3rd March 2024

TESO evaluation visit

TAPA members, Teso, Uganda

Project evaluation visit

Members and trainees came from several districts to meet with the evaluation team and share their perspectives. Much of this is captured in the video and notes below. We were then able to visit some of the sites represented in the following two days; pictures are below the meeting notes. This is a follow-up after delivering a full PDC and support in September 2020 and an online PDC series of training from January to July 2023.

Teso sub-region is an arid area of Eastern Uganda with many small villages dispersed over a wide area. Our members are engaged in a wide range of activities, and these gardens, plots of permaculture holdings support incomes and add valuable nutrition to diets.

Many trainees report improvements in health and vitality of family members through improved nutrition and also a boost to household incomes. These initial notes and pictures give an insight into the related activities coming from training, including improved sanitation, wood stoves for cooking, perennial and long-term plantings, as well as domestic kitchen gardens, powered by compost and trapped rainwater.

steven jones and Amuge Stella Rose discussed the challenges and impact of a permaculture project sponsored by the Permaculture Association in the UK. They emphasized the importance of feedback and observations to shape their next steps. Stella expressed gratitude for the support received from the association and mentioned some challenges faced by farmers in their community. The team discussed their plans to share and summarize information with the British Permaculture Association. Stella shared her positive experiences with permaculture and the challenges faced by farmers, such as water scarcity and lack of tools. The meeting also focused on the challenges and successes of a permaculture project, with Stella and Amuge discussing community gardening initiatives and the transformative impact of the gardening initiative.

Permaculture Mini Project Discussion

steven jones and Amuge Stella Rose discussed a mini project sponsored by the Permaculture Association in the UK. Steven emphasized their interest in understanding the process and impact of the project, which has led to the formation of groups and initiatives within the community. He expressed gratitude to Stella for her participation and highlighted the importance of feedback and observations in shaping their next steps. Steven mentioned that they aim to learn from the community’s experiences and adaptations of permaculture, and to share their strategies with other communities worldwide.

British Permaculture Association Support Discussed

steven jones introduced a new team member, Maria Perez, who is the international coordinator for the British Permaculture Association. The team discussed their plans to share and summarize information with the British Permaculture Association. They also acknowledged the support received from the association, including a Permaculture Design Course, seeds, and T-shirts. Amuge Stella Rose expressed gratitude for the support and mentioned some challenges they were facing, which they planned to communicate further.

Farmers’ Challenges and Online PDC Benefits

Amuge Stella Rose discussed several challenges faced by farmers in their community. These included issues with water scarcity, the need for a physical PDC (presumably a training or meeting), difficulties with raising gardens due to lack of tools and energy, challenges with composting due to lack of necessary tools, problems with bee harvesting due to lack of equipment and high costs, and transportation issues when visiting different groups. Despite these challenges, the community has benefited from an online PDC, learning to use resources more efficiently and appreciating the value of previously overlooked items like chicken droppings.

Permaculture Experiences and Challenges

Stella Amuge discussed her positive experiences with permaculture, noting that it has helped her save money and improve the quality of her soil. She mentioned that she has been able to grow her own vegetables, such as tomatoes and onions, and has even been able to share with her community. She also brought up the challenge of building beds due to a lack of energy and tools, and suggested the use of bulls as a potential solution. Stella also thanked steven jones for his guidance and encouragement. Robert Roder, a member of Tapa and secretary in Cere, shared that he had learned about permaculture through Stella and expressed a need for more training and transportation to coordinate other groups.

Community Gardening and Agricultural Education Initiatives

Stella and Amuge Stella Rose shared their experiences with community gardening initiatives, specifically Pamakalisha and the promotion of permaculture and agricultural education among school-aged children. Stella emphasized the transformative impact of the gardening initiative, especially involving the youth, and her vision of involving younger children in gardening activities. Amuge proposed the establishment of demonstration farms in schools to bridge the gap between classroom learning and practical application. She also shared her strategy of visiting schools and interacting with students and teachers to incorporate these ideas into their curriculum. The discussion also highlighted the need to change the perception of agriculture from a vocation for less educated people to a viable career path for all.

