Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth

by Ecologia Youth Trust
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth
Build A Farm! Feeding children and training youth

Project Report | Apr 3, 2024
Completion of Year One

By Liza Hollingshead | Director Ecologia Youth Trust

Trainees weeding the land
Trainees weeding the land

Fort Portal is one of the poorest regions of Uganda according to the Ugandan Ministry of Health, with high food insecurity caused by increasing poverty, use of unsustainable agriculture methods, and inadequate food storage. This leaves many children malnourished and unable to fight illness or focus in school which impacts their education. Sky Is The Limit tackles hunger by giving daily school meals to its 400 pupils, but was unable to grow enough food sustainably on its 8-acre farm.

 Our organic farm development project at Sky Is The Limit addressed the basic needs of the 400 children and 11 farm workers at Sky Is The Limit School by:increasing food sovereignty to battle malnutrition in 397 children, caused by poverty

  1. improving the health of 30 children living with HIV/Aids
  2. providing basic sanitation facilities for 10 farmworkers in the farmhouse
  3. providing training in organic farming, reducing dependence on food aid
  4. restoring the land's depleted resources caused by traditional farming methods

This project is part of a larger development scheme towards sustainability and the effects of climate change. Funding was secured separately through the Big Give Green Match Fund, a grant from the Instutution of Mechanical Engineers, and individual donations through GlobalGiving to cover the project. 

Mama Rose Organic Farm partnered with Micah Farm Institute, a Ministry of Education approved Agricultural institution located in Ibonde Parish, 6 Miles from Fort Portal. Micah Farm Institute created a unique organic training package specifically for the team, where they were able to participate in on-the-job training at the farm, with 2 morning theory lessons each week. Overall the course took 8 months. As of September 2023,  5 women and 6 men are now accredited in organic farming practices.

Some farm workers have been able to pass on the skills they have learnt to fellow community members, especially in areas of ground preparation, mushroom growing, the tending of banana plantations, and setting up nursery beds for various vegetables.

Through the training and guidance from Micah Farm institute, new skills and practices such as soil conservation, soil testing to establish soil nutrient content, mulching, intercropping, and crop rotation have been learnt and are being practiced.

A farm house with three spacious bedrooms, a living room and kitchen has been constructed on the farm. There is space in each bedroom for 4-5 people, with men and women in separate rooms. The building of this farm house was imperative, as while the farm workers live locally to the farm, many have to walk for approximately 30 minutes along unsafe roads and dirt tracks. With the team now living on the farm, work now begins at 7am which allows for extended breaks to be had during midday when the temperature is at its highest. There is also a well ventilated storage room for the equipment. The room also supports food storage with raised shelving which inhibits pests.

Here is what some of the beneficiaries have to say about their experience:

Beatrice, 28 Trainee

Beatrice is grateful and happy that she was chosen as one of the trainees at Mama Rose Organic Farm. 

Beatrice says, “I have learnt how to plant banana suckers, how to mulch, the importance of plant spacing. Initially I would cut off almost all the banana leaves from the stem but I have learnt that not all the leaves should be cut off. I also love growing mushrooms as they are not often found in local markets. I am confident that I can teach other community members how to grow healthy plants.”

Right now the difference the farm project has brought to her life is that she is able to take good care of her own banana plantation. This has helped her to fight hunger in her home because she can now be sure of a good harvest. Because she now uses organic farming practises at home as well, she can improve yields and quality of the harvests to improve health and earn money from selling food. Within the community, she is exemplary because many people come to her seeking advice and knowledge regarding different growing practices such as mushroom growing, banana cultivation, setting up nursery beds etc. She happily shares her knowledge with her community so that others can benefit from better food yields as food security is so low. “Initially, I did not know the processes of how to grow vegetables but now that I have been getting lessons about vegetable growing, it has become much easier to grow and have a constant supply for my home and also sell the surplus”.

Arthur, 7 pupil at Sky Is The Limit

Arthur is a pupil at Sky Is The Limit, in Primary two. He is the class prefect and he tries as much as possible to guide and advise his class mates and friends. Ever since he joined Sky Is The Limit, he has found it amazing. He says,

 “I really like it. I have made new friends and one of them is Travis, we usually go to the dining hall and get our meals together. We also play football during tea and lunch breaks. 

We also have lunch at school and the meals have become more delicious.  Most of the time it is because we have a variety of vegetables added, these include cabbages, carrots, Sukuma Wiki and we also had mushrooms! I believe these will also help me to learn and be strong. I like the porridge that we drink at Sky, now that it has the added milk, its so delicious and tasty. I like reading and enjoy literacy, mathematics and English and the food helps me to learn.”

Anna, 28 Deputy Head at Sky Is The Limit School

Anna is the Deputy Head Teacher at Sky is The Limit School, and has been there for two years now. She also teaches Form 2. She says, “I love to see the children’s faces peeking out of the windows when we get our weekly delivery of milk, cabbages, sukuma wiki and other fruit and vegetables from the farm”. She – like the rest of the staff at the school - is grateful to see the children’s diets improve greatly, and this has been reflected in their educational achievements. It’s also helping the school to grow, with more interest from parents who want to see their child enrolled in the school so that they can benefit from the school lunch programme.

We are so grateful to our funders and donors for your support for a great project! It is making a huge difference to so many children in Uganda. 

Micah Agricultural Institute
Micah Agricultural Institute
Graduation
Graduation
Mushrooms
Mushrooms
Large Fishpond
Large Fishpond
Food from the Farm
Food from the Farm
Delicious Lunch!
Delicious Lunch!
Farmhouse Feb 24
Farmhouse Feb 24
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Nov 23, 2023
Making great progress on the Farm

By Brian Mugenyi | Project Leader Mama Rose Organic Farm

Jul 26, 2023
Organic Farming for a Greener Tomorrow: A Project

By Robyn Cooper | Associate Director

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Organization Information

Ecologia Youth Trust

Location: Forres, Moray - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @EcologiaYouthTr
Project Leader:
Robyn Cooper
Forres , Moray United Kingdom

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