PLANS FOR 2ND PHASE
The 1,000 Women’s kitchen and community gardens initiative is intended to improve the health and nutrition of Kasese District, targeting households where members are living with HIV/AIDS, are pregnant and young mothers, and where there are children under two years. We are working in the sub-counties of Maliba, Kyabarungira, Bwesumbu, Hima and Mubuku. This is being implemented through setting up kitchen gardens in the selected households and community gardens for united groups of women, providing hands-on training on bed preparation, nursery establishment, transplanting, pest and disease management, mulching, and water conservation, among others. We also provide diverse vegetable seeds, watering cans and botanical pesticides (Neem-based).
Phase 1 (January – May 2021); 100 households have been mobilized, received seeds, and their kitchen gardens are well established, monitored, and producing vegetables (dodo, sukamawiki, eggplant, tomato, onion, pumpkin, cabbage).
Phase 2 (June – December 2021); The second group of 100 households will be selected from the same sub-counties as Phase 1 to concentrate our efforts and impact on food security and family welfare in the communities where we have started, and to allow for peer-to-peer learning among the gardeners in close proximity.
Three sub-groups of people are to be targeted for this phase;
- Grandmothers: These will be older women taking care of vulnerable children – often grand-children left with them when their parents go seeking work in Kampala or other cities, others orphaned from HIV-AIDS, others multi-generational families with single mothers. RCRA will provide lists of possible households to Doreen (also Health Clinic), to visit and check for basic criteria. 30% of total
30 grandmothers are already scheduled to receive goat each in June, 30 grandchildren have already received scholastic materials (Books, Mathematical set package and pads)
2. Young single mothers: These will be younger mothers (ages 13 – 19) that have given birth early and have had to drop out of school. The Covid-19 lock-downs have exacerbated this problem, with girls staying at home, isolated, subject to domestic sexual abuse, lacking birth control. These early unwanted pregnancies have led to social, health, nutrition and financial adverse conditions for mothers and their babies that can be partially alleviated with successful kitchen and group gardening. Gathering young mothers together for training on a regular basis will help to alleviate the social isolation and stigma they face, bringing purpose, hope, and laughter back into their lives. Data from CDO/Health Center…..25% of total
3. Orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC and HIV program): These are households that are being supported by Baylor to improve the health and economic conditions and education access of OVC children, by offering education support, psychosocial care, and child protection services. From Phase 1, we know that there is still a great unmet demand for kitchen gardens among these households, to be tapped for Phase 2, to improve nutrition and food security of household members, and provide a marketable surplus ..– 45% of total
Eight additional community gardens will be established, four per sub-county. Of these eight community gardens:
- One will be at a selected school but the management will belong to a group of women who will be learning from it and taking care of it. Also, pupils will learn from the school garden all of the good management techniques and transfer the knowledge to their respective homes. This will work out as a pilot study to gauge whether we can take up other school gardens in Phase 3.
- Two community gardens will be for the young single mothers where they can gather with their babies and socialize, in addition to learning and practicing gardening. We will add information on baby and mother nutrition, and healthy baby food preparation for these groups. Locations will be chosen sufficiently convenient for a group of 10-15 mothers to participate.
- Five community gardens will be either on public land provided by local government – particularly to serve landless women in Hima and Mubuku, or provided by individual women volunteering their land for use by a group, as for Phase 1.
Doreen and her two assistants at RCRA will be supported by two Mountains of the Moon University (MMU) intern students from the School of Agriculture and Environment to assist with: 1) monitoring Phase 1 kitchen and community gardens in Maliba, Kyabarungira, Bwesumbu, Hima and Mubuku, 2) providing technical assistance on soil fertility and pest management problems for Phase 1 gardeners, and 3) assist Doreen on providing technical guidance to the Phase 2 gardeners. They will provide regular reports on their work. We hope to have MMU interns every year if this first experience (June-July 2021) works out well.
A Table – with Tentative numbers of gardens per sub -county, for different sub -groups.
No. OF KITCHEN GARDENS
No. OF COMMUNITY GARDENS
Nursery establish-ment dates*
1 (young mothers)
Pest & disease**
3 (young mothers)
*transplanting to mother gardens after rains begin in August……
** as needed