The initiative to Ihushi Development Centre (IDC) was taken in 1999 by Emmanuel Buguba. He had some years earlier got to know Inger Wibergh and Lage Bergström from Torsåker in Sweden. What Emmanuel felt as the most important thing to do was to invest in the young people of the village, and give them training for a good start in adult life. Inger & Lage promised support and formed on their home turf in Torsåker the association Friendship with Ihushi (Vänföreningen Ihushi). With the promise of Sweden backing his project, Emmanuel dared take the first steps to create what has now become a successful learning centre.
It started very simply, Emmanuel gathered a group of youth to his home in the village. A store-house became a classroom and practical instruction was given outdoors. As teachers, he hired three talented artisans (a carpenter, a mason and a tailor) from a township nearby. They had no teacher training but a great commitment, which gave the vocational school a good start.
Today, 19 years after its inception, IDC is not only a vocational school but a development resource for all of Ihushi and the neighbouring villages Sese, Matale and Busekwa, with a total of 15,000 inhabitants. Now IDC has also a preschool and organises different programmes such as seminars for women's groups, HIV/AIDS prevention, support for the primary schools, advice on environmental issues, a driving school – and more.
The first group of vocational students learnt their trade by building the first house at IDC's learning center.
So it has continued. Today there are ten buildings at the centre, all built by the youth at the vocational school.