EMPOWER A WOMAN TO SPEED UP FAMILY GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Global Fund for Women that supports women movement for gender justice, equity and equality worldwide, in a long-term partnership with Ntulume Village Women Development Association (NVIWODA), has enabled the organization to tremendously change the mindset of women in various districts in Uganda.
In Gomba District – Kabulasoke, NVIWODA under the food security project, and applying various empowering interventions, ranging from entrepreneurship, agricultural education, creating awareness on gender, land rights, awareness on preventing domestic abuse in relationship, ICTs and supporting the farmers with productive farm tools, seeds,to enhance food production in addition new resource-based modern farming practices and low-cost rain water harvesting tanks technologies has been introduced.
This is aimed at holistically enabling poor rural woman farmer to fully gain knowledge insights that could lead them to overcoming poverty, prevent poor health and sustainably curb down food insecurity.
Educating and supporting the rural women farmers, developed a changed mindset, through using the ladder of life to define the wellbeing of women through education, physical support, mentoring, encouraging and increasing awareness on issues of food insecurity and climatic changes, which were identified during the various baseline and impact surveys combined with various focus group discussions with farmers. All these strategies of interventions are improving effectiveness towards changing the mindset of a rural woman and move her to another ladder.
In these pictures women are discussing how their lives has been three years ago and how it has changed now due to applying good farming natural organic practices, and growing varieties of vegetables using multi storied gardens and other backyard basket gardens in addition to food crops.
In order to achieve positive actions from the women farmer beneficiaries, the NVIWODA team traverses the 11 Parishes of Kabulasoke to closely monitor the food security project.
Women testify that in their community, they are quite unique as they lack no food, because they grow varieties i.e. cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas and vegetable, in addition to coffee for income generation. “We also rear animals to able us acquire manure to fertilize our soils “they said.Read More
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES TRAINING TO BRIDGE THE COMMUNICATION GAP CAUSED BY COVID-19
NVIWODA equips its target group of women farmers, members and girls in information and communication technologies to bridge the gap caused by the COVID – 19 Pandemic, the aim of the skilling is to improve the capacities of women/girls to enable them effectively utilize mobile phones, improve communication and their livelihoods .As a result of Women of Uganda Network support to NVIWODA , the organisation continues to empower more women.
In empowering the rural women group networks in digital training enhances communication. NVIWODA reaches out to its beneficiaries in a timely manner and effectively improve communication among the stakeholders. A number of social media tools are introduced to women; however, women adopted most, the use of Whats app.
Women farmers regularly communicate, document their activities and are able to share with others. For example, NVIWODA trained the farmers in mushroom growing, and during implementation they faced the challenge of the seed not germinating and swiftly communicated through the whats app group and sent pictures of the project. Through discussions on the group the problem was easily rectified. Janat testified that she was able to market children’s clothes through the whats business App. Questions from the women regarding the agriculture are easily answered by NVIWODA through the group and success stories shared for others to learn.
Farmers say the group platform is useful to them as it is a source of collectiveness and information access. However, Women say they face challenges in accessing and participation in zoom meetings due to network challenges in rural area and data is expensive.Read More
ENHANCING WOMEN’S RIGHTS THROUGH ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
Since 1987, through social and economic development undertakings, Ntulume Village Women Development Association (NVIWODA) has reached over 3,500 women in various districts of Uganda. NVIWODA is a woman non-governmental organization established in 1987, by a group of women who resided in Ntulume Village by then. NVIWODA operates under Permit No. 541 and Certificate of Registration No.5014. NVIWODA’s Vision is to promote family income at the grassroots level through education.
