Here you can find al news about our actions and progress in Uganda and Belgium.

22/09/2023: In the meantime, a lot has happened in Uganda.

An extra wing has been added to Mam Sabina, namely a ward specifically for mother and child.

The administrative building of Virgo Maria has been further completed:

There is a library under construction:

There will also be rooms to allow the children to discover their talents:

19/06/2023: Sint Michiels College will support Ekisande Belgium vzw next school year with their annual actions.

17/06/2023: Terrible news reaches us from Uganda. In a cowardly attack by a rebel group from DR Congo, 41 people are killed and 15 people are kidnapped. This happens less than 2 kilometers from our school and nursing station. The local population is in shock and terrified.

15/06/2023: The students of Space and Service Design of the Thomas More University of Applied Sciences present their designs. They have been working around the needs of a TVET school, a school for young adults who want to learn a trade. As always, it was a wonderful and emotional experience to see these students giving their best with heart and soul.

05/29/2023: President Uganda approves discriminatory anti-LGBTQ law. The ethical contrasts between Europe and Uganda are being brought into focus. This creates the necessary tensions and conflicts.

02/04/2023: Ekisande Belgium vzw holds its annual general meeting for the 2022 working year.

Ekisande Belgium spent €50,366.36 in 2022, of which €49,893.4 directly to ERUDEC. This is a spending rate of 99.06%.

12/02/2023: 12 students from the AP University of Applied Sciences will do an internship at ERUDEC. You can follow their adventures here:

12/12/2022: The midwifery students of the AP University of Applied Sciences raised no less than €1300 to expand Mama Sabina’s midwifery department.

15/10/2022: Ekisande Belgium vzw is organizing the champagne sale again this year. We now have many regular customers who give the bottles as business gifts, or simply like to donate them during the holidays.

28/09/2022: Work continues on the well. We need a tower for the solar panels to control the pump and a water tower. We aim for € 5000l per day yield.

16-31/08/2022: 12 students and 3 teachers from AP are going to the Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal and to ERUDEC in Bwera, to cooperate operationally with ERUDEC. These are students studying education, occupational therapy and social work. They are going to investigate the local needs, in order to set up meaningful projects with the local community. Our president, Dirk Van Merode, can follow along for a few days, because he is visiting the Ugandan partners of ACTEA to complete this European project.
He can at the same time admire the work of the engineering students and witness the drilling of a new well. The presence of the Belgian sponsor ensures that the company is doing everything it can to find water.

11/07/2022: Four engineering students are at Ekisande Rural Development Center (ERUDEC) via Humasol vzw. The goal: a solar panel installation with 12 panels on the roof of the Virgo Maria Campus and two water towers, one at the school, one at the nursing station.
Have a look at their blog:

07/07/2022: Ekisande Belgium vzw receives funding from the city of Antwerp. These will be used for the well drilling on the domain of Virgo Maria Uganda.

30/06/2022: Ekisande Belgium vzw receives funding from the province of Antwerp. These will be used for the purchase of 12 solar panels, batteries, inverter and electrical installation at Virgo Maria Uganda.

11/06/2022: Naturally, the parents are closely involved in their children’s school.

08/06/2022: Ekisande Belgium is supported by EuCanAid, an aid organization of European civil servants. These will be used for the purchase of the installation necessary for pumping the water from the well, powered by solar energy.

05/06/2022: Mama Sabina will be further expanded with additional hospital wards, at the own expense of ERUDEC, our local partner.

04/06/2022: ERUDEC, our local partner, is of course also quite an organisation. Here you can see all the staff of the school.

03/05/2022: This year, Virgo Maria Merksem’s students have again done their best to raise money for Virgo Maria Uganda. This money will be spent this summer on the utilities at Virgo Maria: water and electricity.

