Uganda: Empowering Orphans to Become Entrepreneurs

Apr 30, 2014


Gerald attending to his garden
Gerald attending to his garden

When you train a youth you train a nation, it’s our joy that this project is not only changing the lives of the orphans but even the community as well this alone gives us hope that the future of our nation is indeed bright. As our youths graduated last year we took it upon ourselves to follow them up and observe how they are being able to implement the knowledge and skills they acquired from the farm school. Indeed we observed that the livelihoods of our youths had been renewed including their families since they are now operating as entrepreneurs. It’s our pride as these youths have gone ahead to buy land for their families using the money they saved from their small scale farms having grown the seedlings they received from the organization, this was witnessed in the 3 homes that were visited. Surely the members of the families that were visited looked healthier than before, and the reason for this is that, these youths have managed to ensure food security at home through modern farming techniques, they have gone ahead to take their siblings back to school as well as meeting some needs at home, it is surprising that Jjuuko Gerald a P.7drop out, now owns a plot of land and has the ability to support his family. Besides these youths serving their homes, they reach out to the community by training other young farmers on how to make nursery beds and managing small scale businesses. Since these youths had acquired skills in counseling and guidance, 2 of them reported to us that they had been able to counsel some youths that had become unruly at home so this promises a violence free society hence benefitting the community indirectly.

I love my project " Richard says"
I love my project " Richard says"
Jan 30, 2014


Kitovu mobile has not only trained orphans and other vulnerable Children in farming skills and entrepreneurship but has also created opportunities for the trainees to meet policy makers and business fraternity to discuss business and other policy matters that might affect  their  business.

During this period a group of Mobile farm school trainees from Kasaali subcounty of Rakai district were engaged in aone day meeting in which they discussed matters concerning their projects. The meeting atteracted 87 trainees, councillors and chairperson local council three, 54 guardians and 11 represenatives of the business fraternity.

It was noted by the trainees that despite the effort put in to grow various crops they were note able to identify good markets for their produce. They therfore, requested the subcounty leaders and the business fraternity to support them in this reagard.

the represenatives of the business fraternity promised to support them if only they can produce quality items and in bulk. they encouraged them to work in groips to support each other as well.

The trainees demonstrated a items they have been able to produce in form of crops and technologies applied.

Sep 30, 2013


It is hard to believe that on 18th September, 2013 all roads led to Kagamba Sub County to witness the graduation ceremony of 135(M-86, F-49)  youths from the Kagamba  Mobile Farm School of Kitovu Mobile. The Function was presided over by Prince Kaboyo David the Resident District Commissioner Rakai District on top of other distinguished guests who included the Chairperson L.C V Mr. Robert Mugabi, District Agriculture Officer Mr. Lubega Yusuf, Chairperson District farmers’ Forum Mr. Ssendagi John, and District Development officer Mr.  Bagarukayo Alex, District Sec for Education Hon Harriet Namayengo.

The Chief Guest prince Kaboyo David thanked Kitovu Mobile AIDS organization for their initiative towards community development. He thanked the organization for its dedication to its work since it dealt with issues which the government itself did not do. He extended sincere gratitude to Kitovu Mobile, for the tremendous support to the community which included Maize milling machine, equipping the youth with required skills to sustain themselves, tools and equipment to facilitate their operations, plus exposure and linkage to other institutions that can further support them. He urged guardians and other local leaders to consider these youth as a valuable resource given they have all the skills and knowledge that the community of Kagamba may require.

The Executive Director Mrs. Robina Ssentongo thanked the Chief Guest for his commitment towards development activities in the district and always embracing the Kitovu Mobile work. She further urged the guardians of the pass outs always to work hand in hand with their children if they are to realize a fundamental change in their families.

It was noted that pass outs had gained self esteem and could ably represent themselves in the community and pass on the knowledge and skills to other people in the community. The pass outs had formed groups and each had benefited from the start up fund receiving an average amount of $ 750 for internal lending.

It was observed that despite the significant achievements the impact of climate change was still a big problem; and as result everyone was urged to respect the environment by practicing environmental friendly farming.

The best performers received prizes which include 9 goats, 35 basins and 20 blankets to recognize their hard work and to motivate others to work hard. 


guest visiting stalls of pass outs
guest visiting stalls of pass outs
pass outs dressed in the graduation gowns
pass outs dressed in the graduation gowns
Guardians and other community members on the event
Guardians and other community members on the event
Apr 25, 2013

Progressive Report on empowering Orphans

piglets given to the group members
piglets given to the group members

Since August 21st December Kitovu Mobile has made tremendous efforts in empowering orphans to become entrepreneurs. This report high lights the significant achievements and the inevitable challenges observed during this period.

a)  Piggery project:

It is exciting news to hear the progress of the piggery projects given to the groups. Show case is Agali Awamu Mobile young farmers group which received a mature pig as a donation from friends and well wisher of Kitovu Mobile on the Global Giving website. With technical support from Kitovu mobile staff the pig produced 8 piglets which have been passed on to other members of the group. It is anticipated that in the next one year we shall have realized an average total number of 72 piglets worth $1,152 ready to pass on to other members. 

b)  Water facility:

It is unbelievable to see the children from Kyango Bigavu community in Kasaali Sub County going through a dry spell without experiencing difficulty in accessing water for their gardens and domestic use. A 7000 Litter water facility made life easier for this group. By December 2012, the tank was full to the capacity and water had to be kept for use during the dry spell. Sparingly children are accessing water as scheduled in the community by laws. Members have established a water user committee which is responsible for the governance of the water source. During their meetings they agreed to save 1000/= UGX $0.4 per month to cater the repairs and in case no repair they can think of constructing one of their own.


