Life in the Mubende District
The villages in the Mubende district of Uganda have no electricity or running water, so simply preparing one daily meal involves spending up to six hours just collecting firewood and water. And that’s before they start cooking and eating. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else – including school. The average child in Uganda only goes to school for 3.5 years (much lower for girls), the literacy rate is just 75%, and in rural areas, 18% of children receive no schooling at all.
Pupils often walk long distances to school without having eaten breakfast, and during the dry seasons (December – March and July – September) there is shortage of water – especially safe drinking water.
What we’re doing
Our work is holistic – all of our projects work together to bring about sustainable change – both in the schools and in the wider community.
- Key Farmer Trainers are fundamental to everything we do – they develop the schools’ land for school meals and teach organic agriculture methods.
- The Agricultural Microcredit Scheme offers families short loans at fair interest for livestock, seed and tools.
- Fuel Saving Stoves save time, improve health, and reduce deforestation.
- Education Support includes the improvement of buildings and rainwater harvesting, the provision of books, teacher training and twinning with UK schools to exchange teaching experience and promote pen friendships.
- The Milk-Goat Breeding Programme improves the local breed of goats, which are often small and produce little milk.
- Kyamukoona Skills Centre provides skills training for young people who were unable to receive an education.
Mugungulu Children's Song
Children from Mugungulu Primary School in the rural district of Mubende, Uganda sing a song of environmental conservation.
At Mugungulu, we have have built four accommodation units for teachers and two new classrooms for the nursery section. All the other classrooms were fully renovated.
The land that feeds us
The pearl of Africa,
We care for you and the environment.”
“Everything we do makes a difference;
Every tree we plant shows we care,
If we care now, we save the future.”
“The environment is part of us,
We have to care, keep the land, protect the forest, save the lake
If we care now, we save the future.”
“Plant a tree,
Save the lake,
Plastics are dangerous,
Wasting is bad,
Our focus is on a hand up, not a hand out.
We measure our impact using the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index developed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).
We focus on 6 key project areas; Agricultural Microcredit to farmer groups; Support and Development of Key Farmer Trainers; Supporting Primary Education, Environmental & Climate change mitigation through the promotion of locally built Fuel Saving Stoves and the Kyamukoona Skills Centre for early school leavers.
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove.
But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child”
In 2018, the World Bank estimated that four out of five people below the international poverty line lived in rural areas.
While poverty and hunger are clearly inextricably linked (Watts and Bohle, 1993), they are two distinct concepts with distinct alleviation measures.1 Food security is about access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round; the World Bank defines poverty as a multidimensional concept encompassing low income and consumption, low educational achievement, poor health and nutritional outcomes, lack of access to basic services, and a hazardous living environment. It uses a poverty line of US$1.90 per day as an indicator of extreme poverty (World Bank, 2018). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes this and now addresses poverty and hunger as two distinct global goals (UN, 2015).
There is a lot of evidence that agriculture can contribute to poverty reduction beyond a direct effect on farmer’s incomes. Agricultural development can stimulate economic development outside of the agricultural sector, and lead to higher job and growth creation. Increased productivity of agriculture raises farm incomes, increases food supply, reduces food prices, and provides greater employment opportunities in both rural and urban areas. Higher incomes can increase the consumer demand for goods and services produced by sectors other than agriculture. Such linkages (or the ‘multiplier effect’) between growth in the agricultural sector and the wider economy has enabled developing countries to diversify to other sectors where growth is higher and wages are better.
Agricultural productivity can therefore be seen as a first step or engine of growth leading to greater income for a country. It is interesting to note that historically no poor countries have reduced poverty only through agriculture, but almost none have achieved it without increasing agricultural productivity in the first instance. Agricultural growth is an essential complement to growth in other sectors (DFID 2005).