Hello from the Uganda FCDE Team,
It has been a wonderfully busy and productive last few months. In addition to our continued work with more than 50 local grass-roots organizations in Uganda our partner organizations have had a numbe rof exciting successes.
Much of FCDE's work focuses on helping local organization be more self-sufficient in raising funds and developing strategies that provide revenue needed for them to survive and thrive. In this update we wanted to highlight one of our partners who just received a grant from LUSH.
Disability is Not Inability: Spotlight on Kasese Group of People with Disabilities
Faced with discrimination, isolation and exclusion, people with disabilities (PWDs) are one of many marginalized groups in society. When paired with a lack of understanding and the idea they cannot perform to the level of people without disabilities, everyday living becomes an oppressive experience and progress for PWDs is seen as an anomaly. In 1995, a group of people with disabilities came together to create a platform to dispel these myths. This group, Karambi Group of People with Disabilities (KAGPWD), works to uplift welfare and standards of living, while influencing decision making and policy in Kasese District to reflect the needs of all citizens.
Like many organizations, KAGPWD is filled with passionate people but often struggled with ways to grown the organization and expand their services. Concepts of program management, proposal writing and organizational development proved to be challenging. Ultimately, they faced the reality of wanting to increase their impact but not knowing the best way do so.
In 2013, KAGPWD applied for the Foundation for Community Development and Empowerment’s (FCDE) 18-month capacity building program, which focuses on best practices in building and sustaining an organization. Upon completion of this rigorous program, they became an official local partner organization (LPO) and continued to focuse on ways to bring greater sustainability to their programming. They applied for a fund within FCDE and were rewarded a grant of 3 Million Uganda Shillings to support a candle making, shopping bag and basket income generating project for their beneficiaries. After expressing the need to improve their advocacy initiatives, FCDE also helped KAGPWDs secure an intern to formalize a community advocacy program which concluded in September 2015. In the same instance, they received 8 Million Uganda Shillings from the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) to continue their sensitization of PWDs on the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Putting Capacity Building to Work
FCDE’s work in rural communities is indicative of the needs of many organizations that believe the work is valuable and can be sustained. Where can rural organizations go when they want to improve their program implementation? Or produce materials for advocacy projects? Or find out about grants or even draft proposals? Many organizations work in places that often lack access to power. Are these populations to be neglected?
We work to provide the solutions to those problems. Recognizing the need for operational support for LPOs, we run a Resource Center free of charge to LPOs to give them the tools to carry out their projects. Additionally, we provide free one on one consulting sessions because we recognize that learning is a continual process and we want our LPOs to succeed.
It’s great to see KAGPWDs not only survive but thrive because it takes a particular level of commitment to continue working in the face of operational, environmental and societal obstacles. Nonetheless, KAGPWDS continues to be an inspiration and brings FCDE’s support in the community to life.
Recently, KAGPWDs applied for the Sustainable Lush Fund (SLush). This fund was created by the Lush cosmetic company, a producer of fresh handmade products, as a way to create partnerships with communities and promote sustainable farming. Prior to partnership with FCDE, they applied for the fund but received no response, but after going through our program and participating in consulting sessions, they decided to apply again. This time they were successful.
LUSH awarded them with a £3275 (13,755,200 Uganda Shillings) food forest production grant to plant 100 fruit (50 mangoes, 30 marinas and 20 orange) trees and 5,000 environmental friendly trees (Casisia and Musizi). The grant will also help to establish a tree nursery bed for producing coffee seedlings and grafting of fruit trees for sale.
The money generated from the sale coffee seedlings, fruit seedlings and later from the sale of fruits and wood shall be used to facilitate community based development and income generating projects targeting PWDs and their families in Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council and Karambi Sub County, Kasese district in Uganda.
Moreover, LUSH introduced KAGPWDS to permaculture farming and they have participated in a three day training with the Permaculture Research Institute in Kenya (PRI).
The food forest will be located on four of the six acres managed by KAGPWDS and will also improve the environment by minimizing soil erosion in the area.
FCDE wants to thank all of you for helping to make success stories like this possible.