Food Forests for Displaced Women

A community gardening project for 60 refugee women to promote nutrition and food security through self-reliant agribusiness activities.

Local solution

To counter malnutrition at the refugee settlement, in cooperation with our partners we will set up 4 food forests by equipping 60 refugee women. This way, they can plant indigenous trees, local tree fruits, and local fruit shrubs; on the forest floor, they get to plant organic vegetables. As a result, they can improve nutrition and food security. Additionally, they can sell the surplus produce for an income.

The women’s gardening project will break the undernutrition menace in Kiryandongo refugee settlement, Uganda. Uganda hosts more than 1.4 million refugees, making it Africa’s biggest refugee destination. 65.6% of the refugees came from South Sudan following 2013 and 2016 civil wars. YAEI’s areas of focus include: community peace-building, skills development, and access to health and nutritious food.

We especially target women at the refugee settlement because they bear the major responsibility to feed their families. In spite of the women having been given small plots for cultivation, they lack the technical skills to reap from fully fledged agriculture. This intensifies their dependence on humanitarian food aid whose ration has drastically dropped in the past 3 years. Undernutrition slows the growth of children, increases the risk and duration of illness, decreases work performance, and delays social and mental development. In addition, malnutrition in women of reproductive age can increase the risk of death during childbirth and put their new-borns at risk of long-term deficiencies.

If we can teach them responsible and sustainable agriculture we impact their lives and that of their families. In the eventuality they can even sell the surplus, it will boost their self-confidence and status in the household. We will also provide the women with farm inputs and equipment to start gardening after which in one year, the women will produce enough nutritious food for their families. They can also sell the surplus for income.

YAEI already did a successful pilot in training and equipping 20 women with proper self-reliant farming practices, which showed to improve nutrition and food security.

Lives improved

60 refugee women increase their vegetable and fruits produce and gained some income from selling the surplus organic fresh food, which lifts them out of extreme poverty.

In the fullness of time, the women will produce highly nutritious food contributing to food security and an income stream to cater for basic necessities, improving their living standards and empowering them economically, contributing to gender equality. This will result in poverty reduction.

Community impact 

300 family members will benefit from the food and expected income. The income will help to cater for their basic needs, and that of their children – like healthy food, health care and school fees – and their families.

A diverse diet has shown to be the most sustainable and affordable strategy for improving healthy livelihoods for most of the population – especially impoverished communities like refugees. For these households, fruits and vegetables are often the only source of micronutrients in the family diet.

Regeneration farming also contributes to improved climate resilience and an improved climate.

Budget

The budget for the following activities is UGX13,246,579 (or €3,316). The donations will be used to:

  • Buy, transport and plant indigenous trees and fruit shrubs to be able to plant four food forest of 10X50 metres in September 2022 and February 2023.
  • Training 4 groups of 15 women with regenerative farming practices. The women will be involved in project design and skills in groups of 15 women where they get to choose their leaders.
  • Equipping the four women groups with tools and equipment, like rakes, shovels, hoes, saw cutter, watering cans, gloves, and gumboots.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project impact.
  • 5% to iMPACT direct for facilitating direct donations to local solutions (which helps to cover costs of the website, promotion and proposal writing, costs if financial services and the support to NGOs).

The Food Forest is part of the Women’s Garden project that aims to develop a livelihood for 60 women on, eventually, 15 hectares of land by July 2023. The total project sum is €18,000 of which we have already raised € 8.000 already from our own funds, in-kind contributions from partners and € 4.000 from crowdfunding. For the remaining € 7.000 we need, we’re writing to funds like the US embassy and AGCO foundation.

Testimonials

  • I was surprised that we can grow so much fresh food by ourselves without the need of costly chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

    Mary Zakaria, member of Kiryandongo Women Garden.

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    Project Details

    • Project:
      Food Forests for Displaced Women
    • NGO:
      Young Adult Empowerment Initiatives
    • Location:
      Kenya
    • Start date:
      August 1, 2022
    • End date:
      February 28, 2023

    About Young Adult Empowerment Initiatives

    The Young Adult Empowerment Initiatives (YAEI) was started with an aim of building operational capabilities of refugee youth and women in order to participate in sustainable communities, socio-economic developments and peaceful co-existence. We achieve this through community peacebuilding, skills development (education and vocational services), and access to healthcare and nutritious food. We firmly believe that the economic empowerment of refugees and grassroots communities can potentially unlock opportunities for self-reliance and peaceful co-existence. When given real opportunities, youth and women can champion economic development and peace in their communities.

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