Fighting between rebels and the government army in the Northern Region in Uganda has continued for over 20 years, and many children have been abducted and turned into child soldiers. This has caused the displacing of more than 90% of the Acholi people who have had to spend time in camps as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Since the cease fire agreement was made between the Government of Uganda and the rebel group in 2006, many reconstruction projects have been implemented. However, agricultural productivity is still low, and the poverty rate still remains at over 40%, which is very high. Amidst these circumstances, the Northern Uganda Farmers' Livelihood Improvement Project (NUFLIP) was started in November 2015 as a 5-year project.
Project purpose and activities
The ultimate goal of NUFLIP is to bring happiness to all the family members of farmers in the Acholi Sub-region including children, adults, males, and females. NUFLIP aims to establish a livelihood improvement approach through combining components of market-oriented agriculture and improving the quality of life. Activities will be implemented while discussing the following points within a family and/or a target farmer group; 1) how income will increase through vegetable production, 2) how income is to be utilised, 3) how the nutrition of the family will be improved, 4) how labour will be shared between men and women, and 5) how socially vulnerable people (widows, persons with disabilities, elderly persons, ex-child soldiers, etc.) will be supported. For example, in training sessions on household management and nutrition improvement, food stock and cash management calendars, which contain information on harvest volumes and the amount of food that a household will sell and store in a month, are to be made to avoid food and cash shortages throughout the year.
Training materials that consider socially vulnerable persons
An important point to remember when conducting training is to make sure that illiterate participants can also understand the content because about half of the target group members are illiterate. There are more female illiterate members in these target groups and typically they cannot read or make calculations. NUFLIP training sessions include illustrations, pictures, symbolic icons, and cards as much as possible in the training materials to make training sessions easier for female illiterate participants to understand and participate in. Because of these efforts, both male and female farmers can participate and have discussions in NUFLIP training sessions with smiles on their faces.
A part of the training materials for gender training
An example of a food stock calendar
A man and a woman create a calendar together for their available food source