In Ugandan rural communities, being able to raise food and livestock on a small scale is an essential life skill. For many children attending primary school, this will be the only formal education they receive, so any practical experience in agriculture and animal husbandry is extremely helpful. These topics are included in the Ugandan National Curriculum but are usually only taught in the classroom. The Uphill Farm Appeal is raising funds to establish a small demonstration farm and school garden at Uphill Junior School to allow pupils to put the theory into practise and give them valuable skills to take within them when they leave school.
The produce that pupils grow/raise can be sold to provide income for the school or used to supplement school meals. We have the land, and staff with agricultural experience – what we need now are the tools, seeds, livestock and wooden buildings.
You can gift the gift of life skills and sustainability. Please give generously.
UPDATE MARCH 2019: Following discussions with the school and local advisers during our visit to Uganda in February, plans are being made to start a school vegetable garden (and perhaps also a trial piggery project) as soon as the next rainy season begins.
This initiative is being run in parallel with another new project, which aims to teach the primary care givers in the school community how to grow and cook a wide range of nutritious fruits and vegetables to improve the quality of their families’ diet. Click on the link to find out more about the Uphill Nutrition Project.
Preparations are already underway in the school grounds:
Vegetable beds prepared and ready for planting
Vegetable seedlings germinating in the shaded nursery beds
Equipment is coming into school and the pupils are keen to get their hands dirty
UPDATE JUNE 2019: The school director has been keeping us up to date with the progress of the Uphill school garden, which is being run as a student-led project. Vegetables are being grown on spare ground around the school buildings and in raised beds and grow-bags in spaces between buildings. Watering, which all has to be done by hand, has been a big job but good teamwork has won the day and the first cabbages were collected in the middle of June.
Mulching with dried grass helps retain moisture in the soil
Watering cabbages and leafy greens grown in raised beds and grow bags in a dead space next to the Administration Block
Just look at these fabulous cabbages!
UPDATE 2020: When we visited the school in February 2020 we were delighted to see that the vegetable gardens were well maintained and that the school had a plentiful supply of maturing cabbage, eggplants and tomatoes, along with a good stock of onions in one of the store rooms.
Even more pleasing was the discovery that all these school-grown foodstuffs were being incorporated into the school meals, ‘hidden’ in the savoury bean stew to provide extra flavour and nutrients!
Sliced cabbage, onions and aubergine, ready to be added to the pot
Waiting for lunch to be served
UPDATE AUGUST 2020: Uphill Junior School now has a piggery! Read all about it here.