Children have exhibited good working relationship and commitment to scale up the piggery project to spread up to other OVCs who are in need.

The project has a demonstrated a quick multiplier effect both in terms of skills development and accessibility to the income generation.

Water project minimize on time waste in long lines waiting for water and walking long distances in search for water.



Despite the significant achievements realized; we have realized increasing demands amidst the meager resources. However we have hope that we shall overcome the situation through the pass on-system.


In conclusion, we thank the friends and well wisher of Kitovu Mobile for the generous support to the marginalized communities your support has made kitovu Mobile visible and relevant to the people we serve. We can’t forget to thank the founders and the administration of Global Giving for the visionary idea of enabling the grassroots Organization fundraise on line. 

piglets given to the Mobile young farmers group
piglets given to the Mobile young farmers group
Aug 21, 2012

Project Update

Community meeting, project orientation
Community meeting, project orientation

The entire Kitovu Mobile staff and 250+ orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their families who will benefit from “Uganda: Empowering Orphans to Become Entrepreneurs” (hereafter referred to as, “Empowering Orphans”) have extended their sincere gratitude for your kind and generous support.  As project manager, it has been a tremendously gratifying and illuminating experience to oversee this project. I would like to share with you the accomplishments of the project and allow you to understand the significant and long lasting impact you have had on the lives of so many OVC – – all without having to experience Malaria, nauseating roads, and endless bargaining with suppliers.

Project Headlines:


  • 5 OVC in Kagamba Sub-County have received bicycles (3 more OVC await delivery). The OVC selected to receive bicycles are Group Leaders within their community and will use the bicycles to carry out various responsibilities to the other 98 OVC in Kagamba such as provide psychosocial support, distribute market information or organize agriculture trainings.
  • 82 OVC in Kasaali Sub-County have received and are sharing a 7000-liter rainwater capture and storage system. Another is planned for Kagamba Sub-County to be built this month.
  • 46 OVC in Kakuuto Sub-County have received 3 mature pigs that are expected to produce 32 piglets by next year marking the beginning of a profitable piggery project.
  • Money has been set aside for crop seedlings and agricultural inputs that will be purchased when the next growing season arrives (around November/December) and will be distributed to OVC in Kagamba, Kasaali and Kakuuto Sub-County totaling 256 OVC.


Important Updates:


  • In the initial phases of the project, two surveys were conducted in Kakuuto and Kasaali Sub-County to obtain detailed information about the beneficiaries and their communities. Going into the surveys we expected to identify problems such as: transportation, access to water, income generation, food security, and medical expenditures. By going into greater detail in the surveys regarding household assets, income sources, and local market economics, we were able to not only confirm what we already knew about existing problems, but start to think critically about ways to address these problems with durable solutions. Some key data results are graphically represented below.
  • We decided to build a community-scale, 7000-litre rainwater harvesting system instead of individually owned storage tanks. This was more economically efficient, allowing more OVC to access water at a lower cost.
  • The locations of Kagamba Sub-County and Kakuuto Sub-County were specifically chosen because of a coinciding value addition investment made by a German organization Kindernothilfe. Kindernothilfe was working with Kitovu Mobile on adding value to agricultural products and donated a maize mill in each of the Sub-Counties for the OVC. The maize mill is collectively owned by the OVC in the area. I recognized this as an opportunity to combine Empowering Orphans with Kindernothilfe’s maize mill to maximize the impact of both projects through mutual integration. I think this offers the best chance of income generation significant enough to create funds for other projects.


Project Funding

Project Budget Allocation

US $

 Raised Funds: 3120

Project Allocations

Bicycles: 616

Rain Water Harvesting: 450

Livestock: 400

Internal Expenditures (transportation fuel, casual labor): 224

Farming Equipment: 234

Crop Seedlings: 1196

Total Expenditure: 3120

What is your impact?


