September 2007: Hunger Project Investors Visit Uganda
We spent all of Monday in an extended briefing on the current conditions in Uganda. Representatives from the National Council of The Hunger Project - Uganda discussed the history and current political situation and then Irene Muwanguzi, country director of The Hunger Project - Uganda, introduced the investors to the Epicenter Strategy in general and in Uganda in particular. In the afternoon we learned more about the African Women Food Farmer Initiative project. On Tuesday, after paying a courtesy call on the District Officers (our government partners) we went to Wakiso epicenter where we were greeted by several hundred people, including drummers and dancers. The animators had set up exhibits related to their specialties: HIV/AIDS prevention, functional adult literacy, food processing, and food production. Each gave us a demonstration and answered questions from the investors. We then had a great tour of the epicenter, and then when enough people had assembled, the formal ceremonies.
Students from a school next door to the epicenter greeted us with three wonderful songs, one including the great line: "shining Uganda, shining my motherland, shining Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. Another song, or really a poem-song, was a very thorough AIDS education in itself. It was all the more poignant because the children were practically all AIDS orphans. About 500 attend the school next to the epicenter.
After the closing speech from the District Officer, we had lunch and then planted ten trees in honor of our visit: mango, avocado and orange.
In Uganda, The Hunger Project is blessed with a corps of recent university graduates, mostly students of nutrition, economics or agriculture, who serve as volunteers. They are young, enthusiastic, skilled and highly committed to the empowerment strategy. They are the future of Uganda.