Since NVIWODA’s inception, it has continuously mobilized women belonging to different groups in the country, and to ensure it achieves its vision, it has strengthened and expanded its activities through reaching out to rural women on household basis, touching community-based organizations irrespective of their status and engaging local leaders in its endeavors. With the aim of creating a sustainable drastic change in the social and economic well-being of a woman, the organization devised means of empowering women in various skills. NVIWODA activities include; trainings in entrepreneurship, food security through integrated and sustainable agriculture, providing farm tools and seeds, training women in ICT, bakery, tie and dye, financial literacy and creating awareness on human rights, domestic violence, land rights and health. NVIWODA also goes further to provide women with financial services through NVIWODA Development Enterprise, a collective fund established by women members of the organization. Execution of the above activities has made a significant impact on women’s lives.
The timely gatherings help the women to discuss issues that affect them and their confidence is gradually built as they learn and know their rights and improve standards of living at household level hence community at large. Women have been meeting in Rubaga-Kampala city, the office premises for the organization. Workshops, trainings, exhibitions and competitions tackling various phenomena are organized year in year out. During those sessions, experience, ideas, success stories and challenges are shared among members. It is also a platform for opening up to fellow women and seeking for advice.
Since 2011, the organization has put much emphasis on mobilizing and engaging rural women in its activities. According to the surveys undertaken, these are vulnerable, have no access to information, basic needs and are marginalized in society. Rural women have challenge of being abused because they are ignorant about their rights and are unable to access opportunities of not given platforms to raise their voices. Most organizations focus on well-established groups which are already equipped with knowledge leaving out the rural areas which need the services most. Rural women have a big knowledge gap which NVIWODA seeks to fulfill so that they can cope up with the changing trends in life.
Important to note, majority of rural women are farmers, they make up approximately 75% of the labor force in agricultural productivity. Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy. This implies that women play a significant role in food production for household consumption and sale. However, women practice farming under harsh conditions created by lack of knowledge and violation of their rights. Rural farmers are accustomed to traditional methods of farming which result into very low yields insufficient to sustain a family. Women are denied the right to own land basing on societal unwritten laws, grow food and their spouses sell it without their consent and worst of all women are not paid a single penny for their hard work. Only 16% of women own land according to statistics.
To enable rural farmers, realize their potential, NVIWODA sought grants from United Methodist Women and Global for Women to facilitate its passionate desire to educate rural women. Since 2011, various women groups have been trained in integrated and sustainable agriculture, smart urban farming, entrepreneurship skills, financial literacy, violence in relationship, land rights, food security, among others. This whole empowerment program builds the capacity of women and the course is a combination for adult learning theory and practical skills making women with low education to make improvements in their lives and study farm tour exposes them to real life farming aiming at a long-term advancement of women movement.
Invested resources on food security has significantly helped farmers to provide nutrient food for their families and sale the access for income generation, and women have had the opportunity to participate in other activities in addition to farming. With the knowledge gained from the trainings, farmers are able to grow crops throughout the year, irrespective of the seasons. NVIWODA in this endeavor further supports farmers with relevant farming farm tools introduces new farming techniques and new seed varieties of vegetable. In rural areas, farmers know less about the importance of growing vegetables. For nine years, NVIWODA has tremendously put in efforts to fill that gap. Vegetables are good for our health, sauce that is easy to get and an income generator which grows throughout the year. According to the beneficiary households impact survey, the children’s health and that of households has greatly yielded positive results. Eating vegetables improves food nutrition and boosts the immunity of the bodies, this reduces costs incurred on hospital visits.
Furthermore, the organization tackled measures to address climate challenges in the dry areas of Uganda. Farmers were taught how to grow crops during dry seasons, harvesting water to be used for irrigation and construction of underground tanks. NVIWODA also taught farmers how to rejuvenate dry and unfertile land, farming on rocky land and full utilization of the available small spaces. This increases food production and guarantees food security at household level all year round.
Giving a hand to rural women boosts their confidence and makes them realize their potential and drastically improving their lives, as a result women farmer earns them respect and financial freedom. In doing so, women are able to educate their children, access basic needs of life and also train others to follow suit. Access to information helps farmers to understand their rights, this can help to solve violence in relationship challenges and criminal cases. In addition, farmers are able to cope up with the changing trends and compete favorably on market.
