Over the past several months, Project Focus has continued to make progress towards fusing the need for permaculture training and access to internet service. Currently, The Lyantonde Internet Center has attracted an array of community members. Project Focus and its partner ICOD Action Network are actively recruiting and finding alternative ways to encourage attendance from non-traditional internet users, such as farmers.
In the last six months, Project Focus has been working with a master of Public Health student from the University of Illinois at Chicago to develop a more specific program plan for the permaculture/Internet Center collaboration. Currently, the student, Project Focus, and ICOD Action Network are developing a modified program plan and data collection tools to evaluate the effectiveness and range of program access by farmers in the region. As the Internet Center has grown in attendance over the past two years and the partnership between Project Focus and ICOD has strengthened, we have discovered the importance of a longer-range program plan so that as an organization we can become more aptly prepared to address the unforeseen complications that are so commonplace in global work. We are excited about the energy and new perspectives this connection will add to our diverse programming.
In addition to our new Plan, Project Focus was glad to host Ahabwe Michael, Executive Director of ICOD Action Newtork in January. Awabwe was asked to speak about the food security issues faced in Uganda and ICOD’s work at the Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights. Ahabwe’s return trip to Chicago was a great time for the partnership to meet and for the important work of our partner to be recognized.
Project Focus was also fortunate to be re-invited to WBEZ’s Global Activism Expo 2012. This year we highlighted the continued successes of the Internet Center and the expansion of our Permaculture Program. We also had a great time interacting with visitors and creating our community art mural. In the coming months, Project Focus looks forward to reinvigorating our activities in the Chicago region. As a team we are looking to host conversations and learning-sessions to highlight the shared need for sustainable farming practices and food concerns in the Chicago region and Western Uganda alike.
Volunteer, Hannah Foehringer Merchant, will be visiting our partner organization in the Summer of 2012.
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