My name is James Akuku, a beneficiary of the TagDev Project. Thanks to the MasterCard Foundation and RUFORUM, I am pursuing a Master of Science degree in Food Security and Community Nutrition at Gulu University.

With the continuous financial support that I receive from the MasterCard Foundation, I have been able to meet the basic needs of my family and more during the COVID-19 lockdown. I have also been able to use the additional savings from my scholarship to buy a piece of land just outside of Adjumani Town, which I hope to use to start a housing project in the near future.

Besides investing in land, I have also provided financial support to my family during the lockdown as they are largely dependent on me. The situation for us has been made worse because of the prolonged rains that led to flooding and therefore destroyed most farm crops. With poor or low harvest, many families in the community have been left vulnerable. 

In the background, is the land bought by James Akuku from his stipend.

Because I have been spending a lot of time in the community, I also decided to use that time productively by providing advisory services to farmers, especially how to undertake cost-effective agricultural practices, including home gardening in small spaces. I also provide education and knowledge on good health and sanitation practices and how to prevent COVID-19.

Being a graduate student, at the moment I’m busy developing my research proposal together with my supervisor who is very supportive. I have also been doing a lot of reading, thanks to the internet data extended to us during this time that we have spent at home. As a result, I was able to download over 100 online books, which I believe will widen my knowledge and understanding of different issues.

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