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1. GWEFODE has implemented a project ‘’Enhancing Women’s Participation in the Democratic Process of Uganda’’ to increase awareness and understanding levels of women about democratic values and rights in order to promote active participation in the democratic process of Uganda.

  • There is increased awareness of women’s human rights and motivation to challenge obstacles to political participation as a result of Community Awareness and Education Meetings (CAEMs), Community Motivation and Mobilization Meetings (CMMMs) and Radio talk shows. As a result of the awareness, public speaking and presentation skills have motivated and boosted women’s confidence to challenge obstacles to women’s political participation and leadership.

  • The Women’s soccer match boosted Women’s confidence, enhanced their capacity, self-esteem, awareness and understanding of human rights. Women were empowered to challenge and confront existing power structures and negative stereotypes as many people in the target areas still see playing soccer as a role of men. Social cohesion was promoted between women and men, boys and girls as a result of the soccer match which brought together about 120 people.

  • Men’s Soccer Event promoted social cohesion, awareness of human rights, gender equality and empowered men to eliminate negative gender stereotypes and support women to exercise their rights for the welfare and development of their families and communities

2.GWEFODE has championed and pioneered an integrated and holistic approach and response to VAWG through amplifying voice, empowerment of women, focusing on survivors (survivor centred), eliminating stigma and transforming the status and perceptions of / about the survivor in the community / nurturing leadership and economic empowerment; adapting pathways to the needs and conditions of the survivor, while providing opportunity for perpetrators where possible, to redeem themselves.

3.GWEFODE has built a women’s social movement concerned with and addressing the issue of VAWG and rights, with the knowledge, awareness, skills, intent and courage to take action at the community level, and support women to access justice including environmental justice, while building their livelihood base and economic empowerment. Using the space of the VSLAs, groups and cooperatives to provide encouragement, support and nurture to survivors, while taking an accommodative stand to support those suffering other forms of social injustices. This integrated economic and social assets building approach has empowered survivors to gain their dignity, influence communities and enabled financial inclusion, access to resources, response to and follow up of cases of injustice while working with the referral mechanism and using numbers to highlight these cases.

4.GWEFODE has implemented Kitchen Vegetable Gardening Project aimed to enhance incomes and provide Rural Vulnerable Women with the means to improve household welbeing through training in Kitchen Vegetable Gardening for improved income, nutrition and facilitating access to women’s income earning opportunities and business management.

Many Women who previously had no idea on vegetable growing have practically learnt the skills right from nursery bed preparation, transplanting, fertilizer application and pest control. Before the implementation of the project, many women could not afford prices of vegetable seedlings and did not know that certain vegetable varieties could grow given that they are located in hilly areas. With the implementation of the project, many women have come to discover that irrespective of the toporgraphy, vegetables can grow well in their backyard gardens coupled with irrigation. Now they have embraced the growing of vegetables in addition to other root crops such as Potatoes and yarms.

The project has resulted into increased incomes, nutrition and wellbeing for the Women in Kashongati, Mutakyengwa, Kihira and Kaburara villages in Rubanda district. Project Women from Kaburara Village collected 7,260,000 Uganda shillings from the sell of Vegetables including Cabbages, Cornflowers, Onions, African Eggplants and reserved surplus vegetables for better nutrition including carrots, onions, African Eggplants, spinach and beetroot. These vegetables are able to boost immunity of the body to guard against COVID-19 and thus health experts encourage people to eat them. Project women from Kaburara have used the money from the sell of vegetables to purchase piglets which will be distributed to members on revolving scheme thus  promotion of animal husbandry and improved living standards of project women. After production, the offspring will be given to other members in the project. Project women have been divided in groups with each group allocated a piglet to look after through better feeding for proper growth. The Women in the target communities are peasant farmers who have been involved in all their lives in crop and animal husbandry. Livestock keeping is not new, it is part of the way of life of the women who are familiar with the rearing of animals which are easy to raise involving little or no cost and use locally available materials for food Potatoe and cabbage leaves and grasses which will ensure proper management and sustainability. The animals will in turn provide manure which will be used in the vegetable gardens. The methodology of giving the animal offsprings to other members means that the animals will be properly maintained and managed by the first beneficiaries.