Permaculture Project Challenges and Successes

The meeting focused on the challenges and successes of a permaculture project. Stella, who is Alexa’s principal, discussed the difficulties experienced during an online PDC due to connection issues and the request for a face-to-face PDC. Challenges such as the dry sun causing food crops to dry out and the lack of watering cans, forcing the use of jerry cans, were also raised. Despite these issues, participants expressed their gratitude for the assistance received.

Permaculture and Challenges in Eggplant Farming

Stella Rose Amuge shared her interest in permaculture and its benefits, particularly in her eggplant planting, despite facing challenges such as dryness and lack of tools. She requested help from Principal Johnson to overcome these issues. Stella also showed her success in growing plants despite the dry season. However, another participant raised concerns about transportation challenges and requested continued support and monitoring.

Education and Cultural Exchange Praised

Stella Rose from Amuge expressed her gratitude towards the team’s continued support and requested their assistance in educating students at Tapara Primary School. She emphasized the importance of cultural knowledge transfer within families. The team was also thanked for their efforts and appreciated for their work. steven jones, another participant, praised the team’s achievements and expressed his admiration for their work’s influence, suggesting the idea of exchange visits. The team was encouraged by these remarks, expressing their pride and happiness at the prospect of expanding their influence.

Permaculture Education for Future Sustainability

Amuge Stella Rose discussed the importance of teaching younger generations about permaculture to ensure their self-sustainability in the future. She mentioned the challenges they face, particularly with transportation, but emphasized the simplicity of controlling pests and diseases and the value of adding to the soil. Amuge also shared their success in harvesting some market, which helped them purchase land for a permaculture center where members will be trained. She also expressed gratitude for the support they have received, especially for the seeds and T-shirts. Amuge concluded by mentioning their upcoming plans to teach about seed banking and natural farming techniques.

Stella Rose’s Life and Permaculture Advocacy

Amuge Stella Rose discussed her life and various projects, including teaching and advocating for permaculture at the district level. She expressed gratitude for the support she receives and acknowledged some challenges faced. She also mentioned her involvement in a focus group discussion and recognized the contribution of her husband, steven jones, who was elected as the mobilizer of Kappa. steven jones expressed pride in Deborah’s leadership and encouraged her to continue growing and contributing. Stella Rose also shared about the emerging issues within their team, the need for a Pdc, and the challenges faced by members moving between groups. She praised the team’s initiative in hosting each other for late-night training sessions and their plans for future collaboration and training.

Rural Challenges and Sustainable Solutions

Stella Rose highlighted the challenges faced by rural communities, particularly in terms of transportation and the lack of coordination among different villages. She praised Deborah’s efforts in managing these groups and mentioned the self-improvement strategies of the communities, such as finding solutions to pest problems and developing a seed banking system. A farm tour was conducted by Stella Rose, showing the team various plants, seeds, and trees, and explaining the sustainability efforts employed by the farm owner, including mulching and drum irrigation. The team was impressed with the farm’s sustainability efforts.

Provide a working tractor for the Tapa team.

Offer a physical PDC.

Provide transportation for coordinators to visit other groups.

Provide a means of transportation for the Tapa team.

Provide bee harvesting gear.

Provide tools for turning compost.

Provide a means of transportation for the Tapa team.

Provide a working tractor for the Tapa team.

Consider arranging exchange visits between the UK and Tanzania.

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Videos from Serere

It was a long travel to Serere, almost half a day. The team had not visited there before, previously only a representitive form that community had come to Nyero to vist the TAPA team. This was a significant step to achieve this visit.

In the video we see underplanting of taro under banana, mulching and explanation of plant guild by TAPA leaders to community members.