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UGANDA VILLAGE SELF-RELIANCE PROJECT

~ on pause ~ 

Uganda Village Self-Reliance Program will provide support to 50 legally registered village based non-profit groups in the Busoga region of Uganda.

The Basoga people face a wide variety of problems:

  • The average household income is barely $200 per year.
  • Literacy rates are very low.
  • There are very few health care facilities.
  • Each village might have only one or two boreholes for safe drinking water.
  • Very few villages have electric power.
  • A high rate of AIDS-related deaths have left many orphans.
  • Uncertain rains and localized droughts lead to occasional famine periods.

Many programs have been instituted in the area to address these problems and most have experienced minimal success. Most of the programs are designed and implemented in a traditional top down manner to satisfy the agenda of the donors. Several other programs provided training of trainers to village members in health, environment, literacy, farming and related topics but failed to provide continuing support. One example was the Basoga Dioceses village health project. They did a wonderful job training nurses but struggled to find a way for these nurses to support themselves in the villages. Similarly the organizations that support AIDS orphans found that the best method was to raise household incomes of the orphans' extended families. The Uganda Village Self-Reliance Program was initiated in response to this situation. Nakisenhe Functional Adult Literacy Group combined the knowledge received from several of these projects since 1994 into an integrated program and extended this program to neighboring villages to form the Uganda Village Self-Reliance Program. The Uganda Village Self-Reliance Program is designed to raise household incomes through farming and provide a sustainable income source for village based development groups by operating related businesses including produce marketing.

A key to success is that the program is organized from the bottom up. Each village group identifies its own problems then develops a plan to solve those problems. At the end of 3 years each village group will support an average of 200 households farming an average of 1.5 acres of maize. The 300 acres of maize will yield 1200 tons each year for the group to market bringing an income of $180,000 or $900 per household. The program will be funded for 5 years. In the first year 5 Village groups that are currently active in the program will receive support. In the second year support will be extended to another 15 Village groups. Then in the third year another 30 Village groups will be added for a total of 50 Village groups. Each Village group will be supported for threeyears. At the end of the five-year funding period, 50 groups will be in full operation and the program directly benefit 10,000 households. The farmers in these groups will produce 60,000 tons of maize annually for total gross annual sales of $9 million.

 

The Program will provide support to the Village groups in the following ways.

  • Conduct training courses for three staff of each Village group. Initial training in community organizing will be contracted to Uganda Change Agent Society. The program staff will carry out ongoing training programs.
  • Run a produce trading system, keeping current records and linking Village groups with buyers. Much of the produce will be sold to World Food Program while building links with private traders.
  • Up to $60,000 will be available to support each village group plan for these line items.
  • Provide salaries for staff of village-based groups.
  • Provide bicycles for staff of village-based groups and lead farmer volunteers.
  • Provide seeds, fertilizer and post harvest equipment for demonstration. The groups will recover money from demonstrations that will be used for revolving financing of inputs.
  • Partially finance buildings and equipment for input supply store, communication center with wireless e-mail, internet and phone, classroom and produce storage center.

 

Nakisenhe Functional Adult Literacy Group together with it's partner groups will register at the National level as A W.I.S.H. Uganda. A W.I.S.H. Uganda will receive the grant from AWISH to run Uganda Village Self-Reliance Program. A W.I.S.H. Uganda will hire Ugandan nationals in positions of Program Manager, Logistics Officer, Administration, Bookkeeper, and Trainers. The program staff will serve two functions:

  1. Facilitate training and monitor the 50 village-based groups.
  2. Run a computerized produce trading system.

The program will link Village centers with large buyers, monitor quality and quantity of produce available, receive money from buyers, pay Village centers, and organize transportation of produce. The system is designed for maize, which is a major export of the Busoga region but the same system can be used for other produce such as beans, coffee, pineapples, bananas, chilies and vanilla. Income for the program from the produce trading system received by imposing a two-percent charge on $9 million of produce traded by the Village groups will provide an annual income of over $180,000 by the end of the funding period. This will allow the program to continue operation without further outside support

 

PROJECT DIRECTOR: PAUL BARKLEY

A W.I.S.H. Africa

awish@awish.net


A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity