With the remarkable income generation opportunities emerging in northern Uganda, and as the guns went silent in the region, and the growth of micro-economic projects started to increase; GWED-G realized the need to introduce the concept of group sector-led economic development to the youth of the region, with an emphasis on modernization, mechanization and commercialization of their products.
The goal of this approach will be to help the youths emerge into this new age with sustainable domestic productivity, savings, investment and greater market opportunities. A coherent and coordinated approach to project management towards food security is needed in order to make sure that these young adults are able to acquire skills in innovation needed to be successful in various agricultural productions.
For the larger community engaged in post-conflict recovery, the transition from war to development has taken a great deal of time but these youths, (Oryem Cam Ki Pur) guided by GWED-G, have beaten the odds and have been able to move toward development. This was in part a result of GWED-G's training which supported youths with their selection, planning and management of their income generating activities (IGAs). This training included lessons in peace building, human rights, gender base violence and entrepreneurship. With the skills and knowledge that the youths have acquired, Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group developed their value chain analysis and embarked on rice cultivation as one of their IGAs to raise income which will be distributed among all of the group members.
Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group planted fifteen acres of rice in the first planting season of March-June 2014. Now they have started harvesting their rice and currently have twenty-five bags of rice that are in their store and are ready to be sold.
One of the world’s greatest writers, Charles Darwin, said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The training on human rights, good governance and civic education created opportunities for women to be part of the community decision making process. This was confirmed by Charles, a member of the group who said that the women of the community are now the driving force behind most of these economic successes because they figured out how to sacrifice their time to see that wedding and harvesting are done jointly in order to maximize their success. Women are becoming active advocates of human rights not only within their youth group but also in the larger communities in which they live. One good example of this can be seen when looking at the Oryem Cam Ki Pur youth group, since most of the top positions in the group are occupied by women. This has allowed these women to gain respect from their communities because they have proven themselves capable of quality leadership, hard work, and boundless dedication to this youth group that they serve.
Even though this project targets the youth groups specifically, the impact of this program is also intended to affect the individual members of the group as well. Hence apart from the group Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) and group farming, each member has started their own individual income generating activity depending on their personal choice and research. The youths said that they decided to create their own individual projects after GWED-G gave them training on entrepreneurship skills.
To the community, these groups are becoming roles models, and are helping to drive away the negative attitude that the community has towards the youth. Besides cultivation, there are regular sensitivity trainings in the community on peace building, human rights, domestic violence and agricultural practices that can help the community to not only succeed economically but also help them to move forward as a cohesive social group.
It's now been a year that we have actively fundraised through GlobalGiving and we are now closing this chapter in our fundraising efforts. At this time we want to thank those who have contributed toward our project and invite you to consider one last gift to support these youth. In one week, on November 10th, we plan to deactivate this project. Gifts, no matter how large or small affect the productivity and spirits of the youth considerably. A small contribution goes a long way. Again, we thank you so much for your support.
As seen in the last update, the generous donations given to the Pei bwol Wa youth group were able to completely transform the way that these youths farm their land! Ever since these donations were used to buy oxen and other supplies for these youths, they have engaged in extensive agricultural production at individual and group levels. At the group level, they opened five acres of land with their oxen and planted maize (corn) and ground nuts which are due for harvesting at the end of July, 2014. The group also planted ½ acre of onions which they will harvest between August and September 2014. The Pei bwol Wa youth group is also planning to open up ten acres of land in the second (upcoming) season (August to December 2014) for commercial agriculture.
The group has also used their newly opened land to raise money for the group by selling opened farm land to community members in Gwengdiya parish. For example, the youth group charges the community 65,000/= while others charges 85,000/= for opened farming land, which makes the land profitable for the youths and a cheaper option for community farmers interested in purchasing land. The group has also helped to educate their community members on how to open the land using oxen by setting up a demonstration field where they train other members and the community on how to use the Ox-plough. The income generated through the selling of land and crops is currently being used for the maintenance of the Ox-plough and oxen treatment, and for purchasing pesticides and herbicides for farm use.