5.The economic empowerment of women and girls has always remained a major part of GWEFODEs work under the micro credit scheme where small loans are given to women in groups of 3-5, who would provide guarantee to each other to repay the loan over 6 months with interest reaching 200 marginalised women in self-managed group, with low cost accessible loans. Besides increasing the participation and organisational influence, beneficiaries of the scheme were able to meet most of their practical needs and a number of them realised ownership of strategic assets such as land and agricultural equipment.

Despite positive outcomes in many cases there were a few organisational, and environmental challenges that affected the programme with some negative consequences. These included low repayment rates associated with loan diversion, limited understanding and enforcement of group rules and procedures by beneficiaries, business failure due to relatively limited markets for the products, unpredictable weather and trade in perishable goods, and delivery problems such as late disbursement of funds and poor targeting of the micro loans.

To combat these challenges GWEFODE introduced a special loan as well as a macro loan with the ability to repay as an added criterion. These special loans were bigger and were also made available for men and youths, a further advantage was that they also included grace periods and lower interest rates. We also introduced the macro loan which was given to groups to set up businesses such as grinding mills, training centres etc. The revised products were however limited in terms of the numbers who could benefit given the overall pool of funds available, and the fact that eligibility was restricted to those who could afford repayment. To this end, GWEFODE introduced the Village Savings and Lending Associations (VSLA) model set up to target those most in need and help to ease their access to money and furthermore increase household incomes, reduce transaction costs and create opportunities for networking and leadership by women.

With our VSLA loan beneficiaries form themselves in groups of 10-30 and undergo weekly training over four months and then make regular savings which is subsequently lent out to individuals in their groups to be repaid by the end of the year. We also encourage beneficiaries to keep a social fund which is to be used for emergency situations as decided by the group. At the end of the year all our group members share out their savings and profits made from the loans and later repeat the cycle again.

In our effort to promote Women’s Economic Empowerment, we have been successful in getting women into leadership positions in their respective VSLA groups. We have also successfully supported the groups with training in the VSLA methodology, provided support to enable access to gender based violence services (medical, legal, psychosocial and protection,) efficiently facilitated savings and lending activities and facilitated group meetings, membership recruitment and retention.

6.We have also recently worked with a number of farmers to explore the commercial production of trees and vegetables and start cooperative formation with the groups. All the groups have also already been sensitized into establishing Community Seed Bank and other cooperative formation activities. GWEFODE will engage stakeholders on the subject of the groups’ registration. There are 10 savings groups across the 4 sub counties of Rubanda and Rukiga districts, whose majority beneficiaries are survivors of domestic violence. We have trained community workers who assist with support and supervision at a group level. The women groups meet regularly, support each other and discuss family matters such as finances, women rights and domestic violence prevention. The voluntary savings aspect of the programme is now very much appreciated by the groups.

Basing on the quotes from some project Women, the project has empowered women beneficiaries with skills which they would use in future to establish their own nursery beds and grow vegetables  even beyond the project period thus ensuring sustainability.

Quotes from Project Women

  • Gorreti, 36 Years Old

    As a woman, i have benefited alot from the Kitchen Vegetable Gardening training. It has enabled me to sustainbably involve in project activities and participate in self help group for economic empowerment. Our group used the income from the project to purchase 3 piglets which will be distributed to all members on revolving scheme after production………These pigs will also be a source of manure for our vegetables. We also meet regularly, support each other, discuss issues of finances, women rights and domestic violence prevention. Members collect 18,000 Uganda shillings and this money is given to any member who would wish to use it for economic empowerment to pay back at alow interest rate.

