Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women

Mission: Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women is an NGO working with Women in the slums and rural areas of Uganda. We provide training in craft making, business skills, and money management, while paying our Artisans fair wages for their work. Our Mission is to give our women a hand up, instead of a hand out, so that they can pull themselves out of poverty. Founding Principles and Our Purpose: Women are the backbone of Uganda. They carry out all the domestic duties of life without running water, electricity, or any of the basic conveniences of modern life. Th...
Jun 11, 2015

A New Library Building!

Our New Library Building!
Our New Library Building!

Our Library in Walakuba is attatched to our Women's Group Lubanga Twero. When we first opened it, it was located in the sitting room of Florence Anwar's reently built home. Amazingly, the ladies pooled their money together and with no outside help, built an ENTIRE NEW BUILDING to home the Library.

I am so proud of them I could burst. This is what development is. This is how women take charge of thier lives, their communities, and change the world into a better place.

These are the same women who live in one room mud huts plastered with cow dung to keep the bugs away. They rent rooms in cement row houses with no running water or electricity, they convert their homes into rented room apartments and live in the garage so that they can pay their grandchildren's school fees. They fight and struggle every day. That the Libraries meant enough to them to pool what little money they have, to build and suprize us with a new builing, is truly inspiring.

Library 2
Library 2
Library 3
Library 3
Painting the Library green
Painting the Library green

Links:

Jun 11, 2015

Fish and more Fish

Aquaponics 1
Aquaponics 1

Fish are adorable, delicious, and create fantastically fertile liquid fertilizer. At the farm, we are experimenting on ways small scale farmers can use crude aquaponics systems to grow both their own fish AND veggies!

The first system we are working with involves recycled water bottles, a drainage rack, and a water tank. In this case, the water tank is a barrel with the side cut off. The fish (tilapia) live in the barrel and are fed a mixture of soldier fly larvae and duckweed- both of which are easily grown at home in buckets. The fish produce an insane amount of poo- which is filtered out of the water when we scoop water from the barrel to water the plants. The soil in the plants strains all ther fertilizer out of the water, and as the water trickles out and flows through the drainage system back into the barrel, it gathers the oxygen that the fish need to survive.

The Hyacinth serves to help shade the fish, provides roots for fish to hide in, surface area for algea to grow, and as an added bonus it helps pull polutants out of the water. Hyacinth is great in small doses, but best not to dump it into a lake!

The second system we are trying out is cemented ponds. These are bigger and of course more labor intensive. The fish are introduced to the pond and fed he same diet of duck weed and soldier fly larvae. The ponds are aproximately 15ft in diameter with the deeper side reaching 6 feet. Sand is added to the deeper water as tilapia will breed in captivity. This means that we can be eating the mature fish, and have a plentiful supply of baby fish to take over! Tilapia are also amazingly fast growing so they can go from baby to 1 pound in aproximately 6 months. Exciting!!!

Hyacinth is added to the pond as well, and water is scooped from the pond and used to water the crops on the farm. After, the pond is refilled with buckets of clean water carried from our borehole. Once we get a proper irrigation system we will be able to pump water directly from the pond into the irrigation tank.

Our aquaponics are all systems that the average Ugandan should be able to do at home. It is all a learning curve, but we are lovin the experience!

aquaponics 2
aquaponics 2
In the fish pond releasing the fish
In the fish pond releasing the fish
aquaponics 3
aquaponics 3

Links:

Mar 24, 2015

raised garden beds from recycled glass bottles

making raised beds from recycled bottles 1
making raised beds from recycled bottles 1

Asparagus is delicious. It is also a cold weather crop that we are attempting to grow here in the tropics. To make this happen, we are building a series of raised garden beds using recycled glass bottles, and filling the beds with cow manure to plant the seelding in.

Why raised beds? Because asparagus takes about 3 years to establish itself before we can start harvesting, and the raised bed will help protect it from randomly wandering pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, turkeys, ducks, and random other livestock which periodically escape the neighbor's ropes and wander through our farm. The beds also help keep the asparagus sectioned off so we do not accidentally step on it or (heaven forbid) accidentally dig it up! It will also allow us to contain the fertilizer and limit weed growth. Plus, garden beds made of colorful wine bottles are pretty awesome.

We collect the bottles from our subscribers to our CSA Bountiful Basket, and from bars and restaraunts looking to recycle them. They are free building material, and they are much stronger and durrable than the locally made bricks. When our asparagus is successful, we will of course distribute the roots to other villagers around the farm and give them bottles to make their own raised beds.

making raised beds from recycled bottles 2
making raised beds from recycled bottles 2
making raised beds from recycled bottles 3
making raised beds from recycled bottles 3
Asparagus seedlings
Asparagus seedlings

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