Another important impact of the introduction of mechanized farming to the youths is that it has decreased domestic violence and general violence against women in the community at large. The reason for this reduction of household violence is related to labor division between men and women in the community because previously, women carried the greatest burden in terms of land opening. However, the use of the oxen and Ox-plough has made it possible for women in the community to spend less time in the fields which has placed less pressure on these women and caused for less fighting and friction between these women and their husbands. It has also given these women more freedom in terms of how they spend their time and has allowed them to experience more food security in their individual households.
Thanks to the generous donations received, the Pei bwol Wa youth group has been able to succeed and strive and even reduced violence and empowered women in their community. As the youths continue to grow their agricultural endeavors they will be able to continue this success.
GWED-G under its youth empowerment program is focusing on encouraging young people to actively participate in human rights activities and help them analyze their problems and explore opportunities for a better future. The organization has therefore established several youth groups (117 youth groups) in Gulu and Amuru districts.
Specifically this progress report encompasses updates from three youth groups in Awach Sub County, who have been able to scale their empowerment work with your support. These groups are: Peibwol Wa youth groups of Gwengdiya parish; Wor twero Wa youth group of Pukony parish and Juk Ber youth group of Paibona parish, established as direct beneficiaries in Awach sub county in Gulu district.
The last few months, these groups undertook several capacity building training opportunities in different areas such as human rights; group dynamics and leadership; monitoring , document and reporting of human rights violations and abuses; business skills; village saving and loan association methodology; selection, planning and management of Income generation activities.
With support through our fisca sponsor, Global Grassroots, the youth groups started opening their gardens using the ox-plough. The youth are so grateful and are ready to begin opening their garden. The youth also paid for an additional pair of oxen to train the new oxen bought for their project so that they can learn how to plough and walk within their garden.
A shift now exists in the way farming is done with Pe-Ibwolwa Youths groups. Before, these cultivation groups were using hand hoes. A higher percentage of youths used hand hoes for cultivating their gardens. This method of cultivation only allows for the youth to open up small plots of their land leaving the majority of the land uncultivated. As a result harvests are poor and cannot provide economic transformation and prosperity.
Now they are using animal traction, especially ox ploughing. This method involves the use of oxen and ox ploughs for opening up agricultural land. This is so far the most common and affordable means of mechanized farming in the community. The youth groups are currently busy using ox ploughs to open up most of the land where they are planting crops such as maize, beans, cassava, and rice among others. The majority of the groups' gardens range in size between 6 to 10 acres of land.
The other two youths groups remain optimistic for their micro-project to begin and they are also busy with their routine activities including conducting community awareness and education on human rights. We look forward to updating you as we complete fundraising for all youth venture teams as part of this project.
Thank you for your support, and please consider a contribution towards this venture today!
THE 4th GRADUATION FOR RWANDAN WOMEN LITRACY CLASS WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE IN FEBRUARY 2014
Dear Sir / Madam,
Greetings for the new year of 2014. We hope everything has been well with you.
We send our appreciation for your support. In this report we wish to inform you that this 4th graduation is to take place in Feb 2014 as we started in Feb 2013.We are considering 20 women will be graduated.
These women are now able to read, write and calculate. They are also empowered in small and medium Enterprises and they have knowledge on their rights in society. They use all of those skills in small projects to make incomes for their wellbeing.
This year class has been improved: no student got less than seventy five percent ( 75% ) through out the course.
The raised money from global giving donations as well as different fundraising including the performance of the tradional-dancing troop covers one part of our operating cost.
The following are setbacks that we encounter:
The following is our plan for the year 2014
Do you have literacy programs for the adults’ people in your country like here?
What is the role of educated women in the family’s’ well being?
Our program has changed people’s lives and they deeply appreciate. Your support is of great value and this blessing will be sustainable; we believe.
Thank you very much,
President of the project in Rwanda
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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