ‘Safe Way Right Way Driver’ Training Centre to learn about Transaid projects in Uganda.
Her Royal Highness toured the driver training yard and met women trainee drivers taking part in the HGV training programme.
Safe Way Right Way’ was launched in 2013 in response to the huge rise in demand for HGV and PSV drivers.
Transaid’s road safety work focuses on influencing safe driver behaviour with long term programmes in Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia.