Launched in July 2021, RE-FARM project has registered early wins in Nakivale. Firstly, the project has officially been vetted and approved for implementation with a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between YICE and the Government of Uganda – through the Office of the Prime Minister. A Four field based project team was identified, trained and deployed to Nakivale and they started implementing the project activities. The team is comprised of three refugees (two females and one male) recruited from within the refugee communities. Over the last two months, the team has mobilised and enrolled 50 refugee households into the project. These have been trained on regenerative farming practices, permaculture garden designs and establishment as well as water harvesting. In order to offer practical trainings to the enrolled farmers, two learning sites (read, demonstration sites) have been established – from which farmers learn the practical skills and adopt on their own farms. To date, out of the 50 enrolled farmers, 38 have already established their own gardens in their homes – with the knowledge they have obtained from the learning sites.
What is fascinating is that neighbours of those farmers adopting have already contacted us to be enrolled in the program. Our approach is to enrol farmers by phases so as to easily manage their trainings and to observe the COVID-19 SOPs on public gatherings set by the government to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 infections and enforced by the refugee settlement leadership. Talking about COVID-19 SOPs, the project has procured YICE branded Masks that are provided to all farmers that attend our trainings. We have also purchased soap and hand washing facilities and alcohol based sanitizers to ensure that all farmers and staff are always protected from contracting COVID-19 during our trainings.