Achieving More through Strategic Partnerships in Uganda
The Hunger Project (THP) relies not only staff and volunteers to empower grassroots, community self-reliance, but on other invested groups and organizations. Our effectiveness is dramatically increased by every group that commits to stand in partnership with our communities and epicenters in the fight against conditions of hunger and poverty.
THP-Uganda has been hugely successful at creating long-term partnerships with like-minded organizations, assisting with everything from microfinance to epicenter trainings. By developing relationships with organizations in the region, epicenters have been able to provide more and better services to community partners.
Most notably, in the last year THP-Uganda has taken major steps in working with the Ford Foundation, Catholic Relief Services and the official Government of Uganda.
A partnership with the Ford Foundation has been established in order to improve service delivery and increase Rural Bank outreach. The increased capacity of the microfinance program has yielded new innovations such as the establishment of satellite banks (kiosks) in rural communities. The satellite banks have provided new members, especially women previously unable travel distances, the opportunity to join the banks and savings mobilization. Membership has increased by over 50 percent since the advent of the satellite banks.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Great Lakes Cassava Initiative (GLCI) in the Kiboga Epicenter continue to build the capacity of rural partners to respond to a number of diseases affecting their main crop: cassava, a fleshy, edible root. Communities have been granted laptops with inbuilt training courses on group management, cassava multiplication, pests and diseases, which are also used for data collection. This arrangement has improved household incomes and food security for a total of 1,455 partners in the last three years.
The Government and President of Uganda (GOU) have expressed full support for the Epicenter Strategy. In January 2010 His Excellence, the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni visited the Mpigi Epicenter. He expressed a great appreciation for THP's approach to ending hunger and poverty through the Epicenter Strategy and for the Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops (VCAWs) as empowerment tools.
In addition to these new and exciting partnerships, THP-Uganda constantly works to maintain and innovate beneficial relationships in the region:
- THP-Uganda is part of the network of international and UN agencies that operate in the country in the area of Food Security and Livelihoods (FSAL). Monthly dialogues regarding food and livelihood security are held under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP).
- The Child Fund Uganda works in partnership for joint implementation of programs in various sectors of interest to both organizations such as health, child care and education.
- Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and Heifer International have begun an agreement to implement a domestic biogas program in our epicenters. This will enhance the already existing partnership with Uganda Dairy Development Program, providing partners access to heifers and training in productive dairy-keeping methods.
- Malaria and Other Child Illness (MACIS), African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and the Ministry of Health are working with the Mbale Epicenter to provide access to treated mosquito nets, water and sanitation training manuals, and malarial training for partners.
- Wakiso Epicenter established a partnership with Marie Stopes-Uganda, which assists with training on health, sanitation and environment. Sixty-five Village Health Teams (VCTs) from five parishes were given refresher training on HIV/AIDS.
- The Islamic Medical Association of Uganda (IMAU) in Wakiso Epicenter continued treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.