11/04/2022: This summer, Ekisande Belgium vzw will invest approximately €35,000 for utilities in Uganda, two water towers and one solar panel installation with batteries. These will be placed by engineering students from Humasol vzw. In preparation, we are already building a building for the installation, and a shop of water and electricity to the local population. Of course we sell at democratic prices, but this ensures a budget for maintenance for our local partner at the same time.

20/03/2022 : Ekisande Belgium vzw holds its annual general meeting for the 2021 working year.

  • Net after deduction of the purchase and sale of champagne and wine, Ekisande Belgium spent €33239.59 in 2021, of which €32794 directly to ERUDEC. This is a spending rate of 98.66%. This is way above our target of 80% from statutes.

20/01/2022 : A delegation from the AP Hogeschool and HMU (Greece) visits ERUDEC. Together we are looking at how we can work together operationally with various departments in the future.

Below you can see the videos and photos.

18/12/2021 : We have started work on the final piece for Virgo Maria school: an administrative building. This is largely subsidized by a Canadian NGO.

13/12/2021 : Everything is gradually coming together for a permanent water supply at Mama Sabina. We need a solar pump to pump up the water. This water then ends up in two 5000L reservoirs, which are placed on a small water tower. The steel beams have already been purchased for this tower.

05/12/2021: The champagne sale is again a great success this year. Thanks to our good products, and because our sponsors are so great, we have many regular customers. The orders from our loyal sponsors are also increasing in size. The champagne must be very tasty.

17/11/2021: Work on Mama Sabina continues. Doors are being placed in the toilets and in the building, a ceiling is being put in. And the lamp burns.

16/11/2021: Dries & Griet, our Australian – Belgian friends have collected a lot of English books. These are now on their way to Bwera. So we can start a small library, because reading is important!

07/10/2021: Virgo Maria also gets a new coat of paint. The school, with its 10 classrooms, looks beautiful.

02/10/2021: Mama Sabina is being developed further according to the plans of Thomas More’s students, Pauline and Eva.

29/09/2021: A new road is being built to Virgo Maria and Mama Sabina. The previous road quickly became impassable in bad weather.

21/09/2021: Mama Sabina gets solar panels and led lighting. This is not only energy efficient, but it also provides a reliable power source.

19/09/2021: Mama Sabina & Virgo Maria are being connected to the power grid.

11/09/2021: A number of 40-year-olds, including Jan & Greet van Ekisande, are having a blast of a party. The profit went to our projects in Uganda.

25/06/2021: During the lockdown in Uganda, the only traffic which is allow on the public roads is patient transport. This motorcycle will help us with that.

21/06/2021: We have placed this tank for the collection of rain water.

02/06/2021: Our subsidy file with the province of Antwerp has been approved. With the subsidies we will proceed to provide Mama Sabina with utilities, namely solar panels and a water tower.

18/05/2021: Some nice impressions of the plans plans for Mama Sabina.

11/05/2021: Student Cesar Zornoza, a Spanish exchange student at Thomas More, has designed plans for an expansion of Mama Sabina HCC on the new ground behind the current HCC.

09/05/2021: A team from the Ugandan government visited our projects and they were impressed. This allows registration with the Ministries of Health and Education to access additional support and opportunities.

09/05/2021: Our partners from Canada, Classrooms for Africa, will set up an administrative building for Virgo Maria, with offices and library ( That is excellent news. This way we can focus on Mama Sabina Health Care Center in the coming years.

15/04/2021: This is the kitchen of the Virgo Maria school. We would like to make a more permanent facility.

14/04/2021: A number of calculations about our operation in 2020:
In 2020 we received a net amount of € 29.410,27 and we spent € 21.144,25 net, of which € 20.699,9 went directly to our work in Uganda. So we have a spending rate of 97,7% on Uganda (only 2,3% on own operations: website, bank charges, insurance).
We think that’s fantastic. A big thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers and supporters

14/04/2021: We are constructing a building on the street side for safe storage of technical material for the solar panels. At the same time it serves as a “charge shop”, where the local population can charge their phone or other appliances. This helps to collect budget for the maintenance of the installation.