  • Vianey ,46 Years Old

    Before this training, i had tried to practice vegetable cultivation but lacked the requisite knowledge and skills. I didn’t know how nursery beds are established and the spacing required which affected my produce. This training has empowered me with techniques to venture into indigenous vegetable cultivation. We have established a demonstration garden in Kaburara Village where we teach our members about vegetable farming enabling them to establish their own kitchen gardens. We expect to produce enough vegetables for domestic consumption with a surplus for sale to local markets and beyond. Thanks to the donors without whose support, it would have been impossible to realize this project.

  • Boneconsila ,51 Years Old

    “…………. Iam proud of the model used by GWEFODE to popularize Kitchen gardens as a result of focusing on knowledge diffusion…………This training in nursery bed and kitchen garden establishment best describes their approach and emphasizes the teaching of members to fish than granting them fish. The project has created awareness among women about indigenous vegetable husbandry and organic farming…………”

  • Joventa, 32 Years Old

    Before the project, I had land but didn’t know how to utilize it. Following the training, I have come to realize that Kitchen gardening is a good venture as it requires utilization of little piece of land behind the house. There are some Vegetable species i have never heard or seen before such as Spinach and Sukuma Wiki. At first, I felt intimidated by the thought of starting a kitchen garden owing to the responsibility and patience required. However, the satisfaction of knowing the precious produce harvested trumps any hesitation. Joventa adds that it is not that hard, “But there are no promises. It’s trial and error and like everything else you learn and become better with practice.”

  • Chance Edina

    Chance Edina, a breast feeding mother who was abandoned by the husband and is raising children alone says that kitchen gardening is a good venture as it requires utilization of little piece of land behind the house. She now grows cabbages, tomatoes, carrots, and onions and depends on the traditional vegetables as sauce to accompany potatoes, bananas and millet. “Since I started practicing kitchen gardening, I have noted improvement on the health situation of my malnourished child” 

  • Tumuranye Florence, Widow, 54 Years, 6 Children

    GWEFODE’s Kitchen Gardening has also impacted on the health and life of Tumusime Florence, a widow and resident of Kashongati village in Hamurwa Sub County, Rubanda district. “In the past she was spending more than 5,000 shillings everyday to buy food and sauce for her family. Since i started kitchen gardening on m small land, I am spending less because I am sure of sauce. I am now saving money to buy scholastic materials and pay school fees for my children”

  • Restatuta 36 Years Old: Member Kashongati-Mutakyengwa Group, Hamurwa Sub County

    “……………Three years ago i used to depend on the local market for vegetables. But the situation has since changed due to COVID-19. This project has opened my eyes to grow enough vegetables for consumption by my family and sell the surplus since the consumption of indigenous vegetables is on the rise in my community. Once COVID -19 pandemic has eased, there are potential reliable markets for the surplus vegetables to be consumed in local hotels……’’

  • Margaret, 45 Years Old

    This Kitchen Gardening Training is very relevant in the case of the current lockdown due to COVID-19 where we are restricted at home. While keeping at home, it will boost my income and access to fresh food.

  • Stedia, 39 Years Old

    “………Kitchen gardening is a good venture as it requires utilization of little piece of land behind my house. I have acquired knowledge and skills in Kitchen Garden establishment which i can use to grow vegetables such as cabbages, Spinach, beatroots, African Eggplant on my small piece of land behind the Kitchen as sauce to accompany potatoes, bananas and millet. “………….Since I started practicing kitchen gardening, I have noted some improvement in the health situation of my malnourished child……………” says Stedia,  The Knowledge gained from the trainings is ours for keeps and it is something we could continue to use in our future lives without GWEFODE even during COVID post COVID situations.

