April 2008: Update to the Global Board (Uganda)

partners_uganda_opt.jpg

Below is a table outlining the detailed achievements that took place in each epicenter during the period October 2007-March 2008. This report was submitted to the Global Board of Directors in preparation for the April 2008 meeting. The report refers to the four phases of the Epicenter Strategy. Learn more about the phases of the Epicenter Strategy and how it works.

Wakiso Epicenter

Start Year: 2002

Phase: 4

Major Accomplishments

  • All the epicenter components continued to function and serve the partners in line with Hunger Project methodology. Partners depict a high degree of self-reliance and a heightened sense of emancipation as they seem to be fully in charge of the epicenter activities.
  • The epicenter land is in a fallow period, but the food production committee is doing everything possible to add weed herbicides to kill off dangerous weeds. Planting will then follow as soon as the soil is ready. The district extension officer has provided useful guidance to the committee members, and they are following every step as guided.
  • The epicenter health center provided services to a total of 4,896 people (2,862 female; 2,034 male). This quarter, 1,776 children under age five were immunized against the six killer diseases (measles, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, and diphtheria) compared to 1,699 during last quarter. This increase is attributed, among other causes, to better health seeking behavior acquired by partners who come for the Vision, Commitment, and Action Workshops (VCAWs).
  • The epicenter food committee has adopted the strategy of empowering lead animators to act as model farmers. This quarter, nine animators, with 18.5 acres of land at not less than one acre, each were provided a total of 115 kg of improved maize seed. The seed was planted and germinated well.
  • The monitoring and evaluation research teams conducted focus group discussions in eight randomly selected parishes, which has enabled more accurate evaluation of program activities this quarter.
  • Two HIV/AIDS workshop for animators were conducted in partnership with IMAU, attracting 46 partners (25 female; 21 male)
  • A total of 396 partners (286 female; 110 male) attended a VCAW.
  • In partnership with Wakiso District, one water well was protected and is providing clean and safe water to the community members.
  • The majority of the women are actively engaged in income-generating activities, which is a large part of their empowerment process.

Mpigi Epicenter

Start Year: 1999

Phase: 4

Major Accomplishments

  • The food processing unit that started last quarter is a major source of income to the food production committee.
  • The milling machines continue to be of great significance to the community members, and they no longer move great distances to townships for milling services.
  • Research teams pretested the data collection question guides, which were translated into the local language, and focus group discussions will begin the first week of April.
  • Lead farmers were identified and received training in better farming practices. The extension officer at the district conducted comprehensive training, and it is hoped that food production will improve.
  • Two VCAWs were conducted and a total of 289 people (181 female; 108 male) attended. The five steps of ending hunger and poverty were emphasized as well as the need to take full control of all the catalytic programs such that self-reliance is achieved.
  • Specialized animator and Trainings of Trainers (TOTs) were conducted, and four HIV/AIDS workshops were attended by 123 partners (82 female; 41 male).
  • The education committee is in negotiations with the district education department to allow them to continue to operate primary school one and two levels.
  • The nursery school has 51 pupils (18 female; 13 male) of whom most will be joining primary education in the nearby schools.
  • All 12 protected springs are well maintained and the water and sanitation committee designed a schedule that partners use in clearing the bushes around the springs. The level of compliance is impressive.
  • The bank board members are still very active in mobilizing partners to buy shares in the bank and the response is overwhelming. The Annual General Meeting was held and a number of issues and challenges were shared among members. Members are committed to the growth of the bank.

