Uganda Village Boardgame Convention 2022

by Ben Parkinson in Uganda

Total raised £5,340

raised so far

+ est. £142.50 Gift Aid



We aim to bring modern boardgames to hundreds children living in remote rural Uganda and teach existing boardgamers more challenging games.

by Ben Parkinson in Uganda

We're still collecting donations

On the 25th April 2022 we'd raised £5,130 with 130 supporters in 42 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Depending upon how much is raised, we may invest in mats or more tables, which can be used at the school moving into the future.  

We also have solar power that needs to move further into the classrooms, in order that children can play the games into the evenings more easily.  

Our biggest building on site, the Assembly Hall, still needs a roof and it would be amazing if we could raise enough money to finish this building.

1647163868_twilight_imperium.jpgWe launched this event in 2017, never imagining how popular boardgames would become for rural children in Uganda.  Since then we have opened over ten boardgames clubs in these remote areas, with donated games moving out into these areas, where there is no electricity and little other than housework and digging to do.

Rural children, what they lack in knowledge of the otuside world, they replace with enthusiasm to learn more and in previous years gaming has started early in the morning and gone on well into the evening.

We last planned our Convention in 2020, but it became clear that we would not be allowed to operate it that year, due to crowd-gathering rules.  By 2021 the rules had relaxed a bit, but large events were still seen as high risk, while children were being forbidden to attend school.  However, this year, all children are back at school, we have a whole new batch of new games to teach and play and circulate and since 2020 we have opened a village-based secondary school, so we have lots more space than we ever had before for playing games, as well as accommodating the children that stay.


One thing we should mention is that the Convention is rather different to those in USA and Europe.  Village children cannot afford to pay to enter and we use the Convention as a way of introducing them to a wider range of food, so we cover all of their costs, so they pay with their enthusiasm!  The only income we receive is from this fundraiser.

This year we are planning to include some new elements, as well as some of the elements that were so successful in previous Conventions:

1. Art Arena Painting Games.  These games produce artwork on a theme and this year we will focus around our Perfect Planet.  Each team will be responsible for balancing the needs of the planet with the needs of the population.


2. Quickie tournaments.  We'll be including a lot of faster games, which can be turned into tournaments.  Games like Coup, Onitama, Challenge of the Superfriends, Tschak, Frenzi and Tides of Madness can turn into mini-tournaments.


3. Big games.  Normally Twilight Imperium stays on the shelf, because we don't have time in our schedule to play, but games like this, Civilisation, Fury of Dracula, Android and others can make for an exciting half to full day's entertainment.


4. LARP.  We feel when working with children, it's important to give them some active fun and the LARP has always been one of the highlights of the Convention.


5. Open Sessions, where people can choose which games they want to play, so long as they know how to play.

6. New Games sessions, where the village children can be taught by their peers games like Queendomino, Glen More II, Imhotep and Empires of the North.


7. Omweso tournament.  Omweso is a game similar to many other Mancala-type games but played with special rules for Uganda.  Many of the village children know how to play this game and can do well.


8. Boardgames on computer.  By May, we hope to have a lot of laptops on-site donated by Google to our school.  We'd also like to use the opportunity to invite games players around the world to join us by playing some games against the kids on-line during the Convention.  We have a copy of Gloomhaven, Ticket to Ride, Small World and many others that we invite you to play with us.


Transport.  In previous years, cars would have to drive along muddy tracks to get to our site but this year, we are more accessible.  We also have our own transport that helps us move more children to the site more quickly (and returns them home afterwards).  We want to allocate £500/£600/£700 for transport this year.

Food. We expect to cater for 250-300 children this year and this on its own could reach £500/£1000/£1500 for the four days depending on the numbers.

Shipping of games.  We will need a few more games this year to bring new variety.  I estimate £300 being needed for this, if we can acquire more donated games.

Furniture.  With the large numbers of children coming to the Convention, we need many more chairs, tables and beds.

50/100/150 chairs - £500/£1000/£1500

15/25/40 large tables - £675/£1125/£1800

20/35/50 beds - £1400/£2450/£3500

20/35/50 mattresses - £320/£560/£800

All furniture will remain at the school to help us expand to 250 students by the end of 2022.

Solar Power.  We will need to extend lighting into all of our classrooms, so that the games can be played into the evenings.  We'd need £1000 to do this.

Internet.  We'll need internet to connect for the on-line gaming.  It'll be about £100.

BUDGET SUMMARY (100/200/300 children)

Transport - £500  -  £600  -  £700

Food -        £500  -  £1000 -  £1500

Furniture - £2895 -  £5135 -  £7600

Shipping - £300   -  £300  -   £300

Internet -   £100   -  £100  -  £100

Solar -                      £1000 - £1000

TOTAL  -   £4195 -  £8135 -  £11200


This project offered rewards

£20 or more

£20 Reward

You'll receive a thank you letter from the kids and a password to join one of the on-line games we are running.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

We'll send a letter from the kids and digital photo taken during the Convention. Also, you'll be given a password you can use for the on-line games.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

We'll send all the other rewards up to £100, plus a framed picture taken at the Convention and signed by some of the kids. Postage will be about £10.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

We'll send all of the previously-listed rewards plus your name (or company name) will appear on the certificates handed out to tournament winners.

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