UGANDA DISABLED WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION
Empowering People with disabilities Pilot Project in Jinja district, East Central Uganda
Implementation dates: 10th June 15 July, 2015
Funder: Friends for Humanity
PROJECT NARRATIVE REPORT
Authored by: Kibombo Francis, Project Coordinator, UDWA
UDWA’s “Empowering people with disability project” was set out increase food security in households with people with disabilities (PWDs) and women headed households in Jinja district, east central Uganda. The initial overarching strategy of the project was to provide comprehensive continuum of interventions that would increase household income and provide employment opportunities to PWDs and women through access providing access to financial capital and vocational skills training, however due to lack of funding, we decided to start with a pilot project –that providing simple, rationalized agricultural inputs and training in latest agricultural practices to PWDs and vulnerable to increase farm yield.
With funding of 1,000 Euros from Friends of Humanity (FOH), in addition to UDWA’s financial support, we were able to make 2 women groups (eight members in each group including elderly and PWDs) who received training in agronomic practices. Also simple and rationalized agricultural inputs including 6 water cans, 6 spray pumps and 30 kgs of vegetable seedlings were provided to same women groups. The pilot project was implemented between 10th june and 15th July, 2015 benefiting 16 women including PWDs and elderly. Apart from limited funding, the project had no other challenges. Needless to say, however, the project was timely and appropriate to the beneficiaries needs and it is expected to increase their resilience and household food security, albeit in short-run.
This pilot project report is for the “Empowering people with disability project” project that Uganda Disabled Women’s Association (UDWA) with funding from (FOH) implemented in Jinja District in Uganda.
It covers project implementation period starting on 10th June 2015 to 10th July 2015 with a financial budget of 2,500 Euros of which 1,000 Euros was contributed by FOH and 1500 Euros as both in cash and in-kind contribution of UDWA and her local partners. This report gives a snapshot of project activities, output, achievement, challenges and lessons learnt with in the reporting period.
The first section of the report presents the background of the project. It reflects on the overall implementation highlighting training of beneficiaries in various modern farming methods and challenges thereto. The second section highlights the overarching objectives of the project. This is followed by the description of project activities.
The report goes on to highlight the observations that were recorded during the implementation of the project. The report further outlines major achievements, challenges, lessons learned and recommendations that will ensure sustainability of the project in line with activities that are to be implemented in the second phase of the project.
2. Background to the project
PWDs in Uganda have for a long time been marginalized and discriminated against. They face a multiplicity of challenges which impede their livelihood and resilience. In particular, they hardly have access to capital and vocational skills that would otherwise boost their livelihood. It is to be seen however, that their resilience continues to suffice amidst these challenges. From this backdrop, UDWA has been striving to not only promote and protect the human dignity the PWDs but also empower them to become more resilient and productive, even in their state of disability.
To this end, in 2014 UDWA designed a comprehensive framework that whose overarching objective was to increase household income and provide employment opportunities to PWDs and women through access providing access to financial capital and skills training. However due to lack of funding, we decided to start with a pilot project –that providing simple, rationalized agricultural inputs and training in latest agricultural practices to PWDs and vulnerable to increase farm yield.
This pilot project targeted the most vulnerable categories in society mainly comprising of: people with disabilities, poor parents of disabled children, single mothers, young school drop outs and other economically active but disempowered people. We have targeted the districts of Jinja in Uganda as the immediate first beneficiaries of this project basing on the results of earlier needs assessment effort that indicate most need
3. Project Objective
The objective of this pilot project was to increase the resilience and food security of PWDs and elderly women households through providing agricultural inputs and high-impact training in latest agricultural practices. This pilot project had one proposition: high quality seeds combined with good agricultural practices gives better yield to small holder farmer. We hope to share the outcomes of this pilot intervention after the end line survey in December 2015.
4. Project Activities
This project was the first of its kind in Jinja district –for it targeted most vulnerable members of the community including the PWDs and elderly being trained in latest agricultural practices to increase their yield from the small gardens they have. The project activities involved distribution of quality seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, watering cans and spray pumps. Two women and PWDs groups were also created and received high-impact training, involving practicum sessions in the latest agricultural practices
5. Project Outputs
• There was establishment of two community gardens which will be acting as demonstration farms
• 16 women including 7 PWDs and 9 elderly women were training in the latest agronomic practices
• 30 kg of vegetable seeds were distributed to 2 groups of women
• 10 packets of fertilizers and pesticides were distributed to 2 groups of women
a) Most people with disabilities who are the majority direct beneficiaries from the project stay in hard to reach areas which hindered mobilization and tracking of the members.
b) There was a challenge of limited funds which led to leaving out very many members who would be direct beneficiaries
c) Lack of demonstration farm which would act as a training center for the beneficiaries also hindered the training of members.
d) The challenge of the staff members not being trained and acquainted with the farming skills which would help minimize the cost of training the beneficiaries.
e) Although the project was implemented, it was at small scale thus limiting the possibility of expansion of the project to other places that need the same to be done in their localities
7. Lessons Learned
From the beneficiary’s point of view, the training of staff members and beneficiaries is relevant in the way that if applied it is of no doubt that it will lead to cost reduction on training of other would be beneficiaries. This was further demonstrated by the shared ideas during the trainings between the different community group members and the staff that elaborated joint efforts toward achieving the cause.
The commitment of the beneficiaries towards the project indicated the positive attitude of the members towards uplifting their social status and improving their living conditions. Therefore, establishing a demonstration farm will encourage members to work towards expanding their project so as to attain the project goals and objectives.
By and large, the project activities were implemented as planned. The project received over whelming support from a wider section of the people in the communities – including people with disabilities, poor parents of disabled children, single mothers, young school drop outs and other economically active but disempowered people. While there is a challenge in accessing the beneficiaries since most of them are scattered in the hard to reach areas, staff members played a great role in mobilizing and tracking them which eased the coordinating of the project. In the next phase UDWA will undertake mass mobilization so as to ensure that great number of the targeted beneficiaries turns up to actively participate and get involved in the implementation of the project.
I. While basic training in farming was given to the beneficiaries in the various fields, rigorous training of trainers (TOT) needs to be given to both the staff and the mentor beneficiaries to facilitate the cascaded model of training that is lesser costly.
II. It is in the best interest of the beneficiaries that funders also support animal rearing such that it can be a diverse project which cuts across.
III. There is also need to increase on the funding so as to expand the project to other areas of the country.
IV. There is need to establish a permanent demonstration farm which can act as a training ground for both the staff and the beneficiaries.