One year ago, you chose to support Ugandan women living with HIV by helping them establish two sustainable, organic farms to improve not only their health and wellbeing but their families and surrounding community as well. Since then, two community farms near Kampala have been providing these women with food and a source of income.
The number of women in the two support groups.
Estimated girls & women affected
The number of clients at the clinic.
Estimated community members affected
One year ago, you chose to support Ugandan women living with HIV by helping them establish two sustainable, organic farms to improve not only their health and wellbeing but their families and surrounding community as well. Since then, two community farms near Kampala have been providing these women with food and a source of income. They have learned new skills (organic farming, budgeting and planning, small business management, cooking nutritious food) that will support them and their families for years to come. The excess produce is sold up to 3 times a month at their local clinic, Alive Medical Services (AMS), increasing the number of people receiving nutritious food. Nutrition and cooking training sessions were held regularly, focusing on introducing diverse produce into their diets with new methods of preparation – sessions that were made available to all AMS clients. Thank you for helping us remove a critical barrier, that too often than not impedes access to life-saving HIV treatment.
“We feel we have been cured from our sickness from HIV, and now that we are healthy we want to use our gardens to fight poverty.” – Project participant
Risks and challenges
A challenge we encountered during this project is access to water. One of the farms we established does not have a well and the nearest water source is over a kilometer away. The issue has been addressed by updating the gutter system but a long-term solution is needed and is currently being discussed. If it is not solved, the lack of access to water will limit the growing of produce to the wet season therefore reducing the amount of food they will receive.
What we’ve learned
We have learned that providing people affected by HIV with access to treatment and surrounding care is not enough. At Keep a Child Alive, we strive to empower them as well, by giving them resources that can improve not only their overall wellbeing but their families and community as well. This project had a positive impact on many lives and while we did encounter a few challenges along the way, the project was a success and will have a long-lasting impact on the community.
This project has successfully given the members of the groups the tools and training they need to start and maintain gardens/farms – giving them access to nutritious food that will help them adhere to medications and prevent illnesses. They will continue to work to make the farms self-sustainable and have already begun expanding their gardens, allowing them to plant even more produce including new fruit such as pineapples and passion fruit. Additional clients from the clinic have expressed interest in starting their own farms and KCA is working to make it happen - we hope to transform the lives of even more people affected by HIV.
Amount spent so far
Garden start-up costs
Gardening for Health
September 26, 2014
Keep a Child Alive, in partnership with Development in Gardening (DIG), broke ground on two new community farms near Kampala, Uganda. The women of the Tweyambe and Bulamu Kwefako support groups are currently being trained by Development in Gardening in organic farming and budgeting. They have been meeting to organize work days and began preliminary digging at their respective farms. The Tweyambe group is off to a great start – on the first day they dug ten garden beds in just three hours! These women, who are living with HIV, and their community will soon be reaping the health benefits of consuming nutritious foods.
Risks and challenges
The Tweyambe group’s community farm is located a considerable distance from Namuwongo, a crowded urban area where our clinic, Alive Medical Services, is located. An unforeseen challenge we have encountered is that the women need transportation to reach the garden, a cost that some are unable to cover. Despite this challenge, eventually, proceeds raised from selling the produce will cover all travel expenses to and from the garden.
“The work is going well. First of all, me as a person, and the group, have benefited to learn these skills. Before this project, I did not know how to grow a garden, to make beds and nurseries, and many other skills, but this we have learned. Secondly, when I go back to my village, I can help all the people who could not be here for the training. And thirdly, we have learned to change the nutrition, to balance the diet with the garden.” - Tweyambe Group Member
The women will continue to work on the farms and receive ongoing training on sustainable gardening, nutrition, and basic accounting and savings. Once the farms starts producing, the groups will begin selling their nutritious produce at the market to fellow Alive Medical Services clients and their families. The sales from the market will become income for the members, and the farm will become financially sustainable.
It is too early in the funding stage to provide line items. We are on track and will provide a thorough update in our 1-year report.
Help Ugandan women living with HIV break ground for two organic farms to improve their nutrition, food security, and self-reliance.
Why we care: In Uganda, over half of the people living with HIV are women, who face major challenges such as poverty and lack of access to nutritious food.
How we’re solving this: By cultivating two sustainable, organic farms to improve nutrition, increase food security, and provide income to women living with HIV.
Our clinic is located in one of the poorest areas of Kampala, Uganda and provides free HIV care and related services to the most vulnerable in the community. Access to nutritious food is a critical part of comprehensive HIV care, as good nutrition can improve adherence to medications, prevent illnesses, and increase the effectiveness of treatment.
We’ll train women in all aspects of organic farming and budgeting, and support them in developing a demonstration site, starting home gardens, and hosting a market, at least once a month, where they can sell produce to fellow Alive Medical Services clients and their families. At the markets, we’ll also provide nutritional education, including recommendations for people living with HIV and use of “food as medicine.” Sales will provide income to the members and make the farms financially sustainable within a year.
With your support, we’ll work in partnership with Development in Gardening to break ground on two new community farms. The gardens offer a space for women to share their stories, get their hands dirty, and learn a new skill that will support them and their families for years to come.
"Powerful things can happen when you plant a seed. When watered and cared for in the right way, lives can forever be transformed." - Sarah Koch, Co-Founder of Development in Gardening
Your contribution will be used to cultivate the organic farms and home gardens by covering the costs of project coordinators, seed packets, tool sets, and supplies. In addition, it will make possible the ongoing training of members of the Tweyambe and Bulamu Kwefako Support Groups on topics of sustainable gardening, nutrition, and basic accounting and savings.
We’re prepared to face a potential challenge common with organic gardening - pests. To minimize pest impact, we’ll train participants to use organic, locally made pesticides (for example milk, garlic, and neem) and how to plant multiple types of a vegetable to prevent pest destruction.
Our goal is to not only teach about nutrition but provide a means for women living with HIV to grow and consume nutritious foods that leads to improved health for both them and their families. Help us plant seeds and transform once stigmatized Ugandan women into agents of change in their community.