Kiringente Epicenter

Start Year: 2000

Phase: 3

Major Accomplishments

  • The principle of partnership continues to impact positively in transforming the lives of Hunger Project partners.
  • The epicenter leadership and all the sub-committees continue to guide the running of catalytic programs well following the Epicenter Strategy and The Hunger Project methodology.
  • Owing to the able leadership of the epicenter chairperson, all the activities of the epicenter are running smoothly with nursery pupils attending school, the village shop rendering commercial services to the people, community members accessing medical services, and partners attending Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops (VCAWs) and African Woman Food Farmer Initiative (AWFFI) workshops, among others.
  • Research teams received translated question guides and have already mobilized partners for group discussions.
  • The borehole at the epicenter is fully functional and serving approximately 62 households as compared to 45 households during last quarter.
  • The epicenter health clinic continues to render health services and during the fourth quarter of 2007, a total of 2,972 partners visited the clinic.
  • The food production committee identified lead animators with large pieces of land who received training in better farming practices and large quantities of improved seed as a means of increasing food production.
  • Health workers conducted outreach to the communities, immunized children and gave out de-worming tablets.
  • The food production committee worked together with Hunger Project staff and distributed improved seed to selected partners for planting. Planting was delayed, however, due to extended drought in the community.
  • The community garden at the epicenter is well prepared and planting will commence as soon as the rains start.
  • All five protected springs as well as the borehole for clean and safe water were maintained.
  • Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) activities are going on well, and knowledge is being translated in communities in the form of improved nutrition, eating habits, animator-initiated projects, and health-seeking behavior.
  • Programs to empower women continue to perform well as women effectively take part in all the catalytic programs.
  • Mobilization and training has started in the formation of the rural bank to form a transition from direct credit to rural banking, and we hope that Kiringente will be a place for our next officially recognized and fifth rural bank in Uganda.

Kiboga Epicenter

Start Year: 2002

Phase: 4

Major Accomplishments

  • Catalytic projects continue to positively impact The Hunger Project partners in areas of operation and the principle of partnership remains a key to all our activities.
  • Kiboga district leadership is and remains instrumental in providing guidance and support in the struggle to empower local communities.
  • The epicenter building, with all components fully functioning, is well maintained.
  • The food bank at the epicenter remains a motivation factor in the food production activities.
  • 11 lead animators were identified and received training from planting to post-harvest handling from the district extension office.
  • A total of 36.5 acres was mobilized and planted with improved planting materials (640 kgs of beans and 240 kgs of maize).
  • Approximately 2,000 kg of maize is stored in the epicenter food bank.
  • A total of 23 children (14 girls and 9 boys) were mobilized to join the nursery school.
  • 14 VCAWs were conducted, attracting 1,192 animators (842 female; 350 male) as compared to 455 animators that attended VCAWs in the previous quarter.
  • Kyato Functional Adult Literacy class composed of 28 learners (17 female; 11 male) hosted The Hunger Project-Uganda Country Director at the beginning of the quarter. Learners exhibited immense appreciation to the initiators of the program as they are now able to write and read.
  • The food sub-committee banked Uganda Shillings (Ug Shs) 410,000 (US$245) in their savings account, and old signatories were replaced by the new ones.
  • This quarter, 44 new members joined the KIFFI rural bank, raising the membership to 487 from 443 in the previous quarter.
  • KIFFI rural bank conducted the first Annual General Meeting that was held at the epicenter. Members discussed increasing the loan amounts from Ug Shs 400,000 (US$240) to Ug Shs 1 million (US$600), as well as the critical need for increasing the moblization of the membership of the epicenter.
  • The health center extended services to 1,492 partners (840 female; 651 male) during the quarter.
  • Nutritious porridge continued to be provided to the epicenter schoolchildren and the community at large.
  • The epicenter nutrition project accessed a loan of Ug Shs 2,550,000 (US$1,527) from KIFFI rural bank to increase production.
  • A proposal for establishment of a tree nursery at the epicenter was submitted.
  • Health center staff participated in an orientation workshop for malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis organized by AMREF.
  • Activities at the bank have made the epicenter busy with many partners coming in on a daily basis. Because of this, the epicenter is considering to begin a village shop.