31/03/2021: The first students graduate from Virgo Maria. All proud faces.

05/03/2020: Visit from our Canadian sponsors.

27/02/2020: Preparation with engineering students from KU Leuven, to provide solar panel installations at Mama Sabina and Virgo Maria, with Humasol vzw.

Engineering students

19/02/2021: A new touch of point for Virgo Maria school, verandas in front of the door and all around. It starts to look marvellous. And a pole for grid electricity.

15/02/2021: Found water!


10/02/2021: Baby Boom at Mama Sabina HCC!

Baby Boom

05/02/2021: We have a visit from an Ugandese member of parliament. This is important for sustained local support for all our initiatives.

Support from the Ugandese government.

01/02/2021: Fr. Tom explains the necessity for water supply at Virgo Maria school and Mama Sabina Health Care Centre.

Fr. Tom about the water supply
Water for these children

29/01/2021: ACTEA is mentioned as “Best practice and success story”: ERUDEC (Ekisande Rural Development Center) and VAMC (Van Merode College) are associated partners.

07/01/2021: Students receive lessons in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology at Virgo Maria, to prepare them for national final exams. The scientists of the future!

20/12/2020: We are mentioned at “Onbegrensde krachten – Verhalen van doeners”, an overview of Flemish non-profits active in the Global South:

20/12/2020: Finishing Virgo Maria: windows, veranda all around and toilets.

15/12/2020: The European project ACTEA ( wins the Global Minds Award from the Flemish Higher Education initiative Global Minds. Our vocational training centre VAMCAST is also a partner in this project. The teacher will receive free training withing ACTEA. Our presidant and coordinator at ACTEA, Dirk Van Merode, also delivers a keynote about “Closing the knowledge gap between higher education and labour market“. Here you can witness Dr. Musabila from Tanzania talking about “Increased Employability in the Global South“.
Dr. Musabila from ACTEA

14/12/2020: Searching for water in this beautiful landscape. In a distance you see the DR Congo.

27/11/2020: Books for homework for our students, a Covid-19 countermeasure.

A song to go with the books
Books for the students

6/11/2020: The 7th grade primary school:

7th grade

05/11/2020: A man is treated after a fall from the steep river bed.

28/10/2020: The mayor came to plant a tree.

A tree by the mayor

28/10/2020: Virgo Maria is our primary school with a total of 10 class rooms. Mama Sabina is health care centre, for day-to-day consultations, childbirths, treatments with short admissions, medical follow up of our students, health care education, pharmacy, lab. The HCC fulfils the role of our local family physician. Serious cases are referred to the hospital in Bwera.

10/09/2020: Constructions and consultations at Mama Sabina:

04/09/2020: New benches are produced at VAMC (Van Merode College).

21/08/2020: The company Water Giants is hired to provide a final and high-quality water supply for Mama Sabina Helath Care Center.

Een voorbeeld van een waterboring bij een naburige locatie.

19/08/2020: Mama Sabina takes up its role as a health care center by distributing mosquito nets to among the local population.

17/08/2020: The school buldings are being finished. Toilets are provided. School benches are produced at the Van Merode College.

17/08/2020: The container with medical supplies has arrived in Bwera. It draws a lot of spectators.

10/07/2020: The road to the school and health care centre is improved.

08/07/2020: The city of Antwerp acknowledges our work and support it with €5000 for the further development of the Mama Sabina Health Care Centre.

05/07/2020: ERUDEC, Ekisande Rural Development Center, which is the local team and owner of all the local projects, investigates the option to purchase extra land for Mama Sabina.

03/07/2020: In spite of the corona measures, the work at the latrines of Virgo Maria is going well. We have foreseen separate buildings for males and females. The classes also get new doors.

30/06/2020: Mama Sabina welcomes the first patients who stay overnight. They receive good care by our nurse.

09/06/2020: On top of the corona crisis, Bwera needs to cope with another disaster: excessive rainfall has caused floods from the water coming from the nearby Rwenzori Mountains.

