Monday, October 15, 2007

10/07 Part 2: Scholarships, Fruit Drying, Wells

Orphan Scholarships:

1. I met with Richard today. He is finalizing the scholarship students report, but couldn't show me because the power was out. I plan on going back tomorrow.
2. Richard is planning 2 meetings for this month (the timing was suggested by the schools as November is very busy for exams), one for the rural villages and one meeting for the schools closer to town. I am really excited to attend these meetings and look forward to interacting with more of the students.

Click to watch video of Matt interviewing one of our scholarship students, Mercy:


1. Henry and I have both been re-emphasizing that the funding is not currently there. Henry proposed that we encourage the farmers to invest in the planting at whatever capacity they are comfortable with now, then, when funding may come through, we move around and observe the farmers that took the initiative to start on their own, giving them the highest priority for any assistance . This will more than likely reduce the number of initial farmers assisted to below 15 as I don't expect all 15 farmers to start on their own.
2. As far as implementing any future funding, there are several options we could pursue as I've mentioned before…from partial cost sharing with farmers for sucker to full assistance using the loan in-kind scheme. In whatever capacity UVP decides to move with this project, whether it be not at all, on a very small scale, or on a larger scale, I think the basic ground work has been set, even for very small operations. Henry has repeatedly told me that the coordinator wants to encourage fruit growing in their programs now. As far as when this will become a solid part of their programs, I have no idea, but it doesn't look like its going to happen anytime soon.
3. I hope to pressure Henry to schedule a meeting with THE COORDINATOR to visit the Soleil factory. I think it would be great to at least work on building that partnership while taking advantage of the few suckers Soleil produces each week, which would be solely handled by JIDDECO and the farmers who want to start on a small scale. After we get the coordinator caught up, we can begin serious talks with Africa 2000 for the pre and post-harvesting trainings, which, aside maybe from transport, should be done at no cost to JD, farmers, or UVP. Also, suckers can sit in a pile for weeks without being planted. I was told that a farmer would really have to struggle to plant 1,000 suckers in a week, let alone 10,000.
The farmers know our position on the project and the sub-county contact persons are supportive, so however we decide to handle this, they will move ahead on the project as much as they can.

Shallow Wells:

1. Idinda is READY! The sub-county contact person, who I've been communicating through on this project as no one on the Water User Committee has a phone, suggested waiting until next week to start as everyone has been really busy with the evaluation. I'm thinking Tuesday I could bring the mason to the community.
2. Kigulamo…yes that is the name of the area for this other well. I misunderstood the naming. Here is how it works. Kigulamo is the name of the village, which is really large. So, there is Kigulamo North and Kigulamo South. The well be in Kigulamo South, which is more specifically known as Kidozi…hence the Kigulamokidozi name I thought I was hearing. Sorry to those who grew to like the really long name. The well is going to be in KIDOZI of Kigulamo. On Weds., I went with Herbert to spot the well. There was an impressive turn out. I got a picture of all those present at the proposed site. I hope to send it off with the others.
3. Banuli called me today to inform me that he was with the community members digging up the sand needed for the well as he spoke. These people are SERIOUS. Banuli told me that in just a few days the materials would be mobilized. I told him that it is great the community is mobilizing the materials so quickly, but we would still have to wait for Idinda to finish their well. He sounded like he already clearly understood this. I think he is just making sure I know the community is serious by getting things done so quickly. Banuli is highly respected in his area. I figured out his position a little better. He is the speaker at the sub-county for the LC3 and is specifically assigned to this area of the sub-county as the counselor.
4. I think Kidozi might be in a position to be considered for a second well down the line based on the social map they had and the distances they indicated.
5. I spoke with Banuli some more about using his help and setting up a structure to identify villages in need of clean water sources, especially when we run out of JIDDECO villages. He seemed really excited to help in whatever way he could. Herbert had mentioned that villages submitted applications at the district level, so I told Banuli a good start would be for to communities to write a proposal, indicating the name of the village, the number of households, other sources of water in the village and how accessible they are, and the farthest distance a family in the village is walking to get clean water.

New Peace Corps Volunteer:

(Uganda Village Project helped our partner JIDDECO apply for a Peace Corps Volunteer. This volunteer will spend a portion of her time working for JIDDECO, and a portion of her time working with Matt on Uganda Village Project programs! We are very excited for her to begin helping with the work that Matt is doing)

1. JIDDECO's new Peace Corps volunteer has come to Iganga for a "future site visit." Her name is Amy.
2. She'll be here until Saturday. Then she will go back for two more weeks of training before moving back to Iganga for two years.
3. Henry has been having her attend nutrition sensitizations. These are all in Lusoga, so they've been quite boring for her. I told Henry this. He is going to give her some literature about JD and then hopefully sit down with her to have a serious talk about what she can do and the opportunities there are with JD aside from sitting in on sensitizations.

New Crib:

1. I'm slowly by slowly moving into the new place. I've got two rooms with electricity. I'll probably be eating the food the family here prepares, which is okay.
2. Looks like I'm going to have to pay for water. 100/= a jerrycan. 50/= for using the well and 50/= for the labour. It takes me a week, give or take a day or two, to finish the water in the metallic tank (20l). Then with bathing and the occasional tank cleaning and floor mopping, I don't think it will be a huge expense by any means.

Choose A Need Library
(Matt visited a law library that ChooseANeed helped to fund in Kampala to take some video interviews)

The library CAN helped was really welcoming. It offered a relatively quiet place to read for law students in a busy part of the city near Makerere. They gave some good interviews, although there was quite a bit of background noise…sorry. I tried to increase the volume as much as possible in Movie Maker. Power has been inconsistent here, but I will load the videos as soon as possible.

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