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October 15, 2020

Chrysalis School – the final push to becoming a butterfly

Ben Parkinson (1978-82) has spent the last ten years founding and running a charity called CYEN in Uganda to help bright but disadvantaged teenagers achieve their potential through education.

Ben has been inspired to help change the lives of young people by building a secondary school from the ground up, using bricks which he and his team are making themselves. The school was on target to be finished and open by February 2021 but COVID has hit fundraising extremely hard. Ben is in a race against time to find the final half – around £75 000 – to finish.

Ben has developed a pioneering, imaginative and effective approach to secondary schooling for young Ugandans in an area of rural Uganda which was hit very hard in their civil war and which has no secondary school at all. The school will feature things typical Ugandan schools do not have like an athletics track, and music room plus unusually he will feature board gaming as a major problem-solving activity, all of which builds on what he has been doing over the last 10 years on the ground in Kampala and in Gulul.

Importantly, the school has the total backing of local politicians and community groups and funding in place to run once it is built. The school needs to be open from February 2021 – otherwise local children will continue walking miles and miles to the next nearest secondary school, or more likely not attend school at all.

The project website is at

The link to the crowdfunder is:

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