If such projects continue coming up to help individuals at the grass root level, women would become fully empowered and enjoy their rights. Most of the challenge’s women faces in life are due to inaccessibility to information, resources and lack of inclusion.
NVIWODA monitors the resources invested in the project and measures the impact to ensure that knowledge offered to women yields positive results. Through timely follow up and guidance It keeps track of the performance of farmers to realize sustainable positive change in families and communities at large. Through peer to peer learning, it has been remarkably noted that every woman who has participated in NVIWODA programs has not remained the same. The organization created a conducive environment for interaction whereby beneficiaries socialize, visit each other for guidance and share experience, provide support where need be. There has been documentation of success stories to inspire more women to engage in such fruitful activities. In addition to other meetings, it’s an obligation for NVIWODA members to gather at the end of each year to analyze their accomplishments and discuss the way forward.
For more information about our work visit www.nviwoda.org
Addressing COVID -19 pandemic NVIWODA Empowers Twenty-Six (26) rural women farmers in Gomba District with modern agriculture skills in food production
In 2020, with support of Global Fund for Women, NVIWODA continued with the Food Security program by empowering more 26 women farmers in Gomba District, making a Total of 122 women farmers, who are sufficiently knowledgeable in agriculture.
The food security project commenced with an introductory workshop whereby farmer beneficiaries shared experience with the current beneficiaries and videos of success stories were screened. A baseline survey was conducted and 28 women farmers were orally interviewed and observations made in their homesteads. The aim of the survey was to understand the living conditions of the farmer beneficiaries, identify the challenges they face, find out their farming practices and needs necessary for food production. This enables NVIWODA to find possible solutions in addressing real needs women farmers.
The 28 women were drawn from two sub counties, Kabulasoke and Kyegonza. For diversity, these were selected from thirteen villages. The women beneficiaries belong to nineteen (19) Community Based Groups (CBO’S) however, because of gender hindrances, two of the women were unable to attend the food security training.
NVIWODA collaborates with stakeholders endowed with special facilities and skills in agriculture The group of women underwent training at St. Jude Family Projects, a college of agriculture in Masaka District. For five days’ farmers were away from their traditional set up to a modernized setting training in improved, integrated and sustainable organic farming techniques using locally available resources. At the college, women participatory learn and adopt modern farm techniques. Farmers were equipped with theory and hands-on training in various skills which include;
- Growing various vegetables; in very small spaces and yield in large quantities. Various designs of vegetable gardens were introduced such as sack mound, developing vegetable gardens out of recycled materials like plastic bottles, tyres, basket, and ring gardens, among others.
- Farmers were taught how to make bio-fertilizers and organic pesticides, such as bokashi, super magro, compost manure, plant tea, and manure tea. Application of fertilizers rejuvenates the soils and leads to high production output.
- Application of organic pesticides; which are environmentally friendly and made from surrounding plants.
- Nursery beds; a deeper understanding of nursery beds was availed to farmers, their advantages, management, crops planted and the types
- Improved setting up of plantations; techniques such as banana circles, mulching, irrigating, adding fertilizers, digging up channels and intercropping methods were taught.
- A field visit to a Permaculture farm was an insight for women to learn how to utilize land space by growing different types of crops together.
- During the field study visits farmers were taken through animal farming i.e pigger, goat and cattle farming.
- In order to address climatic challenges farmers were introduced to tap rain water through harvesting store it for irrigation during dry season.
- Women successful farmers were visited to enable trainees learn from real life farming methods and share experience. Learning from fellow women erased all doubts and motivated them to fully apply the knowledge acquired
- In addition, farmers were trained in financial literacy business management skills, budgeting, and documentation and timely assessment of their businesses. Aiming to enable women understand the importance of numerical components in their agricultural work and other income generating activities. Women at end of training realized that they never took their farming working seriously and NVIWODA filled this gap.
