In our quest to reduce all forms of violence against women, ACFODE employed the strategy of model couples in Kisoro district where both husband and wife are engaged on issues of gender equality, economic empowerment, girl child education as well as women and girls’ access to land and property. This is under the project; “Promoting Positive Socio-cultural Practices in the rural communities of Kisoro” and is made possible with the kind support of Eirene International.
This year, the knowledge base has been scaled up to cater for acquisition of skills to better the livelihoods of the couples.
The ACFODE team recognizes that Agriculture is the back bone of Uganda’s economy. This is evidenced by the percentage of the population that depends on agriculture in Uganda. In Kisoro alone, where the team is currently implementing the project – promotion of positive socio cultural practices, 95% of the people in the district depend on agriculture as their source of livelihood.
Model couples attending a training session in Kisoro District.
It’s thus against this milieu that a farm visit to Mutorele Agricultural center was organized for the model couples on the 26th of February,2018. ACFODE hopes that through such sessions, she not only deals with household attitudes between men and women but also creates transformation in their lives through endowing them with expertise in areas such as modern agricultural practices.
Mutorele agriculture education center is a model farm renowned for organic farming and better nutrition in Kisoro district. During the visit, the couples were introduced to food and nutrition, small scale farming and farm integration which as explained by the facilitator, leads to achievements of nutrients through a recycling process of all organic matter in the field. The facilitator, a member of staff from the Agricultural center, emphasized that integration of livestock and crop farming as a key practice in organic farming. He added that it controls introduction of external inputs into the farm which makes the farm more sustainable. Through integration, organic wastes such as cow dung, are put to best use like generation of natural energy such as bio gas which the farmer can then use for cooking and lighting in the home. At the same time, soil fertility is enhanced there by contributing to better life of plants.
The couples at Mutolere Agricultural farm
The couples were also introduced to organic manure making. This involves digging a pit or hole of about 20 to 40 cm deep and keep on pouring there urine and other animal wastes like dung. When filled up, it is mixed with water ratio of 1:3 and used to manure the gardens.
On the same call, the couples were able to learn about organic juice production from beet root and pineapples and post-harvest handling to ensure food security for their families. They were further familiarized with improved breeds of rabbits and cows for milk production as well as taught how to look after them. The couples promised to apply the knowledge and skills acquired. One of the model coupled, Mr. Nsabimana Papius from Busanza Sub County, commented thus;
“My wife and I were very interested and impressed by the juice taste, color and production. It is something that can bring in money faster and the process of making it looks simple. We are therefore going to practice it and make a beetroot and pineapple juice unit in our village. Thanks ACFODE for this rare opportunity,” he said.
The couples later in the day, shared on the challenges faced in saving and managing finances. Among others, they mentioned, misusing savings, borrowing money without a purpose as well as lack of budgeting skills and a plan. In relation to the legal aid knowledge that had been passed unto the couples previously, Mr. Ndinumukiza Charles, the parish coordinator for Buhozi parish, Busanza sub county said that the knowledge was helping them while counseling and reconciling people in their communities;
“I am very proud of ACFODE’s legal knowledge provided to us during the different trainings that we had. The knowledge has helped us settle many cases one of which I helped a widow whose children were denying her an opportunity to sell her plot of land so that she can pay debts and construct a toilet. I invited the LC I chairperson and we came to her rescue by authorizing her to sell her plot of land while referring the children to the succession and land act as taught to us during the legal sessions. Therefore with this additional knowledge I think that we are now going to act as village lawyers,” smiled Mr. Ndinumukiza Charles.