Of the many challenges experienced living in Bushunga, Lodia’s biggest challenge was preparing for the growing season without a farming tool. Lodia would spend time trying to borrow or rent a hoe for digging in her gardens, often times ending up no further ahead. Lodia and other community members from Bushunga formed an agriculture cooperative to help manage their demonstration garden, shared nurseries, and oversee the sharing of improved seeds, all the while contributing small amounts each month to the groups’ savings component. After their first harvest, the agricultural group of 66 households decided to pool their savings and earnings from the demonstration plot to purchase enough hoes so each household could own their own tool. Lodia now has her very own hoe to use at her small farm and however small her first step may be, she now has hope for the future. With her RTV sheep for manure and brand new hoe, she has the potential to build a healthy garden and enjoy her new found independence.
With the construction of a protected spring, Jerorina and the community members of Butunga saw the spring as a stepping stone for water sustainability. Community members formed a Village Savings and Loans group which they contribute to monthly to ensure the spring is well maintained and funds are available in case of operational emergencies. Any additional funds are made available for loans and investment. Despite access to nearby safe water, Jerorina and her neighbors realized how their children were still arriving late to school after fetching water in the mornings. So the community decided to invest part of their water savings into 65 household rainwater harvesting tanks, one for each household, serving as a household collection and water location, saving time and energy for parents and children alike.
After attending Financial Literacy Training, Matayo was convinced he ‘was missing out on life with a lack of financial planning’, having spent his earnings focused on day to day living. Instead of his normal routine of selling a single bunch of bananas at the market to buy just enough food and supplies until his next trip, he harvested a large portion of his crop and sold them all at once. Recognizing a shortage of quality male goats in the area during mating season, and confident in his newly acquired skills in goat rearing, Matayo invested his funds into purchasing a he-goat. In the span of a few months, Matayo earned enough from his breeding goat to purchase nine chickens and start a chicken farm. Not lacking ambition, Matayo and two of his friends believed they had enough space to grow passion fruits, after growing the plants they received from the village’s RTV demonstration nursery. The three friends pooled their resources and bought 1 kg of seeds. Constructing their own nursery beds, the plants have blossomed, with each friend now having over 200 passion fruit vines to regularly harvest and take to market. Running out of space, they’ve shared their extra seedlings with their friends for free.
With a big family and only a small plot of land, Tadeyo and Jane found it hard to dream for their family. While RTV provided 3 kg of bean seeds the family only had enough land to plant 2 kg. Using their available land, applying the training they had received including the use of organic composts they harvested 40 kg, far more than the 6 kg they would regularly harvest in the past. They were able to sell enough beans to rent a large piece of land where they have replanted 8 kg of beans with a target of yielding at least 100 kg or more, so they can earn enough to buy their own land. Their dreams are becoming a reality with Tadayo concentrating his farming efforts on the rented land, providing for his childrens’ education and completing some much-needed renovations to their home.