An Integrated School and Community Initiative to Promote Fruit Production
a) Humanist Academy is now two years old. It is a secular non denominational school that has so far achieved the following: • It has given opportunity to about 100 students that would otherwise no
1. ORGANISATIONAL INFORMATION
i) NAME: HUMANIST ACADEMY (community initiatives)
ii) ADDRESS: P.O BOX 4427, KAMPALA,UGANDA
iii) LOCATION: Mpigi District, 43 KM from Kampala city on the Kampala to Masaka Road.
iv) CONTACT PERSON: Deo Ssekitooleko
Email: [email protected]
v) PROJECT NAME: An Integrated school, and community initiative to promote Fruit Production.
vi) TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET: US $ 28,100
vi) PROJECT PERIOD: Three years.
vii) ORGANISATIONAL MISSION STATEMENT
A school that is integrated with the local community, to promote students' and community empowerment, through formal education and informal initiatives.
2. SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT.
- a) Humanist Academy is now two years old. It is a secular non denominational school that has so far achieved the following:
- It has given opportunity to about 100 students that would otherwise not have accessed secondary school education.
- It has attracted Donors to sponsor so far about 50 poor and orphaned children that would otherwise not have accessed education at all.
- Involved in repair and improvement of local community access roads that flood during rainy seasons.
- Worked with International Volunteers to promote sporting skills and talents among students.
- Organized Students' and Teachers' holiday camp quests when students acquire a lot of practical, social and citizenship life skills.
i) To promote Agro forestry through fruit tree growing for the benefit of students, their family members and the community at large.
ii) To promote the economical, nutritional, health and environmental needs of the community at large.
iii) To promote commercial fruit tree growing, fruit production, processing and marketing.
- i) To use the school not only as a centre of formal education but also for informal agricultural, health, nutritional, environmental and business education for the community. Students will be trained to acquire informal community and development skills during school holidays and few selected weekends.
- ii) Exhibition and demonstration community days will be organized for students to pass on their skills to their family members and other community members.
- iii) Visitation days will be organized for the students to make study tours on commercial fruit farms, processing factories and fruit markets and distribution agencies.
- iv) Each family that is involved in the project will allocate some land specifically for fruit tree growing.
- v) This project will provide knowledge, skills, field visits, seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs.
- vi) Each project farm will be owned by a student with cooperation with family members.
- vii) The project will promote a specific uniform perennial fruit such as mango or avocado. These crops have a very big market in Uganda. Unfortunately they are grown at a very small and insignificant scale. The school community soils are very good for agro-forestry.
- viii) Training sessions will be organized in collaboration with Government's Agriculture departments and other stake holders.
- D) Anticipated Results
- i) Each Student's economical, health and nutritional future is secured and insured with 100 fruit trees.
- ii) The community's environmental concerns are improved with 100x100 fruit trees.
- iii) The community becomes able to produce an average of 4,000,000 fruits during each year for decades (Each tree is estimated to produce 200 fruits per season x 02 seasons each year.)
- iv) Improvement in agricultural and environmental skills for the community.
- v) Students that have learnt the skills and ideas of job creation early in their life.
- vi) A new cooperative society formed for fruit growers.
- E) Uniqueness of the approach
- i) Students get involved in local community, social, economical and environmental issues.
- ii) Integration of a formal secondary school with the community to promote job creation for the students and the local community.
- iii) Passing on development skills from the school to students who pass them on to their family members.
- iv) Students getting guarantees on their economic future when still in school.
- v) Establishing the first cooperative society of student farmers in Uganda.
- vi) Developing a project that integrates economical, social and environmental concerns of a community.
N.B. Most schools in Uganda are like 'islands'. They are mere conduits of education that is not relevant to the community.
2. NEEDS ASSESMENT
There was a very big forest within the project area but much of it has been cut down in search for charcoal and fire wood for home use and for sale. This however threatens environmental and economical sustainability of the area. Where as the soils are fertile and good for agriculture, there is limited land use for commercial farming. Local people are very poor and lack adequate food for home consumption. Many people can not afford to take their children to school. Even those parents, who send their children to school, can not keep them there for a long time. This means that the future of the current and future generations of community members faces many risks of poverty and food insecurity. To make the situation worse, the community rarely gets any agriculture extension education from the Government. This therefore means that there are limited agricultural skills among the community to make their land commercially productive.
3. REQUIRED RESOURCES
- i) Part time school Vocational skills Trainers to be given a stipend per training:
05 Trainers x US $ 20 X 30 times = US. $ 3000
ii) Four Field farm and factory tours:
04 x US. $ 1000 = US. $ 4000
iii) Demonstration and training materials = 1000
iv) Visits to students farms and on farm training = 1500
v) Seeds or planting materials = 5000
vi) Fertilizers = 2000
vii) Herbicides and Labor = 3000
viii)Community interaction days for demonstrations by students= 3000
ix)Community annual news letter = 3000
x) Evaluation and monitoring = 2000
TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET: US. $ 27,500
NB. Once the project has got the original funding, it will become self sustaining. Fruit trees have a long life and production is continuous for many decades.
4. BUSINESS CASE/MARKETING PLANS
- i) Establish a committee to represent students, Teachers and the Students' families.
- ii) The committee to work with agricultural and environmental experts to select on a fruit perennial crop for the project. This helps in promoting uniformity, quality and quantity that can target a market.
- iii) Make collaborations with fruit processing factories, super markets and other fruits dealers.
- iv) Give discounts on bulk purchases.
- v) Advertise tenders to Vendors.
- vi) Ensure uniform quality of products.
- vii) Work with Local Government Agricultural agencies.
- viii) Exhibit products and the project during trade fairs.
- ix) Teach project participants additional skills of fruit processing, packing and labeling.
- x) Form a cooperative society with a trade mark name for the commodities.
- xi) Establish distribution stores in markets and busy places.
- xii) Produce a news letter for the society.
5. PLAN AND EXECUTION
This project is an initiative of Humanist Academy as a form of community concern. The school will use its facilities and some of its staff to carry out the project. Other skilled personnel will be hired. This project is targeting 100 students in 100 families for a period of three years. Some of the topics during training seminars will include:
- Nutritional and health values of fruits.
- Preparation of tree nursery gardens.
- Garden preparation and management.
- Importance of agro-forestry.
- Fruit processing, packaging and labeling.
- Sustainable utilization of the environment.
Students will be trained during some weekends and holidays. Interactive days will be organized for students to demonstrate what they have learnt to their family members. Field tours will be organized in factories, fruit farms and fruit markets. Parents will provide the land for the project.
Training seminars, interactive days and tours will continue for two years.
Preparation of gardens and planting will begin during the first year. There will be farm advisory visits throughout the second and third year. An annual news letter will be produced at the end of every project year. Effort will be taken to establish a cooperative society at the end of the third year. Fruit crops that are of a good variety and which mature early will be promoted.
6. REAL WORLD IMPACT
- Results will be achieved starting with the fourth year.
- 100 students will benefit with skills and economic and nutritional benefits. They are likely to be come role models in society and influence other people.
- 100 families with several members will benefit from the project.
- Other schools will learn from the project. The school will become a role model on how to reach out to the community and how to empower students with practical life skills.
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