A few stories that display the impact our approach has on individuals and communities that we work with
Jane Wankuluna is an entrepreneur and mother of seven children who lives in Ikumbya Village. When Harriet introduced the stove program to people in the village they elected Jane chairwoman of the group. Having a good leader is a key aspect to the success of any development program, and Jane was reluctant to take the position. Eventually she accepted. This was an opportunity for personal development, as well as a chance to help her community.
Jane has been a strong leader for the group building stoves. These stoves have three main advantages over traditional cooking fires:
Stoves are more efficient which means they use less wood and cook food faster. This leaves more time for other activities.
Stoves vent smoke to the outside of the kitchen which prevents health and respiratory problems like pneumonia, cancer, pulmonary disease, and heart disease.
Stoves have an enclosed flame, which is safer for cooks and children.
We asked Jane how having a stove has impacted here life. There are several areas she mentioned. First, she she said that the women in the village have worked together to build stoves for everyone using their own time, labor, and resources. This is a great achievement, and helps establish a strong healthy community.
Jane owns a restaurant near her home, and the new stove has allowed her to run the restaurant more effectively. She is able to use the stove to cook for the restaurant when needed, or even use it to cook for her customers while making food for her family at the same time! She also has to spend less time collecting firewood, and food is finished faster, so she is able to dedicate more time to her restaurant and family.
Jane has worked hard over the years to create opportunity for herself and her family. Having a fuel efficient stove helps her be even more effective as a business woman and mom. Her leadership in the community allows other to take advantage of some of the same opportunities she has, and builds a strong, healthy, community.
Getulidha Nabirye lives with her two grandsons in Bukoma Village. She recently donated some of her land to the community for a new well. She lost some space in her garden for corn and sweet potatoes, but the well gives her easy access to clean water.
The reason she was willing to share her land with the community for the new well is simple: without the well she had to spend 4 - 6 hours a day to get a jerrycan of five gallons of water. The nearest borehole was 1.5 miles away. Everyday she and her grandkids would walk to the well, which was overused, so there was always a long line. She would often wait 3 hours for her turn. Sometimes she would not get a chance to pump water and would have to return home. When this happened she could get water out of a nearby pond that was shared with animals and unsafe to drink. People who drink from it often suffer diarrhea. When she did get water she would have to carry the 40 pound jerrycan 1.5 miles home. This daily journey took the entire day, and most of Getulidha’s energy, leaving little time to tend her garden, cook, take care of her grandkids, relax, or earn money.
Trading part of her garden for easy access to water was an easy choice. When it was time to drill the well she along with other community members, provided food to feed the borehole drillers for two days. Getulidha even gave two hens to the drillers as a thank you gift!
The long term success of the well depends on the community's commitment to take care of it. They have established a Water User Committee to save funds for future repairs and ensure the the well is used correctly. Getulidha has taken ownership of the well by making sure it stays clean, and if she sees anybody pumping in a way that will damage it she teaches them the correct technique. Getulidha, the Water User Committee, and the rest of the people in Bukoma Village are committed to long lasting clean water. Nabirye and her grandsons are just happy that she can spend more time in her gardens, she has time to clean her home too, and they have clean water to drink.
Kibo Group’s Mvule Program works with village communities establish groups of people who are working together to solve problems they face, and develop economic opportunity. One community we work with is Buwologoma Village which relies on growing sugarcane as its major industry. Sugarcane requires large clearcut fields, so there are few trees and little shade in the area.
The Mvule program started working in Buwologoma Village in 2009 with a group of 45 people. After successfully completing the first phase of the project by planting 600 trees the group received 90 goats to use as start up capital for an economic development project. They spent the next few years adding members to the group, and increasing their capital by raising the goats and offspring.
In 2016 the group had 110 members all working together to save money and solve problems together. Abraham, who works for Kibo Group, visited the group and asked them what the next project they hoped to undertake as a group was. The chairman, Mr. Balamu Mukasa, said that they were taking all the knowledge they had gained during the Mvule Project and starting a tree nursery. There is still a great need for trees in the areas, in particular trees the produce fruit, so the group had a nursery with seedlings for passion fruit, mvule, cocoa, mangoes and orange trees. They were selling these seedlings to people in surrounding villages, and hoped to become Kibo Group’s seedling supplier someday. The district government and other NGO’s have noticed their work and have invested in the seedling nursery by helping drill a well that can be used to water the seedlings, and local government officials have offered their support of the group’s goals to restore the ecology of the district by planting trees.
Mr. Balamu and the rest of the group in Buwologoma Village have taken full advantage of the knowledge they gained from the Mvule Project by saving money together and establishing a business that generates income and helps solve the long term problem of deforestation the district faces.