Meet Peace!

4 Sep

Peace is the oldest child of four. She is originally from Kochgoma, but lives on the edge of Gulu town where she teaches a K3 (Kindergarten 3) class. Her youngest sister lives with her and attends a local primary school.

Peace joined TRP’s first round of piggery and life skills training in February this year. At the start of the course she was quite unsure of herself and the course.

“When I went for the first time I thought I didn’t like the course, but when I returned for many times I loved it because of the teaching. The life skills were very nice. It teaches me a lot, like how to manage stress, decision making and how to be a good leader.”

Over the five months Peace gradually grew in confidence and began to contribute more to group discussions. She also grew in confidence in her piggery knowledge and is now keen to put it into practice.

With her contributions and the grant from Geneva Global she has already completed most of the building for her piggery. While she hasn’t stocked it with pigs yet, through the course savings program she has saved enough to receive two subsidised piglets once the piggery is complete.

Breeding and selling pigs, she said, will help her to improve her life and help to pay her sister’s school fees.

Meet Bibeko!

1 Sep

Last week we visited Bibeko, one of the Piggery and Life Skills students, to see his progress following the course. His trademark positivity and jovial laugh were on display as he gave us the tour of his proud new piggery.

Bibeko has the spirit of an entrepreneur. When money has been scarce he hasn’t waited for things to change. Instead, he has sought out opportunities. From working odd jobs to helping those around him to earn an income by starting a burrito stand, he has found his way and helped others in the process. He had recently purchased some pigs in order to earn some extra income but didn’t have any training.

“I didn’t know how to care for the pigs, how to build housing, how to deal with sickness” he said.

He heard about the piggery and life skills training through a staffmember at TRP and was quick to join. He was also quick to apply his knowledge, almost completing the construction of his piggery before the course had even ended.

“It was really good. I learnt a lot more than I used to know, from planning to managing and feeding in an organic way. When I got the pigs they really smelled but not now and the pigs are much happier.

It’s really helped me to know the behaviors of pigs and what to do if there are signs [of sickness].”

As we walked he carefully showed us how he had used his new knowledge to develop the piggery, from the beds and fermenting IMO through to where he hoped to eventually install a watering system.

Like a true entrepreneur Bibeko already has plans in place for how to grow his piggery. With his wedding approaching at the end of the year, he hopes it will grow into something that will be able to sustain them. It isn’t just for them though.

“People ask me, “how did you do this?”. I want to show them that they can have hope because I have shown how to do it.”

These are more than just words for Bibeko. He holds a unique passion to see others succeed along with him. Although he is only just starting he has already begun to teach his neighbours how they can develop or improve their own piggeries.


To find out more about the Piggery and Life Skills training and how you can support programs like these, head to our Agriculture and get involved pages.

Farmers and Leaders

25 May

On Saturday, while taking refuge from the returning rains, I (David) sat down with Opira Kevin.

Kevin is participating in the current Piggery and Life Skills program and I wanted to learn more about why he chose to participate.

Kevin was born and raised in Gulu, not too far from TRP. He is married, and has three young sons.

He works as a boda boda (motorbike driver) to try and earn enough money to to house and feed his family and send his kids to school . He gets by, but making ends meet is tough. He has tried raising pigs, but with no training and limited capital he struggled, working by trial and error. He was starting to give up on his dream when he heard about TRP’s program and jumped at the opportunity.

As we talked and did a chair-shuffle-dance to avoid the moving rains I asked Kevin what he has learnt from the course so far.

“I’ve learnt how to do IMO, plumbing for drip feeding, building piggery buildings, identifying different breeds and more. It has been really helpful what I am getting here. Really helpful!

When I probed about the life skills elements he chuckled.

“It’s no secret that I’m bad when it comes to the life skills. The life skills elements are necessary and really bring out who you are. I struggled at first but now I’m making friends with people from all walks of life and have learnt how to be with others. I’ve also learnt about conflict resolution and problem solving.”

“I didn’t see much benefit in connecting with the others [participants] but I’ve learnt to work as a unit with others and will continue to have contact with them after the course.”