Women farmers were also enlightened about human rights. There was creation of awareness specifically addressing issues that hinder women from advancing and enjoying their social and economic rights. Topics on physical, economic, sexual and emotional violence were exhausted to bring out clarity on what is right and wrong. |In this classroom training setting the Farmers felt free to their experiences and sought for advice. This was an eye opener for women who for the first time had the opportunity to be in a classroom setting to pour their hearts out on issues affecting their lives. At the end of the training women testified that “For a long time, we have been unaware of our rights, we thought it is normal for every woman to face the problems we have in our relationships”
The entire project content covered land rights, land ownership, land challenges, heredity, ownership of natural resources, land acquisition, among others. This helped to solve land challenges faced by the farmers in Kabulasoke and Kyegonza Sub-counties.
Strategies for success of the food security project
- Identification of practicing women farmers
- Conducting surveys at household level
- Conducting theory and practical skills training including field visits to successful farmers.
- Choosing right trainers
- Providing needed tools and seeds to enable farmers implement acquired knowledge
Key Outcomes for the project 2019/2020
- Sharing knowledge and experience at the household level and community at large.
- Implementing agricultural practices that enhance food security; resulting into a triple win of sustainable provision of food, employment and economic development from the grass root level.
- Majority of women increased the number of meals per day
- Women’s ability to make decisions at the household level and community at large; this has also led to more respect from men or spouses.
- Women took on leadership roles in the community, joining village councils and forming advocacy networks.
- Active participation of motivated family members helping in food production now and in future
- Development of smart vegetable garden designs
- Use of organic fertilizers and natural pesticides
- Shifting from conventional farming techniques to modern farming.
- Distribution of farm tools and new varieties of seeds to farmers.
- Women were followed, interviewed and surveyed and documented to monitor their progress and the impact of NVIWODA’s efforts.
Success story during monitoring visit.
When the women at the workshop held in March 26th 2020, shared with us their success stories Janat says’ I was challenged and after viewing NVIWODA documented videos of success, soon after the workshop I immediately planted coffee 100 and 200 bananas suckers.
I have 60 Kroiler chicken and indigenous ones, rabbits and piggery, and developed two fish ponds. I have over three thousand fish finger lets. I had acquired a cow so that it gives me cow dung for manure but I realized I was not yet prepared to feed it, when I do not have enough grass, but I have not planted grass and when ready Iwill buy a cow.
His son testified that she started all the projects soon after training, she was able to borrow one million shillings from a microfinance, bought piglets, and chicks.
Janat also began using manures like Bokashi which I while planting vegetables and that’s why “they look very healthy”.
Challenge: Lack of manpower to help her. However children living with her always help her in her work. Coffee plants 300 and planted two hundred bananas.
Janat Nanyanzi, says after training in financial literacy she is able to manage her projects. I record everything at the moment in the cash book but I will organize it better so that I know how much income and expenditures on each project. This will help me monitor the finances of my projects and know how much I spend on each.
During monitoring, NVIWODA project team is happy with the performance of the farmers.
Betty Nasali, feels very nice after training I wanted to implement what I learnt immediately. This project will earn me income, I will also monitor those I have trained to ensure that they also participate.
Betty testified that, by eating vegetables her children who had itchy eyes stopped, and another child who was asthmatic got better after daily feeding on vegetables, “It’s a month now, I no longer frequent the hospital like before”, she concluded.
As you approach Betty’s compound Mandila, Rectangular, Basket vegetable garden full of Kale (Suukuma wiki), cabbage, spinach, onions, peas, welcomes the by passers and visitors, piggery sty project is in the offing. “I plan to fully apply most of the knowledge acquired and fully develop model gardens, then I will train more women in my community,” she concluded.
After training Betty was also able to plant eight Coffee plants and half an acre of bananas. “These are for income generation and will do more other projects” she said. However, Betty is challenged by a lack of a nearby water source, to regularly irrigate the vegetable gardens.
