Before I benefited from a scholarship from the MasterCard Foundation that consequently improved my financial status, my family was landless. We had no source of ready income, and life was difficult. This situation was further complicated by the semi-arid nature of the Karamoja region where I come from, in North eastern Uganda.
So, from the monthly stipend that I receive as a student at Gulu University, I was able to buy 3.5 acres of land in Kaabong district. It is on this land that my family now derives its livelihood from. I use part of the land to farm maize, sorghum and some vegetables. Although some of the yield was affected by prolonged drought that we experienced in the region this year, I’m hopeful this situation will improve with the coming harvest season. I also plan to put up a family house in the future.
Because of the success from my farming projects and being an undergraduate student pursing a degree in Agriculture at Gulu University, the leadership of Kaabong District offered me an opportunity to provide technical advice on agriculture to farmers. I have therefore engaged farmers in sensitization meetings about the importance of growing good quality seeds, animal management and vegetable growing.
I have also used my stipend to buy a sewing machine for my mother, and therefore create a source of employment and income for her.
The activities of RUFORUM match with our university motto, which is “For Community Transformation”. This is based on the realization that through farming, Africa has the potential to grow economically. I am forever indebted to RUFORUM and the Mastercard Foundation for this Life changing opportunity, not only to me but my entire family.
By Ceacer Chegem