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Pride, Hope, and a Shared Vision: Katumba Parents Humanist Primary School

By Irumba Juma Siriwayo

Juma is Managing Director of Katumba Parents Humanist Nursery and Primary School, Co-Director of New Hope Humanist Schools, and a Board Member of the Coalition for Humanist Schools in Uganda. He is a graduate in biological science.

Location and foundation

Katumba is in a rural location 45 minutes from Bundibugyo. The school is in Kisendera Village, Bukangama Parish, Bukonzo Sub County. The school was founded and is run by the parents of Katumba, and led by myself.


In 2016, over a hundred young men from Katumba near the Congo border were killed in an abortive uprising, leaving many widows to bring up children on their own. I was inspired to help with their newly established local primary school. I had learnt about Humanism from the internet and I brought the mixed community of Christian and Muslim parents together and persuaded them to run the school on Humanist principles. The school would encourage rational thinking and science and would welcome children from all backgrounds. With help from the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust (UHST) and donors, we have been able to build the whole school from Nursery to P7 (Upper Primary), with staff rooms. The Humanist School reopened in new buildings in 2022. It now brings hope through education to over 700 needy children in this poor, remote and neglected community. The community is proud of the new school which has good facilities. The project has united the community around a shared vision.

Katumba School is in the Western region of Uganda, Google maps.

School motto

A secular society shaped by science and compassion.

School Vision and Mission

Vision: To promote children’s dignity, self-esteem and achievement by:

  • The pursuit of excellence in academic and practical skills and responsible citizenship

  • Helping children from the poorest families, including orphans and the disabled, to gain a decent education

  • Catering for the basic health and nutrition of the pupils

  • Providing children with a sound educational experience, protect their safety and promote their well-being

  • Seeking cooperation with outside organizations who can help us to achieve our goals

How you can help us

In the past two years we have made huge progress, but the challenges continue. You can support us by:

  • Making standing contributions towards teachers’ monthly wages and their further training needs

  • Providing school fees for bright but needy children and orphans

  • Helping us each year to provide reusable sanitary pads for our girls, and books, learning and play materials for all children

  • Helping with field study trips to widen our children’s experience

  • Helping us build a secondary school to save children from dropping out of school after completing primary school and to provide affordable study near their homes

  • Helping us build quarters for staff and orphans who travel long distances to school hence missing lessons


School Director: Irumba Juma Siriwayo

Telephone: +256782872431 / +256757798783




Address: PO Box 1119 Bundibugyo, Rwenzori sub region, Western Uganda.

Teachers at Katumba Parents Humanist School (nursery section)

Katumba Humanist School supporters arrival in Bundibugyo, 14th July 2022. From left, Chris Smith (Dorset Humanists and UHST Trustee), Juma Irumba Siriwayo (School Director), Professor Hilary Hurd (UHST Scholarships Manager), and Steve Hurd (UHST Chair). Image from Facebook.

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