Teddy is happy with the project; she was able to build piggery sty and bought a very good breed of pig lets two female and one male. She developed vegetable gardens and bought a cow, planted 30 coffee plants. At the time of monitoring Teddy had dug 5ft deep pit for rain water harvesting.
Grassroots women position will change for the better therefore the children will gain better status. NVIWODA is passionately working towards holistically emancipating grassroots women who know their rights, able to address gender imbalance, meet their basic needs, overcome poverty, and woman who can participate in the building her community and the Nation.
IMPROVING FOOD AND NUTRITION IN 22 HOUSEHOLDS IN KABULASOKE- SUB-COUNTY – GOMBA DISTRICT.
Ntulume Village Women Development Association (NVIWODA) has over thirty years of its existence tirelessly worked towards improving the lives of women in both semi urban and rural areas in various districts of Uganda.
Empowering programs carried out by the organization range from women entrepreneurship and career development, hands on skills training, empowering women in knowing their human rights, Integrated and sustainable organic agriculture to address issues hunger, malnutrition and addressing food insecurity at household level.
To ensure that women achieve both social, economic, and human rights empowerment, NVIWODA organizes and transfers need based knowledge and trainings that address and improve the life of a woman and later entire family. This is achieved through awareness training, practical, theoretical knowledge and hands on education.
To enable NVIWODA pursue its mission, it has networked and collaborates with other organizations i.e. Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) National Association of Women NGO’s of Uganda, (NAWOU), Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Association’s (DENIVA), St. Jude Family Project, Spark Argo-Initiative Ltd, Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) and others. Many women who have undergone through NVIWODA programs testify that the knowledge and skills gained have indeed greatly impacted their lives, families and communities.
With a grant from Global Fund for Women – U.S.A, members of Nezikokolima Women Group found in Gomba District, have benefited from ongoing food security project. The project is aimed at improving food security at household level, as well as improving incomes of women in future. 22 women farmers are undergoing trainings in sustainable and integrated agriculture, land rights awareness, prevention of domestic violence and business development. NVIWODA’S major focus in the Food Security Project is to ensure that women farmers have access to healthy food and improved health and nutrition.
The farmers are individually reached out at their households to make sure knowledge acquired is efficiently put into real practice at family level. In preparation for the anticipated rainy season farmers have been introduced to new rain water harvesting techniques. Varieties of vegetable seeds i.e. eggplant, tomatoes, Green pepper, Beetroot, onions, Kale, Cabbage, Leek, and carrots have been introduced and distributed. (Women say they had not grown the seed varieties before).
Farmers received varieties of vegetable seeds from NVIWODA
To assess the impact of our trainings, NVIWODA carried out a monitoring visit to the farmer beneficiary households, notwithstanding the dry weather conditions, the women were able to apply the knowledge acquired and waited for the rains to come. Heaps of prepared organic composed manure and Jerry cans full of organic plant tea were in the vicinity.
Regardless of dry hard ground, women were able to at least dig 72 pits ready for planting banana suckers (Matooke). Some of the beneficiary farmers like Nakuya Mary, Plaxeda Namulondo and Terusala Margret have trained and shared knowledge with over 54 women practicing farming in their communities. (The women trained, are not part of the food security Project)
In order to diversify the knowledge and food sauces, the women farmers were introduced to growing Oyster Mushroom and for two consecutive days, the farmers under scotching sun labored, and underwent through practical processes of growing oyster mushroom. This is aimed at improving nutrition and health, access to food sauce, as well as in the future diversifies incomes at household.
With the help of the trainers, the women were involved in the construction of Dark room and Irrigation mushroom house. Credit goes to Nakalembe Pasakazia , who agreed to construct the group Mushroom Project at her home.
The training was participatory as women carried grass, and other materials to put up the Nezikokolima women’s group – Mushroom Project House at Namulaba- Kabulasoke .
Despite the changing weather conditions, NVIWODA anticipates the Food Security Project in Kabulasoke – Gomba to progress positively, as women farmers are enthusiastic about the knowledge acquired.Read More