In Kenya and Uganda, the East Africa Leadership Team of The Pollination Project drive the organization’s work to empower grassroots changemakers as they work to build a better future together for their countries and for our planet.
One of the joys of supporting grassroots work, created and led by those who have firsthand experience of the challenges facing their communities and an often-unique understanding of the root causes of and solutions to those challenges, is the diversity of innovative approaches that our team are able to support with funding, mentoring, and other nonfinancial resources.
Today we are pleased to feature five newly funded projects from Kenya and Uganda which bring the power of community led changemaking to bear on some common issues in unique and powerful ways. Whether addressing the need for sustainable income that does not cause harm to people or planet, the need for young people to obtain key skills which will support the future of themselves and their communities, the need to take care of the most vulnerable members of the community, or the need for accessible and appropriate health care and other essential services; these changemakers have a few things in common – they saw an issue, they realized their own ability to make a change, and they had the courage and the strength to bring their ideas to life. We are honored to support them.
Women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Uganda bear a heavy burden, often responsible for providing for their families while also living with limited access to essential health care and medications which helps them manage their condition.
Believing that together they are stronger, 30 women from nine villages and rural Uganda have banded together to form a vegetable growing cooperative. This cooperative will help support those who are facing tough times by sharing the responsibilities of forming the crops while also providing valuable sources of nutrition and supplemental income to these women and their families.
In densely populated Kabale, Uganda, there is limited land available for community members to grow their own food, let alone produce any surplus which allows them to generate income for other household essentials.
In search of a solution, 10 women from the community formed the Kitumba Women Development Association and will work together to introduce organic mushroom farming to the community. Mushrooms are easily grown in small indoor locations and produce regular crops which are dense in vitamins and minerals. Not only will the mushrooms provide essential nutrients, they are also a sought after commodity and will provide the women and their families with a source of income.
After witnessing the negative effects of limited healthcare, malnutrition, and poor hygiene on infant mortality and life expectancy of children under 10, the Kisoko Family Health Agents knew that something needed to change.
Bringing together community members trained in nutrition and healthcare, the project plans to reach over 200 households during the first stage of their project by training community members as healthcare and nutrition advocates. During each successive stage of the project, women in each community will continue to teach other women good hygiene and nutrition practices and serve as health advocates creating a ripple effect.
In Western Uganda a group of young people are challenging and sustainable farming practices and bringing sustainable agriculture to their community. Focusing on coffee as the main crop, the young people are going to be rotating mixed seasonal crops throughout the coffee fields to ensure the health of the soil and an ongoing income for the community while the coffee crops come to maturity.
After 20 years working in the field of electronics repair, Owori Michael is ready to pass on his skills to young community members who are struggling with the high unemployment rate in rural Uganda.
Michael intends to train 25 young people from eight villages on all aspects of this work, from carrying out repairs to marketing. He believes that by giving young people the skills, tools, and resources to start their own small businesses, he can help them to avoid the pitfalls of drugs and crime which affect so many of their peers while also helping to keep used electronics from being thrown away and contributing to pollution issues in their communities.
AUTHOR: The Pollination Project seeks to unleash GOODNESS and expand COMPASSION all over the world. They make daily seed grants to inspiring social change-makers who are committed to a world that works for all.
The East Africa Leadership Team’s goal is to reach geographically and technologically marginalized grant applicants (with no internet access, no computer skills and limited English). They look for projects that do not have access to funding from other international foundations. The team establishes culturally-relevant processes and procedures that lead to more long term and overall impact.