Dear Friends of Organic Perspectives,
We are again delighted to bring you the latest updates from our work with rural smallholder farmers in Uganda.
Over the last few months—stretching from January 2014—our team has made some really good strides in developing strategic project partnerships, as you will learn below, and we have also moved a step closer to a goal we have held closely from early 2013: creating a means of self-sustainability for our interventions (on community forestry, alternative household energy and organic gardening).
For exactly 12 months going back from now, you realize that the frequency with which we have shared with you news updates and photos from Organic Perspectives’ community activities has been typically sporadic.
In retrospect, what might appear to be a minor setback to a social change-maker on the other side of the world may prove to be the toughest challenge for a small African nonprofit like ours. In one instance—during our early days (2008 – 2011), we had a good digital camera of our own, and that’s the only time we were able to take the best photos from our community training activities ever—as you can see on this page (under “Photos”).
Then, somewhere in early 2013, the sole computer we had ceased working, and a second digital camera that had been donated to us by our colleague—Uganda’s Program Coordinator for “Trees for the Future”—also malfunctioned shortly thereafter. We have since then been without any means of documenting our work, in a part of Uganda where accessibility is really constrained.
Well, all the above is NOT the central point of this news update, but in many ways has a lot to do with our current resolve to pursue a means of self-sustainability for our work—as highlighted below.
2. From the Field: more tree planting, new biogas digesters and an organic farming venture
TREES: this season, we provided a lot of fodder tree seed to two of the community tree nurseries that we have worked with since 2013, and also to more than 10 individual farmers who intend to set up their own woodlots.
From around 2009, we realized that engaging individual farmers on tree planting is even as effective as the community approach—and in some cases even more effective—as there are individual farmers who commit to planting tens of thousands of trees (each single farmer). Willy (NOT the one in the above photo) is one good example. We began with him in mid 2012, but since then planted over 75,000 trees, including more than 30,000 trees in 2014 alone.
BIOGAS: our activity pace on fuel-efficient woodstoves and household biogas digesters has generally slowed, particularly due to decreased subsidy—assistance to beneficiary households—in the case of the latter. In the whole of 2014, we have been able to install only 3 new biogas digesters, and are yet to install the fourth digester at an orphanage in Northern Uganda at the end of May, 2014.
ORGANIC FARMING: Please learn about our newest community venture on organic farming: the Uganda Community Farm.
3. Impact Investor for our Community Organic Farm
From 2013, we have had plans for an organic horticulture social venture: the Uganda Community Farm. The initiative, a project of Organic Perspectives, both aims to build self-sustainability for our nonprofit’s community work with local communities in Uganda, and to equip our target rural farmers with hands-on skills on organic horticulture systems to lift them out of extreme poverty.
We are delighted to share with you that the concept, conceived only in November last year (2013), has now gotten its first US Impact Investor; she visited us in Uganda and was here for 3 weeks last April. If you visit the Uganda Community Farm’s website and find our vision inspiring, we can put you in touch with this young lady (our first Impact Investor) to see how you might work together with her to help. Every little helps.
Thank you and we look forward to sharing with you more updates in the near future.
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