One of my key objectives while volunteering here in rural Uganda, is to ensure sustainability of whatever I do. I have seen a few initiatives where a “rich foreigner” comes with good intentions, invests some money but afterwards the efforts are not sustained.
I have seen that in our western companies too. We launch a project; we see an improvement, we celebrate, but somehow forget to ensure that after a year these results are still there.
While working with two women groups, I am thinking every day, every hour and every minute how to ensure sustainability, even after my leave. I am quite sure I will come back to Uganda and want to visit the communities where I have worked. Obviously I want to see the results of my work.
As mentioned in my previous post, I am looking into how women can diversify their business activities, offering them multiple streams of income. One of their preferred businesses is to grow piglets. They are relatively cheap (around €20) and easy to sell in the local market. After six to seven months they give birth to approximately ten piglets which can then be sold after around 1.5 months.
Together with Integrated Villages NGO, we have decided to start saving for these piglets. We are giving them to families in the women groups who currently don’t have any and are interested to start this type of business. We also established some rules, such as; the family needs to install a good piglet house which we check beforehand to ensure the piglet will be in a good care. Actually, to install a good piglet house, it costs even more than the piglet itself (e.g. cement, roof material, timber). We have a few families for whom it will be very difficult to afford that piglet housing.
The last condition is that when the donated piglet gives birth, you need to give one baby to another woman who doesn’t have one yet. I have also added a new rule that the second baby is given to Integrated Villages. The NGO is operating under €0 funding and it’s crucial for them to start having at least some minimal funding to at least cover their transport or internet costs. I am afraid that they will not survive like this for long.
So, onto some great news! My mum and godmother got very touched with Josephine’s story, so they decided to buy some of beautiful jewellery these woman groups make. The money we received was enough to buy two piglets, which we have already selected. Take a look at the video and see how we are did that.
The piglets will be delivered to Josephine and Jennie from Kasaana on March 15th once they are old enough to travel to their new homes. If you are interested to buy a piglet for yourself and place it in one of the families, please let me know. I am now trained well how to select a good one 😉