Nakeyenga Rosemary (19) is a newly elected Group Leader in Kagamba Sub-County. She was elected to this position by the 106 Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) who were enrolled with or who have graduated with Rosemary from Kitovu Mobile Farm School in Kagamba. Rosemary, like any other OVC, has lost her parents to HIV & AIDS. Rosemary and seven other elected Group Leaders will be primarily responsible for 10-12 OVC classmates that have formed a Peer Support Group (PSG). Each PSG will meet twice a month to discuss and help each other with issues pertaining to farming, family, and personal affairs. The PSG will also contribute a small amount of money each month that will go in to a group fund. Once the amount is significant enough, the money will be deposited in a local micro-finance bank under the ownership of a community based organization (CBO) formed by each PSG. This money can help the group access loans to buy farming equipment and make investments in their lives. Using the bicycle, Rosemary will be able to travel to multiple group members in a day. If a certain group member is sick with Malaria and unable to work on his field, or unable to pay for medical treatment, Rosemary can travel to other group members to seek quick relief. Rosemary can meet with other Group Leaders up to 5 miles away to discuss recent events and forge sustainable strategies to deal with the problems at hand. If Rosemary and her group can work together over the next couple years, they may have saved enough money for everyone in the group to afford a bicycle with the long-term hope of supporting a family, sending children to school, and living the life that HIV & AIDS almost didn’t let them have.


The economics of an effective, long-term piggery project:


Piggery projects can be very effective in providing supplementary income to a large group of people. Empowering Orphans identified a piggery project as the project progressed as a way to generate income during the off-season (when crop production is low). To kick off the project, 3 Peer Support Groups ranging from 12-15 members will be given a mature pig. The 3 pigs (1 M, 2 F) cost a total of 400 dollars. Each PSG constructed a shelter for the pig and has received training from Kitovu Mobile Farm School on the best animal rearing practices. After 1.5 years an estimated 32 piglets will be produced. Each piglet can be sold after 2 months for up to 16 dollars. Some will be sold, and others will be strategically distributed between the other PSG’s in the sub-county (to avoid inbreeding). After 2 years the offspring can begin to produce, exponentially increasing the litter.


Monitoring and Evaluation

The investments made through Empowering Orphans were aligned with those of Kitovu Mobile Aids Organization to ensure that the impacts of the project can be monitored over the years to evaluate its effectiveness on improving the lives of OVC. Kitovu Mobile conducts quarterly field reports based on interviews with all OVC involved in the project. The information is brought back to the data department who write a report given to higher management.

Carbon Counters

In line with the environmental priorities addressed in the National Development Plan, Millennium Development Goals, Uganda environment policies, international climate objectives and in acknowledging that land is one of the most valuable assets of Uganda and a key to capacity building of people living with HIV and AIDS, Empowering Orphans strives to incorporate sound environmental practices into its project through minimizing negative environmental impacts and improving existing environmental conditions where possible. 


Currently, Empowering Orphans ingrains issues of environmental protection and sustainability into its agricultural trainings. Beneficiaries are taught about soil preservation, animal and plant-waste recycling, natural fertilization, water conservation and rainwater harvesting and other organic farming techniques. Beneficiaries are also encouraged to plant native fruit trees to prevent deforestation and soil erosion.


Through a working relationship with Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD), the Project will continually benefit from young professionals and academics specializing in the issues of environmental protection who are dedicated to sharing knowledge, conducting research, and looking for ways to continue to improve on issues of environmental stewardship.

My gracious host, Kitovu Mobile Aids Organization

Kitovu Mobile AIDS Organization is a Faith Based Organization dealing in HIV and AIDS related activities. Kitovu was founded by the Medical Missionaries Mary (MMM) in 1987 as a response to the HIV and AIDS crisis in Rakai District with its vision to have an empowered community to cope with HIV and AIDS and its impacts. It accomplishes this through a providing medical services, training, mentorship and capacity building. 


The Orphans and Family Support Program of Kitovu Mobile focuses on providing psychosocial care and support and capacity building for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) and their families. It does this through a number of interventions, most notably the Mobile Farm School. This is a four-year training program concentrating in equipping trainees withs modern farming skills so that orphans and other vulnerable children can improve their income and food security and increase their capacity to cope with the psychosocial impacts of HIV and AIDs. The project has operated in 20 Sub Counties with 25 Mobile Farm Schools in the original districts of Masaka, Rakai and Ssembabule. The Mobile Farm School enrolls 100 Teenager School Drop Outs from each Sub-County into the four-year program.

Thank you for all the support.


Christopher T. Vance, Project Manager

908 4187585

Socio-economic survey of OVC
Socio-economic survey of OVC
Purchasing bicycles for Kagamba Sub-County
Purchasing bicycles for Kagamba Sub-County
Efficient packing
Efficient packing
Group Leaders from Kagamba
Group Leaders from Kagamba
Discussion on value of team-work with OVC
Discussion on value of team-work with OVC
Distribution of pigs to Peer Support Groups
Distribution of pigs to Peer Support Groups
Inspecting/admiring OVC-made pig sty
Inspecting/admiring OVC-made pig sty
Underground rainwater harvester
Underground rainwater harvester
A look into the rainwater collection tank
A look into the rainwater collection tank
Being shown around hidden potholes by local guide
Being shown around hidden potholes by local guide
OVC group leader: Nakeyenga Rosemary
OVC group leader: Nakeyenga Rosemary
Kakuuto OVC group Farm School graduation
Kakuuto OVC group Farm School graduation


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Project Leader

Christopher Vance

Environmental Consultant
Masaka, Uganda

Where is this project located?

Map of Uganda: Empowering Orphans to Become Entrepreneurs