  • Ngerika, 81 Years Old

    …………..This project has improved my dignity, rights, income and the quality of livelihoods through increased income, savings and food security in my household. ………………….Although affected by drought, i harvest enough vegetables to accompany my sauce. In the past, i was spending more than 5,000 shillings everyday to buy food and sauce for my family…….But ever since i started Kitchen gardening on my small land, iam spending less because iam sure of sauce. Iam now saving money to buy scholastic materials for my grand children when schools reopen” 

  • Resty 34 Years Old

    “…………..I took part in a training Workshop in Women Rights, Violence against Women and Business Skills provided by GWEFODE which empowered me with knowledge on how to demand and claim my rights as a woman……. I learnt that rights go with responsibilities……..I also leanrnt about  qualities of a good leader. I remember they told us that a leader should listen to the people, get ideas and plans for her/his people, deliver what is meant for the people and look into the future. I realized from the training that even I as a housewife can aspire for a political office, fear was my greatest enemy, I thought I could not manage but I gained confidence and I have the support of other women, I plan to try my luck and see if I can get elected Area Councillor LC III in the 2021elections. At first men thought we could disrespect them as a result of the awareness and training but we respect them………..I do hope such trainings can continue.”

  • Goretti, 35 Years Old

    ……….From the training in Women Rights, Violence against Women and Business Skills, we have gained skills which is enabling us to resolve conflicts in our communities especially those related to GBV. The trainings imparted to us skills to act as counselors in the face of GBV and restore peace especially when the cause was differing political viewpoints between spouses in their communities…….. As a leader I am called when there is conflict in homes, I take time to teach them about GBV so that they can understand the cause and avoid it.”

    7. Through Rain Water Harvesting and Storage approaches, GWEFODE has contributed to:        

    • Improved access to WASH facilities and services through construction of Rain Water Harvesting and storage systems in Households, communities and schools allowing over 2100 people from over 300 households to access clean water and 5,000 school children to study in time.

    • A significant reduction in Water Sanitation and Hygiene related GWEFODE has changed the way of life of women who were subjected to violence as a result of coming home late as water is now accessible near their door steps of their houses without walking long distances thus saving time and energy for other potentially income earning activities that can contribute significantly to poverty alleviation and reduce the risk of Water Borne diseases, SGBV and other attacks associated with walking long distances to fetch water.

    • Improved Water Resource management in the households and communities where the tanks have been built using Roof catchment to collect rainwater and store it in the tank, reduced soil erosion and floods because rain water that would otherwise cause erosion and floods is harvested for domestic use.

    • Improved WASH services through advocacy and sensitization of communities on the operating policy and legislative environment as well as fostering their capacity to actively participate and influence service delivery in WASH.


    Ms Nzabonimpa Shariot, Refugee 30 Years

    Her problems are worsened not only by the fact that she is a refugee but also by the fact that she is living with disabilities. She has 1 child who was born out of rape used as a weapon of war in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and takes care of 3 children of her mother who was killed during the war. She also faces challenges in raising these children given that she is a refugee living with disabilities and is socially discriminated in the community in which she lives. Her disability is a result of long time sickness without medical care. Because of these problems, Ms Nzabonimpa Shariot went through a therapy session by GWEFODE Counselor before enrolling into the Vocational tailoring training course. She appreciates GWEFODE’s efforts in empowering refugee’s women victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.

    After a therapy session, Ms Nzabonimpa had this to say “I thought of poisoning myself and my child whose father is not known but I am now relieved. Now I can understand that I and my children have a bright future. I did not have anybody to tell my distressing problems.I am now able to deal with my experiences, Thanks to GWEFODE for the Counseling session”.

    Before the project, Ms Nzabonimpa suffered discrimination and abuse because of her disability for example when GWEFODE introduced the project, one of the local women commented,

    “You Disabled Refugee, you don’t have the capacity to participate in the project as you don’t have the legs to use the sewing machine, go back to Congo and let the able bodied Ugandans benefit from tailoring training………….”.  However, these and other similar comments could not impact on Shariot’s courage and determination to participate in the tailoring training course because of the counseling she had received.

    Considering that vocational tailoring training course is a decisive prerequisite for her full recovery, GWEFODE approached local artisans and purchased a tool locally made by black smiths which was added on the sewing machine to enable Ms Shariot to run the sewing machine using hands and now she is happy to be one of the trainees. She appreciates GWEFODE’s work for involving her in the entire project irrespective of her physical disability and bringing the tailoring training closer to socially marginalized groups especially women, refugees and People with Disabilities.

