We now (April 2013) support more than 1,200 farmers - in 29 groups, with the majority being in the north of the country. Whilst we endeavour to meet and talk to everyone it is not physically possible. We get regular updates and progress reports from Send a Cow Uganda who work very closely on the ground with each individual farmer.
We have stayed very closely linked to the 4 original groups who very kindly share their triumphs and challenges with us so we can constantly strive to improve how we support them.
SARD Farmers There are currently around 100 farmers in SARD (Sustainable Agriculture for Rural Development). They are our original group from the Gomba District—about 1.5 hours from Kampala.
Their progress is staggering and they are now responsible for the majority of economic developing in their local town Kanoni. This is evident by the building works going on in the town!
Sarah's farmers are from Mukono, just 45 minutes from Kampala. This group of 20 women farmers came together because they could not afford to send their children to school. By participating in the seed project and with our help, they are now sending all of their children to school. The beans they grow are sold to the local secondary school and the income is used to pay the school fees. They have also started making beads from paper, which we buy directly from them and then sell in the UK to raise money to keep us going!
Olwal Farmers. A group of farmers who, when we met them in 2008, were living in the total poverty of refugee camps in the north. They were desperate to go home and with our help, they have. Their lives are transformed and it is a joy to see their new homes and their enthusiasm and determination to continue to improve their lives. Each farmer now has a personal vision of where they want to be in 5 years. I wish I was half as ambitious as them.
Parabongo Farmers. A group of women farmers who were also living in the total poverty of refugee camps in the north. These women had one key thing in common. They were single parents as a result of the war. Either widowed or raped, they were bringing up their children with no money, food, homes or hope. Their lives are now transformed and it is such an honour to be invited into their homes for a delicious lunch (which includes our beans of course!). The group has grown and now includes men. It is really inspiring to see families and couples working together in the fields.
The farmers are committed to the project, honest and trustworthy