With a fertility rate of 6.8 children per woman and a population growth rate of 3.2 percent (UBOS), Uganda has the third-fastest-growing population in the world, behind Niger and Yemen. Home to 40 million people, Uganda is expected to have 103 million by 2050. Most of those births are occurring among Uganda’s poor and uneducated, and Rubanda, in South Western Uganda is no exception. As a result, the district is highly populated and the population lives on highly fragmented smallholdings which produce barely enough to fulfill basic needs.
Due to high population growth rate, pressure has been put on the little fragmented land cultivating it year in and year out. Consequently, this has resulted in land degradation resulting in reduced crop yields per harvest (Kabale District, 2009).
The Nyamiyaga Model School, which offers education at Nursery level, has been set up and uses appropriate technologies to empower the young children with the knowledge required to enable them address poverty in their future lives.
A lack of primary school education cannot be underestimated – consequences include lack of employment opportunities, poor decision making affecting businesses, farming, financial planning and family planning, lack of understanding on health issues, for example.
The impact of providing quality of primary school education for the children of this community will transform the lives of both the children and their families – the classrooms are also used to educate adults on basic business, farming and health aspects. Although not formally detailed, we have plans to track children into young adulthood.
Options beyond primary schooling include further education at vocational colleges and secondary schools, depending on each child’s interest and abilities. Opportunities can be considered locally, regionally and nationally – the project intends to create a future for the project’s beneficiaries through both self-generated ideas and taking advantage of regional/national opportunities in Uganda.
A Demonstration Farm has been established in the vicinity of the school to provide a hands-on educational experience. Exhibits include, among others, animal husbandry (pigs and poultry), plantain, vegetable and mushroom growing. Through composting, soil enrichment and conservation, the farm is a true example of integrated farming that leads to improved food security at GCV.
A Medicinal Garden promotes conservation of natural resources and natural remedies to treat human ailments. For a long time, malaria, the common cold and influenza were never a big threat to the lives of people in the region because they were treated locally. Over time, herbal remedies were lost leaving people too poor to afford medical attention from health facilities without options. Promoting the use of natural herbs in our community has rejuvenated the desire to conserve these resources and provide free medication to the community.