14/05/2020: We sell summer wines for warm days. The wine is generally approved by everybody.

14/05/2020: The young girls from the village receive health education and get free hygienic towels.

29/04/2020: A sea container full of medical supplies has arrived in Uganda, a gift from Supplies Over Seas.

20/04/2020: The corona measures make life very difficult in Uganda. People are not allowed to go outdoors, which make them starve as they cannot go out for work and grow food. Ekisande Belgium vzw’s main goal is to invest in infrastructure to have a lasting impact on the local community. But the need is high, that is why we donate €1000 emergency relief for food, sowing seeds and soap.

18/04/2020: Ekisande sends our president on his bike to thank all our monthly sponsors personally.

15/04/2020: Ekisande Belgium vzw holds its yearly general assemblee.

  • Income / expenditure
    • Account Ekisande Belgium vzw
      • Income 2019: €29020,62
      • Expenditure 2019: €26956,87
      • Transfer to 2020: €2063,57
      • Income 2020: €14656,24
      • Expenditure 2020: €9178,85
      • Balance 15/04/2020: €5477,39
    • Project account King Boudewijn Foundation (KBS)
      • Income since April 2019: €6214,50
      • Expenditure:
        • €500 KBS contribution
        • €2300 second building Virgo Maria
      • Balance on the KBS: €3414,50
    • Transfers ERUDEC
      • Total Ekisande: €21804 – in 2019: €15779 – in 2020: €5000
      • Total since the start: €63580

22/02/2020: A water well is drilled at Mama Sabina. This is done in a very traditional fashion, which makes usability for drinking water questionable. But this water can always be used for crops, cattle, showering, washing the dishes, cleaning and flushing.

21/02/2020: Ekisande Belgium vzw sends €2000 for the wages of the teachers and to buy school benches.

19/02/2020: The school buildings have received a kitchen garden and a fence.

17/02/2020: Another set of photos from the terrain. Mama Sabina, the health care centre, and Virgo Maria, the primary school, is also used as a gathering place for the local community. Both need clean water and electricity. We are working on it.

15/02/2020: Virgo Maria, our school, has started with extra toilets (latrines) and school benches.

31/01/2020: The profit from the “Warmste Week” is €5812,69. Thank you everybody.

09/01/2020: Apart from the Warmest Week, all other New Year’s gifts are hart warming. De company where Jan works Verhaert Masters in Innovation, is the champion.

29/11/2019: Ekisande raffles a coupon to eat at the Lewis restaurant on Instagram

19/11/2019: Emma Verhas and Pauline Verbeke, the two students who went to help locally, are selling tote bags for the WW.

6/11/2019: Ekisande sells the Warmest Champagne – served chilled in the frame of the Warmest Week. There is also the Warmest Soup, the Warmest Collect Jar.

25/10/2019: Dirk visits the congress “Investing in people, by investing in higher education and skills in Africa” for cooperation between European universities & colleges and partners in the Global South.

17/10/2019: Fr. Tom publishes a book. Bishop Kiiza Thomas Sibayirwa Changed Our Lives: Stories to Inspire You to Respond to Your Calling (Greatness Series) Paperback – 12 Oct 2019 by Dr Patrick Businge (Author)

11/10/2019: Dirk visits the Global Minds congress for cooperation between Flemish Universities of Applied Sciences and partners in the Global South.

07/10/2019: Ekisande Belgium vzw is one of the good causes of the Warmest Week from StuBru, national radio

28/09/2019: Antoon & Beate, two Ekisande enthusiasts, organize an marvellous auction for the good cause. A lot of atmosphere a lot of profit.

14-31/08/2019: Greet & Dirk visit Tanzania in the frame of the ACTEA project, with colleagues from other higher educational institutes. Dirk continues his journey to Uganda and also visits Ekisande Rural Development Center in Uganda. It was an intense trip, with very strong impressions.

