Things have been busy of late. I (Eric) returned Saturday evening to Uganda from a trip to Zambia for some regional CRWRC meetings. I will try to upload some pictures from my last community visit which I snuck in before leaving for Zambia. I stayed a couple of days in Kucwiny. So far in Kucwiny they have three core groups specializing in various activities, though there is a lot of integration between the various programs.
The Archdeaconry Planning and Development Committee (APDC) in Padyere Archdeaconry, which covers Kucwiny, visits the groups regularly to train them on the latest technologies and techniques so that the hard work of the community members yields the greatest harvest possible. CRWRC works to build up the capacity of the APDCs (we work with 6 in West Nile) in partnership with the Church Diocese so that they can have a deep impact on the communities they work with. Using such an indirect approach ensures that the program is more community-based, sustainable and locally owned. In short, there is a lot of value added to our inputs because we work through pre-established institutions. In our case, the local institution is the Church of Uganda which is the largest protestant denomination in Uganda.
One core group that the Padyere APDC works with in Kucwiny is an agriculture group. This core group has planted thus far this year fields of corn, sunflowers, peanuts and potatos. Some of what they harvest is consumed by the community members as food, some is kept back to re-plant during the next planting season, some is put into a revolving loan fund to support community members and some is sold for extra income for the community members and their households.
The second core group is made up of members, most of them from participating churches, that make up a diaconal ministry team. What the team does is provide informal and culturally appropriate assistance in the areas of counseling, discipleship training and conflict resolution when called upon by families or individuals in distress.
The last core group is made up of women who have started their own bakery business. They meet once a week to make bread, roles, cakes, etc. to sell to the local population for income for their community. Most of the women have taken the techniques taught to the group and use them to bake and sell bread out of their houses to increase the income of their families as well.