Sowing Seeds for Self-Sufficiency
CRESS wants to provide the South Sudanese refugees in Northern Uganda with the range of education, knowledge and vocational skills required to enable them to form self-sufficient, sustainable and ethical communities that do not require Western aid.
In the medium to long term, when they can return to their homes in South Sudan, they should be able to take these skills with them and rebuild their communities.
CRESS 5-Year Vision for South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda
CRESS ACHIEVING SUSTAINABILITY
CRESS aims to develop holistic and sustainable communities, but how do we know we are successfully working towards achieving this?
In our agriculture program we train new groups one year, with refresher training in the second year. Inputs, such as tools and seeds, are given once only as a starter pack after the first training. Support and advisory visits, bi-monthly during the first and second years, are then continued for a further third year after which the groups are left to continue their vegetable growing activities by themselves.
Recently, one of our active and committed agriculture officers, Yango Yunia, arranged a meeting with members of the original groups in Mijale from four years ago. Her aim was to see if they still had their tools and equipment, and whether they were continuing successfully to grow vegetables in their individual gardens and group gardens sufficiently to impact positively on themselves, their families, and their groups. What she found was very heartening, especially for Yunia herself.
key points of achievement
The members themselves presented their key points of achievement as:
- We now have the ability and enough knowledge of growing vegetables and other crops for our families.
- Group members were able to buy different animals, for example goats, chicken, pigs. These animals are kept and later sold to solve family demands.
- In addition to vegetables, we are also able to grow, successfully, cereals such as maize and groundnuts to supplement our income.
- Most of our members sell their vegetables initially to pay school fees for their children.
- Almost every member eats vegetables at least daily.
- The women now peacefully co-exist with their husbands because of the support they are bringing to their homes through the agriculture program, there is no more family disputes as it used to be.
With this group testimony CRESS can show successfully we are really achieving sustainability!