When I asked Kevin about the difference that this course will make to him, he became a little more animated. While the training will assist him to earn a sustainable income for his family it is clearly also reigniting energy for a dream that he had previously held.

“It has been my dream to do farming on a commercial scale and I know now that I’ll be able to do it!”

“Not only will we emerge as farmers but as people who know how to be leaders in the community. I don’t think I will be the same again. I will be a better farmer and a better person.”

In order to make this project happen, TRP has partnered with Geneva Global. With their support we have been able to eliminate some of the cost barriers which usually come with courses like these. In order to join the course, participants pay a small course fee which they receive back at towards the end of the course with an additional grant. This will enable them to immediately build their own piggeries. They also contribute weekly to a savings program which they will have access to at the end of the program in order to purchase pigs.

“Usually these courses are too expensive,” Kevin told me, “and capital has always been an issue.”

“I would have easily given up but the grants will enable me to do it and now I believe I can do it. I’m never going to give up again!”


To find out more about the Piggery and Life Skills training and how you can support programs like these, head to our Agriculture and get involved pages.

Life Skills and Piggeries

7 Apr

In the Acholi sub region where TRP works youth unemployment is at 70%. While the lack of employment introduces numerous challenges for youth, developing income generating skills is not the only challenge to overcome.

“Believing in yourself and becoming determined to succeed is very important.  I know of a lot of youth who have graduated a skilling program and didn’t have enough confidence or determination to make their careers a reality.  Often times they just slip back into old habits.” – Ogeno Charles, Development Manager, TRP

In February TRP launched a new program working with youth which addresses psychosocial needs while cultivating practical skills for income generation. The program draws on TRP’s 6 years of leaning from activity-based psychosocial work with a new eight-module Life Skills curriculum which has been blended with Piggery skills training.

The program will run for five months, twice a year, and takes participants through all aspects of creating their own deep bed IMO piggery and rearing pigs while developing their confidence, determination, and capacity to be leaders in their community, resolve conflicts, problem solve, and more. Find out more about the program here.

We thought a great way to get an eye into this program would be to “meet” some of the participants so stay tuned for some interviews very soon!

Retreat and Reflect

17 Mar

Throughout 2016 the team at TRP has spent many hours investing in others; planning, teaching, facilitating activities and debriefing others. It was great to reflect on last year and invest back into the team with a little fun and debriefing of our own at our staff retreat.

After meeting at TRP we all bundled into a couple of vehicles and made our way down the edge of Murchison Falls National Park. For some, this was their first opportunity to go into the National Park, experience its beauty and see animals which never venture as far as Gulu!

On the second day as we sat together after lunch the facilitators began to share some of their learning from the last year of working alongside various groups. It is not just the participants drawing wisdom from the activities we run, so I thought I’d share a some of what the facilitators have learnt, in their own words.

 

Acellam Denish

“I learnt how to turn fear into joy. I also learnt how to take risks. Sometimes you might be holding very tight to old victories, but sometimes that can become a blockage to realising new things. I learnt that to move into the future you have to sometimes take risks.

I also learnt how the people around me have a big role to play in my life. If I want to have a successful story in life then I need to listen to them and be close to them.”

 

Okello Robert

“During my stay here I realised that it is good to accept all the challenges that come your way. We have received groups from all kinds of places and I have learnt how to accommodate all kinds of different people as I work with them.

I also learnt my strength as an individual. There were things that I didn’t know I could do, but through the activities at TRP learnt what I am capable of and also where my weaknesses are. I’m so grateful to TRP that I have learnt a lot of problem solving skills.”

 

Atim Winnie

“I learnt how to be nice to myself and others.

I learnt how, just as all the different body parts have different roles, in the same way we all need each other and need to work with each other to achieve what we want to.”

 

Rubangakene Godfrey

“I have learnt that it is not easy to know things when you have never tried. It is after trying something that you discover it for yourself. So often we have groups where individuals say that they cannot accomplish things, but then by the end of the day they have tried and realised that they can. How will you know if you never try? You just have to try.”