It’s been over two months since our return from Uganda, and some nights I still wake up wondering where my mosquito net is. I thought this blog needed an update on what our team is doing now to move our project forward.

After we returned to the U.S., we discussed our different experiences in Lira and Gulu and asked many critical, sometimes frustrating questions about our next steps. Through many long conversations, we established a new plan for a realistic step we could take this summer moving towards the vision of establishing a peace center. We decided the most critical piece of that vision is the vocational training, a program which we hope to begin implementing this summer in partnership with Children of Peace Uganda. Currently, we are working on a draft of a grant proposal to submit to Davis 100 Projects for Peace. This is a $12,500 grant that would fund a project in Lira this summer.

Now, we are hard at work organizing the logistics of this program. We have been working with CPU staff and partners, a professor of nutrition, local agriculture teachers, African NGO leaders, an investor, faculty who review 100 Projects for Peace proposals, and students who have done peace projects in previous years.

Here is a peak at some framework for the project (these details are changing and in the process of being refined):

Who

  • “vulnerable children” as evaluated by CPU and their partner community, particularly those affected by war
  • most vulnerable selected based on CPU need survey document
  • at least 50% women
  • ages 14-25
  • young adults interested in learning new skills
  • local teachers, agriculturalists contracted from local technical and agricultural institutions
  • us as facilitators/managers
  • collaboration with village officials and local government

What

  • training sessions on:
    • agricultural skills
    • savings skills
    • nutrition
    • peace empowerment
  • specific topics: training on more productive/efficient agricultural methods, seed saving techniques, how to use tools, food- and money-saving techniques, basic business methods, nutritional value of crops and how to meet human nutritional needs, peaceful livelihood education and community empowerment led by CPU, agronomic practices including planting, weeding, fertilizer application, harvesting, pests and disease management, soil and water conservation measures, post-harvest handling, and marketing, seed banking, dressing, and storing
  • hands-on demonstration
  • focused on a SMART goal
  • growing vegetable gardens in real-time
  • laminated info sheets
  • seed starter and/or toolkit as ending incentive
  • van to transport instructors
  • curriculum designed in collaboration with local and U.S. specialists
  • mentorship program to train and support future program leaders
  • connecting community in seed-sharing network
  • provide basic tools, food, water, and school materials for participants

Where

  • Ogur sub-county
  • about 60 km travel distance for teachers per day
  • participants will walk 3-5 km per day to the central meeting place
  • beginning with one village (TBD) in Lira district that CPU already works with
  • transporting staff from Lira town to village
  • possibly at a community garden or government building, or hosted at a home
  • demonstrations on a beneficiary’s land

When

  • during the summer (May-July, growing season for majority of crops)
  • two-three (?) days per week
  • about the time to harvest = about 2 months
  • meetings noon – 4pm (?)

Why

  • in recovery from long civil war
  • children at major disadvantage: missed out on education (formal and traditional), living in impoverished area
  • economic empowerment important to creating peaceful livelihoods
  • combining former child soldiers and village members helps repair stigmatization and strengthens community
  • agricultural trainings encourage peaceful self-reliance, return to home land, using resources they have
  • lack of agricultural training programs in Lira town (other vocational trainings more commonly like bricklaying, etc.)
  • families equally benefit from trainings
  • village benefits from economic growth
  • supporting/expanding on CPU’s current work and helping advance it

Thank you for your continued support!

We will continue to update here as the project proposal comes together and goes through the review process.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s