Across the African continent there are thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who aim to promote and increase the living standards of community members.
Some NGO’s focus solely on education, whereas others focus on making clean water readily available to local communities. Regardless, all NGOs, have a common objective to better the lives of locals and leave an impact. While all NGOS aim to create impacts there are limited programs that are capable of success has a lasting impact that can be sustained by communities for years to come.
Into Your Hands Africa (IYHA), an NGO that works throughout rural Uganda, has implemented programs that are all focused on education that can be passed on. Into Your Hands has many programs, however their Community Development Associations (CDA) directly impacts community members, who in turn have had the ability to impact many more hands—so to speak.
This program is broken down into three key phases- educational workshops, exposure visits to demonstration farms, and implementation through group formation and mentorship. A few, select beneficiaries, also are given subsidies in the form of seedlings or livestock to help kickstart their own farms. The key phases are emphasized because they all based on education and learning the necessary traits of both sustainable agriculture, but also sustainable business techniques.
This program has a domino effect because annually recipients learn, but also former recipients are able to extend their knowledge to more people within their community, and teach them how to start their own businesses and play a role in community’s economy. It is an effort that has lead to communities growing together, because they can look intrinsically and use the tools they have cultivated through various workshops to not only make a better life for their family, but also a better life for their whole community.
The Community Development Association is largely focused on moving from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture and animal husbandry to promote economic growth. Piloted in 2016, this program already has had an incredible and powerful turnout and will continue to do so. The CDA had an initial turnout of 326 community members from the sub-counties of Ndagwe and Kisekka who participated in the educational workshops delivered by Into Your Hands. The workshops are lead by three main facilitators, a livestock veterinary, a specialist in crop production, and community development officer—each experts in their respective fields.
The constant focus is using education to inspire community members. On top of the purely educational workshops locals also attend inspire workshops at successful farms. This gives them the chance to ask questions, to gain further knowledge and use ideas others have successfully implemented.
When 326 people learn something and they implement it at home they immediately teach their families and close friends as well. The Community Development Association in turn has impacted an additional 1630 community members. From one hand to the next, learning is passed on.
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