I lost my dad at a young age. With that, came the uncertainty of life. I wasn’t sure I could go to school or complete my education. I was taken to live in an orphanage—Redeemer Children’s Home in Moyo District, in the West Nile region of Uganda. From the orphanage, I attended primary and lower secondary school until I won a scholarship to study for my A’level in Mukono. When I got a call that I had been given yet another scholarship to study at the university, I was more than excited to be a beneficiary of this prestigious opportunity. At Gulu University, I’m pursuing an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Communication Management.

We underwent orientation at the Egerton University-Kenya, and that kick-started my transformation journey. It inspired me to be confident, be able to speak out and also make connections and network with people.    

Life during COVID-19

When the President issued a directive to close all institutions of learning as part of the measures instituted against COVID-19, I returned home wondering what I was going to do next. It was not clear when schools would be re-opened. So, I needed to have a plan for my life. I decided to open up a shop and also try my hand at farming. My guardian connected me to a family in Pabbo, Gulu District, who had land for hire. I started out by hiring three acres.

Rose Moyoo weeding her garden

The land that was given to me was still virgin, so I started off by clearing the bushes and removing tree stamps. Then I hired a tractor to plough it. When the garden was ready, I planted beans on one side and then intercropped groundnuts and maize on the other potion of the land. I have already started harvesting the beans, while the groundnuts and maize will be ready soon. I have also planted sorghum, which is still in the vegetative state and I hope the yields will be good at harvest time. 

Harvesting beans

Growing vegetables

On top of the land I hired, the landlord offered me additional land where I plan to plant vegetables such as green pepper, onions, tomatoes and egg plants. I will be targeting the harvest for the dry season when demand for the vegetables and prices are high. I have employed two school going orphaned boys to help with the farm work at a small fee. 

Looking into the future

Even as the faming business is ongoing, I’m currently working on acquiring land titles for land I bought, which I hope to use to expand my farming project, including setting up a social enterprise and demonstration farm. It will offer skills, information and advisory services to farmers within the community.

By Rose Moyoo

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