07/08/2019: Construction is going on well.

31/07/2019: Ekisande Belgium vzw receives €5000 from the city of Antwerp for the conversion of Mama Sabina Health Care Center. The design is from the hand of Emma Verhas, Pauline Verbeke & Ying Liu of the bachelor and post graduate Space & Service Design of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences.

15/06/2019: ERUDEC (Ekisande Rural Development Center) welcomes a Canadian delegation. They sponsor 3 class rooms (left on the photo).

15/06/2019: VAMCAST is building new building on land owned by fr. Tom. A fresh start!

10/05/2019: Dirk can once again receive a cheque from Virgo Maria in Merksem. Kindergarten and school children, teachers and parents again have done their best this year. What a boost for the local construction works!

03/05/2019: Water Step (, an NGO in the US supports Ekisande Rural Development Centre with equipment for clean and safe water, worth $7700. Thank you for much, everyting start with good health and good health starts with clean water.

01/04/2019: Fr. Tom is on a trip in the US to seek support for our projects. He founded a “Ekisande US” in Warsaw – Indiana to streamline all local initiatives.

His input:
“My visit to USA is going on well.
We have a container of medical equipment and supplies that will be shipped early April to Mama Sabina Community Health Centre. The supplies are free donations and the shipping cost has been paid by a church in Kentucky, USA.

I also talked at two schools-The children from the two schools are collecting learning items for me to carry to Uganda.

Thank you so much.”

15/03/2019: Dirk presents the achievements and plans of the project at Virgo Maria in Merksem (Belgium). Marie (daughter of Dirk) is the photographer.

08/03/2019: Due to payment problems to the owner, VAMCAST is evicted from the building. We are looking for a temporary solution for students & teachers.

08/03/2019: Students Pauline & Emma are working a day at Virgo Maria. Due to the amount of students, 300 at the moment, we have provide provisional classes.

03/05/2019: Ekisande Belgium vzw is approved at the King Boudewijn Foundation for a project account for all construction works. This means we can grant tax certificates to our sponsors, so they can deduct their contribution from their taxes.

30-31/01/2019: Kick-Off meeting van het ACTEA project.

18/01/2019: Project presentations of the students bachelor and post graduate Space & Service Design from Thomas More University of Applied Sciences.

Designs by the following students: Jack Sun / Sven Huysmans / Jelke Maes / Goran Nad / Cato Van Liefferinge / Charline Van Ocken / Sonja Huybrechts / Kaat Broeckx / Rose Kendall / Caroline De Queker / Jimena Pasella /Lotte Van Giel/ Bram Vanden Eynden / Karline Biscop / Carlos Martinez / Minka Pelkmans / Béatrice Guillaume / Marieke Evans / Esther Broeksteeg / Kato Van Mol / Pauline Verbeke / Emma Verhas / Ying Liu / Janao Denys / Marina Danielyan / Louise Feyen / Céline Liekens / Armen Harutyunyan / Mengyan Guo

Students of the bachelor and the postgraduate Space & Service
Design  develop the the public service and design the functional spaces
of the Mama Sabina Health Care Center. 

Fr. Tom is on an inspirational visit in Belgium. He visits the Artesis
Plantijn University College, Thomas More University of Applied Sciences,
Virgo Maria primary and kindergarten school in Merksem, Sint Lucia
primary school in Oelegem, Gitok in Kalmthout technical secondary
education. He is VIP guest at the Technical Education Conference in the
PSV Eindhoven Football Stadium. He visits our partners in Zwolle and
Amsterdam, acquaintances in Blankenberge and Brussels. He visits the
refugee centre in Arendonk and meets with Ekisande Belgium vzw. During
that period he is guest at the home of Greet & Dirk and gives and
international interview to Dr. Patrick Businge from London, from the
kitchen. A full schedule and a excellent opportunity to get to know each
other better. We should be glad with Fr. Tom as the leader in Uganda.
This way things definitely move in the right direction.