These women’s story is touching. The first chicks we gave them died due to the avian flu. We re-issued the chicks and as they say, the rest is history. The women grew their micro farms through hard work and enterprise. When we caught up with them in December, they all had tales of new enterprises that included pig farming, growing cereals and this money went towards paying schools fees, health care and in some instances repairs to the houses
Community meeting chaired by Jacob Kafureka- Mayor of Ntungamo Municipality
One of the lessons from phase 1 was that covering more than one village cell at a time was a strain on resources. For this reason, we are focusing on the village of Rwentojo. We will also have fewer participants and more chickens.
Our Project Managers worked with the village Chairman on identifying and interviewing. His preselected group included women who are head of households in his village such as widows as well as those who apparently cannot rely on their husbands either because they’re never around or are alcoholics.
It was interesting to note that some women excluded themselves from the project because they felt they could not give it their full commitment, whilst some worried about being able to provide materials for constructing chicken coops.
Our Project Managers were surprised by some of the women’s reactions and had this to say,
For once, it was so refreshing in a way to realise that people are not just willing to take things for free just cause someone is offering them but instead they are already thinking of the challenges they may face. This shows: a higher level of commitment and willingness only to join if they believe they are capable of committing to the project and in this case taking good care of the chickens; that they’re not used to getting things for free; and that they do really need the help we will be providing them.
In fact, one of them has told us we should leave her out as she spends most of her time digging (for others) and collecting fibres and grasses to weave baskets… We tried to convince her but she told us she would not forgive herself if any of her chickens died…It is a real shame as she could really use the help!
About some of the interviewees
Jovlet, she’s a 46 year-old widow who works other people’s land to get an income. She has 6 children but 4 of them already dropped out of school as she could not afford to continue paying school fees for them.
Anna, she’s a 40 year old widow who has 3 children and makes her monthly income selling sugar canes in a small trading centre
Sylvia, a mother of 5 and one more on the way. She’s married but her husband spends most of the money he makes burning charcoal on alcohol especially a local gin called Waragi
Topista, a 50 year-old widow who lives with two of her grandchildren. She spends her days digging and collecting fibres and grass to weave baskets. She doesn’t think she will be able to join the project as she will not have enough time to take care of the chickens.
Mariserina, a 40 year-old widow, who has 3 children one of whom is disabled. She is a coffee farmer and uses the income to pay her children’s fees. She is also a casual labourer on other people’s farms.
Annett is a 43 year old widow and mother of 4. She is a labourer and sues that income to pay her her children’s fees. She’s very proud that at least one of them has completed P7. Unfortunately, she cannot afford to send her child to a secondary school so she will be starting to work as a labourer like her in order to support the family.
The first training session on Poultry Farm Management and Housing took place on Monday. some amongst the group were in for a shock. They arrived late for the meeting and fellow participants required them to pay a fine. The group has also decided to form a management committee that will coordinate their affairs.
Phase 2 is now well and truly underway. Keep an eye on this space for updates
The Diary goat projecthas kicked off in earnest. This week a trainer from Joy Goat Development arrived to provide training to the widows as well as those in the community who will benefit from the crossbreeding program.
Kalanzi Med, from JOY Goat Development, assessing the buck stations and providing guidance on how to build the feeding platform
Osbert -LTHT Project Manager and Joy Goat expert visiting Maria’s buck station. There is still a bit of work to do on her female goat house but now she’s got the knowledge how to finalise it properly
LTHT Project Manager explaining attendees about the type of fodder suitable to grow in our area which they can feed to their goats
Buck keeper training session – These guys are the role models of the cross breeding program. They will be responsible to keep our males healthy and active, identifying suitability of goats for mating and are empowered to turn down mating partners if they’re too young, too small or not healthy.
Buck keepers group photo in front of LTHT buck station + male kid collection pen.
In the next village, it was mostly women who turned up for training
These are the widows who are signed up to the goat project. They will receive a a female halfbreed kid to look after until it gives birth. The grown goat becomes the widow’s personal property and the kids are then passed on to another widow in the group
We anticipate that some of the kids will be male and this is where they will be looked after
Our Skills Development Initiative kicked off in February. The aim of this initiative is to enable young people in Ruhanga to acquire skills that they can either take to market or use to create their own employment Read more
In October 2014, we set out to find someone to help us with the setting up of our Skills Development Initiative in Ruhanga. Our advertisement attracted a large number of applicants and all of them were from African countries, including Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and Burundi- (the joys of the internet)
Anyhow having gone through a large number of applicants we settled on Alex Natuhwera, who I interviewed via Skype.
Alex accepted the role started work at the Ruhanga Skills Development Centre two weeks ago and his main task is to introduce pupils from Ruhanga Development School and Team College to computing.
Alex qualified as a lawyer from Uganda Christian University in Kampala.
Alex also works as a research associate at the Institute for Research and Development in Africa (IRDA) in Mbarara ~ an independent research institute which was created to be a platform for creating new ideas, where he undertook courses to deliver computer training.
Unfortunately this means that he is only available for part of the week Thursday to Saturday.
But he has got off to a good start and he had this to say
Folks, it is a good feeling to do community work. Please join me in this drive, we would probably reduce the plague of unemployment in Uganda (currently at 64% according to Uganda Bureau Of Statistics
According to feedback from the village, Alex has already established a good working rapport with the students whose expectations range from being able to use a computer to write a letter to Isaac, 15yrs, who is keen to learn computer accountancy skills
We have hit gold with Alex, so please join me in welcoming him to our team
We first got involved in Ruhanga in 2008 and our first goal was creating jobs in the neighbourhood. We didn’t know how, but we were going to try as Denis Aheirwe a local man was already trying. Read more
A few months ago we teamed up with Memuna and Sadia of the Lunchboxgift initiative to fight ebola in Sierra Leone. The initiative was born out of the Ebola epidemic in the Western part of Africa. Ebola has turned the lives of many upside down to the extent that some can’t access a cooked meal let alone a nutritious one. Read more
A big thank you to those that attended our fundraising event and or donated to the sanitation matters to girls campaign. Access to a toilet is something that most take for granted but 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to a toilet so we are grateful for your support with this project Read more