Continuous access to knowledge might well be the key to it all.
The communities we work with have an insatiable appetite for it. Time and time again we’ve asked what we can be doing better, or what we can be doing more of, and the answer is always the same:
“We want more skills. More knowledge. More training.”
In April 2018, we learned of torrential rains washing away the majority of the farm work that had taken months to complete in Buyenje. In addition to mobilizing our resources to raise money for non-perishable food supplies, we agreed (with Lugacraft) that the best idea moving forward would be to enlist the help of local experts.
We hired a professor from a local agrarian university to spend 10 days with the women of Buyenje, covering as much education as she could, based on their current level of understanding. Much of what was discussed involved effective drainage techniques, and other best farming practices (like using natural fertilizer and how to increase crop yields).
It was met with rave reviews, and our Community Trainings were born.
In retrospect, it all seems so simple. Women who’ve had to drop out of school years before completion due to a lack of school fees have had very little in the means of formal job training.
They’ve never been taught how to balance their savings books, never been taught how to run a business, they’ve never attended an agricultural seminar.
Think of the personal and professional growth that could be realized with regular doses of these skills!
We work together with Lugacraft to find local experts to engage these families on a variety of topics. We leave it up to the women’s groups to decide what their coursework will be, and we ask them to review each training, so that we may improve the quality of instruction each time.
So far, we’ve received great feedback on holding trainings in:
Personal & business finance
Event planning & decoration
We set out with the intention to offer a village training at least quarterly, and we plan to accelerate if deemed appropriate.
Continuing Adult Education led by local experts has become an important centerpiece to mitigating the risk of another season of lost crops. In Buyenje, women listen intently while Ruth shares her expertise.