    “I have acquired tailoring skills…Now I am economically independent and able to make a difference in improving the economic status of my family, educate my children and provide basic necessities”.          

    • Sabato Angelique, Refugee 19 Years

      “The training that I got from GWEFODE provided me economic independence and helped me to gain self-confidence and prosperity for my family………………..”. Sabato Angelique arrived in Uganda with her family from Democratic Republic of Congo. Her family consists of her mother and three other siblings. Angelique was approved for the vocational training course. She has successfully finished training to become a tailor.

      After improving her skills and knowledge, Angelique was given a sewing Machine together with other 14 trainees and has started her own business in tailoring. The vocational training made it possiblefor her to enhance her chances of employment, consequently contributing to the family income.

      Angelique now has her own Sewing Machine, and trains all her siblings. Her sister will also improve her knowledge and skills to become a qualified tailor. As a result of GWEFODE support, her family has become economically self-sufficient.

    • Nyiramurwera Sinate, 47 years

       “I am really happy with this laudable initiative that has allowed me to follow courses in tailoring, Adult Literacy as well as follow topics on Gender Based Violence prevention, mediation of conflicts, HIV/AIDS and Women Rights. I encourage all those who work to help the women from the discrimination and suffering. At least, I am now aware of women’s rights and obligations. Thanks to GWEFODE and its staff for being always available to listen to us………………”

    • Ubuhoro Christine, 32 years

       “This project is an eye opener and has come to change my life and that of my children, I’m happy that I received treatment and care for a disease which had disturbed my life for a long time. I am happy that my child has received immunisation against killer diseases; I hope she will live a health life. Secondly, I was illiterate and did not know many important things. Now I can read and write. This definitely will help in my future tailoring business and after returning to my country…………………………..”.

      9.GWEFODE has facilitated Business Enterprise Development of women and youth business groups. These businesses include training women masons in Construction of Water tanks, trainings in making charcoal briquettes from agro biomass wastes, urban agriculture, bee keeping, biogas production, waste recycling and Re-use, crafts making, etc. These groups are trained in business & financial management skills, production skills to enable them improve their businesses. Apart from generation of income for the community members, these businesses play a vital role in reducing forest extraction for charcoal and firewood production, promoting a healthy and clean environment for all through value addition to wastes, and provision clean and sustainable energy solutions to all.

      Awareness raising about environmental conservation through use of media including radio talk shows, posters, and calendars in addition to music, dance, and theatre productions to boost knowledge and promote responsible natural resource use.

      GWEFODE has strived to address gender injustices on issues relating to the environment and economic and social rights of women and young people. GWEFODE’s work has revolved around raising awareness of the gendered impacts of climate change; advocating for natural resource management, land rights, social infrastructure, the management of environmental conflicts; and empowering women and youths. We build strong grassroots women’s groups in forest-edge communities, enabling them to actively participate in and benefit from development activities. We address income poverty, food, water, energy insecurity, and climate change.

      Through Women led initiatives, GWEFODE has been able to combat land degradation in Uganda by implementing agroforestry and reforestation practices to address issues such as charcoal burning, drought, and unsustainable agricultural practices. GWEFODE has contributed to the socio-economic empowerment and livelihood improvement of communities’ dependent on Forest ecosystems and provide coping and adaptation strategies towards climate change.

      Specifically, GWEFODE has promoted and supported the planting of native trees in heavily degraded areas by women groups and nature based solutions providing alternative “income-generating activities” for women thus reducing pressure on the forests; trained women in the manufacture of energy saving charcoal briquettes in order to reduce the consumption of forest dependent energy sources. GWEFODE has trained and equipped 380 people (360 Women) to plant trees and established nurseries of 60,000 tree seedlings, engaging communities in the process and empowerment to build a sustainable environment.

      So far, over 30 Hectares of degraded land have been restored through planting trees in heavily degraded areas, increased demand for native trees species as a result of improved information about the growing conditions, the role of tree planting in biodiversity restoration, livelihood enhancement and climate change mitigation, improved health and cleanliness in homes resulting from the use of charcoal briquettes.

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