We successfully worked with the staff we trained in Uganda over the prior 3 years to complete the project in the absence of myself and my wife who are the founders of our organization to complete a "store house." My wife and I are in Los Angeles working on getting citizenship for her and my daughter while raising funds and awareness of our work. Meanwhile our staff back in Uganda is running our intentional community home and farm. On the farm, we were suffering losses of crops because our intentional community of 30+ widows, orphans, HIV+ abandoned moms, and genocide survivors does not live at our farm, but 1 hour away in a rented home. With no one to watch the crops we were losing almost everything to "cattle keepers" coming and putting their animals inside our fence to graze. With Seed Money's help we built a house for a security guard to live on the land and with enough room to store our tools and harvest. Now we are suffering zero crop loss!
What challenges did or does your project face?
Our community currently faces a volatile political situation, specifically an increase in assaults and kidnappings of women and children. In order to not have to rent a secure house and compound so far away, we need to build a permanent secure home on our farm for our ladies and kids. If they had a home on our farm land they could move out of the dangerous area where we currently rent with is the epicenter of the kidnapping epidemic. The major issue that is holding us back is money and water. Money is needed ($55K) to build a large house and secure compound for 30+ women and kids. A well is needed to provide the clean water to make living on our land possible. Thankfully my wife, Hope, and I just attended a well drilling workshop in Texas with Water For All International and learned an amazingly cheap and sustainable way to drill wells using their "well drilling club" model. So in November we return to Uganda to work with our ladies to teach them how to teach well drilling. We can potentially, not only give our home and farm clean water, but also help our entire village get clean water too!
How are you working to overcome them?
As mentioned above, we are returning to Uganda to replicate Water For All's Well Drilling Club model which will enable us to bring a culture of community well drilling to our village. That will solve the water issue, which is huge. The house is a matter of raising funds from the donor base of our organization. The third front we are fighting on is to learn and introduce Korean Natural Farming methods to our community. We would like to travel to Hawaii to the center of this movement to learn more about KNF, but until that is possible we are studying and have begun a community garden in San Fernando, California where my wife and I are currently working to raise funds and awareness about our work in Uganda. The community garden in San Fernando is allowing us room to practice new methods of farming in a small space.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
Well, the well drilling method we just learned is the most exciting thing, next is Korean Natural Farming and the concept of no till per the book One Straw Revolution - these are revolutionary and proven methods we are excited to share with everyone we can!