A good life is possible in Uganda

A good life is possible in Uganda

About 5,000 people (600 families) in Rubirizi District, in Mbarara Diocese, Uganda, have seen a complete change in their quality of life, with the implementation of the knowledge gained thanks to a comprehensive training project aimed at people living in rural areas.

The FALIP (Farmer Livelihood Improvement Project), funded by Manos Unidas and implemented by Caritas, has been instrumental in 4800 people improving their quality life by achieving food security and increasing their income. Now, three years into the project, these families have a special place Great nutritional stability, better access to food and a more diverse diet.

Diseases associated with lack of hygiene Reduced by 95% in adults and children. The means of generating income were diversified and increased in number for 90% of families, making it easier for these families to pay school fees for their children, purchase necessary materials, improve the structures of their homes, and acquire new homes. and livestock, among other assets.

Women beneficiaries of the project in Uganda. | Photo: NGO Manos Unidas/Nicoleta de Mattis.

With this intervention, fifteen savings and loan groups were formed that were able to save the equivalent of about 65 thousand euros over three years, so that many loans were obtained to invest in multiple initiatives, such as starting a small business project, expanding agricultural production, and acquisitions. For animals such as birds, goats and pigs. After learning the rules and mechanisms, it is the groups themselves that manage and guard the money in the fund, keeping meticulous monitoring records.

The money contributed to the mutual fund is made possible by profits derived from the sale of products. These 15 groups – one for each village – have a total of 402 members (255 women and 147 men), It contributed significantly to the economic empowerment of women.

Training and technical knowledge

Project beneficiaries in Uganda.  Photo: Manos Unidas/Nicoleta Mathis
Project beneficiaries in Uganda. Photo: Manos Unidas NGO/Nicoleta Mathis.

Family gardens have also achieved great success, as they have diversified Production and consumption. These small gardens provided a healthier and more varied diet for every family. They also contributed to family savings, beautification of homes and the environment.

Due to indiscriminate felling of trees and poor agricultural practices, technical knowledge was provided on how to avoid soil degradation while improving the sustainability of land productivity to sustain future crops and provide better habitats for animals.

Structures and ditches were built to collect and retain water and to prevent soil erosion in certain areas. The ditches were used to grow fodder, which was used as food for the animals, in addition to preventing erosion.

On the health front, diseases resulting from lack of hygiene have decreased significantly, as have cases of diarrhea and typhoid fever in children, and other diseases, in both adults and children, due to malnutrition.

From a social point of view, the knowledge gained has facilitated and promoted greater equality among family members. For example, in dividing household tasks between men and women.

Project savings groups in Uganda.  Photo: Manos Unidas NGO/Nicoleta Mathis
Project savings groups in Uganda. | Photo: Manos Unidas NGO/Nicoleta Mathis.

In any case, the sustainability of the project is beyond doubt: they were not given the fish, they were taught to fish… And now, thanks to the knowledge gained in these three years of learning and greater self-esteem, they have been able to achieve it. Able to move forward on their own.

The article was originally published in issue 222 of the official magazine Manos Unidas.
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