Mbarara Epicenter

Start Year: 2004

Phase: 3

Major Accomplishments

  • The epicenter leadership, together with The Hunger Project partners, continues to manage the activities at the epicenter well.
  • Partners with gardens on the epicenter land are doing a commendable job—their gardens are well tended.
  • The nursery school is running well, with competent teachers in charge. The parents' committee is very effective in enforcing and implementing policies agreed upon by all stakeholders.
  • FAL classes together with VCAWs have improved the health and nutrition status in the communities with partners adopting improved sanitation practices.
  • Through regular group meetings, our partners have strengthened cohesion and this is attributed to the committed epicenter committee chairperson. This has improved their project identification process and participation in various other activities like food production and food security.
  • The district leadership is in its final stages of securing money for the construction of staff quarters at the epicenter.
  • Research teams have received question guides translated into the local language and are planning to do pretesting with the guidance of the monitoring and evaluation officer before they conduct focus group discussions.
  • Animator-initiated projects are a major source of income in households and this is partly reflected in the loan repayment rate and the economic emancipation of partners, especially women.

Iganga Epicenter

Start Year: 2003

Phase: 3

Major Accomplishments

  • The district leadership offered its full support in the activities of The Hunger Project in the course of the first quarter. The Fisheries Department in particular has been very supportive in providing partners with fish seeds to support the established fish ponds.
  • The bakery at the epicenter is still running and generating income which is being used to keep all the components of the epicenter fully functional.
  • Bank board members conducted interviews with the assistance of AWFFI and program and monitoring evaluation officers for the position of bank manager, and a competent person was selected for the position.
  • The rural bank has been fully registered, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry has fully certified it with a registration certificate. Initial membership of the bank is 701 people. It will be fully operational in the second quarter.
  • Partners received improved seeds and planting started towards the end of the quarter because the rains were delayed.
  • The epicenter garden has also been planted.

Kiruhura Epicenter

Start Year: 2006

Phase: 2

Major Accomplishments

  • All the catalytic programs were given sufficient input from Hunger Project staff and partners, and consequently the epicenter construction is well underway.
  • 20% of the total cost of epicenter construction was mobilized in cash, kind and pledges from the local communities and government.
  • The district contribution for the construction of the pit latrine was secured.
  • The epicenter building and the food bank have already been roofed, and plastering and flooring is currently being done.
  • The building for staff quarters is at the window level, and the pace at which the engineers are moving is commendable.
  • The monitoring and evaluation program was introduced in Kashongi and Kanoni sub-counties. Research teams were selected and trained and received question guides translated in the local language toward the end of the quarter.
  • VCAWs conducted in Kanoni and Kashongi attracted 1,570 partners.
  • A seed revolving food account was opened in Kashongi with 100,000 Ug Shs deposited into it.
  • 24 individual gardens were opened.
  • The individual gardens on the epicenter land are well looked after and planted with beans, maize, vegetables and ground nuts.
  • 600 kgs of improved seeds were disbursed to our partners for communal and individual gardens.

Mbale Epicenter

Start Year: 2008

Phase: 1

Major Accomplishments

  • Mobilization of partners and conducting of VCAWs were the two major activities. A total of 514 partners (353 females; 161 males) attended.
  • Animators and subcommittee members were able to follow the work plans in the implementation of locally agreed upon programs such as improving the status of feeder roads. This will ease the implementation of catalytic programs.
  • Village, parish, sub-county and epicenter committees were formed with equal representation of men and women from the sub-counties of Bushende and Busoba.
  • Most significantly, the committees were able to select the epicenter leadership and all the catalytic program chairpeople and subcommittees.
  • The animators and local leaders have mobilized the community, and 186 groups are registered at the sub-county, with 260 groups formed in the villages. As an action, these are being remobilized into FAL classes.
  • Grassroots mobilization was impressively done, covering 44 villages and 114 (57 female; 57 male) representatives.
  • The animators are providing grassroots baseline information on education, health, water and other infrastructure following monitoring and evaluation reporting in the villages.
  • All selected 134 animators are active and some already have begun income-generating projects.
  • In partnership with Mbale district leadership, an office space for the project officer has been secured.
  • The food production chairperson received improved seeds from the program officer and also mobilized partners to contribute money to purchase more seed.

Keywords: