Photo: One of our faithful farmland staff is happy to show us one of the many passion fruit plants that have recently produced a half-ton harvest.
Today we bring you good news from our farmland enterprise in rural Uganda, which is flourishing thanks to our native team’s diligent hard work. In October we began to harvest our newest crop of passion fruits and so far we have gathered half a ton of this delicious fruit. The passion fruits continue to grow well and we continue to gather them daily, so we are planning to sell passion fruit juice to the local community to supplement our operating budget and work toward our goal of self-sustainability. In order to begin this new small business venture, we are seeking to raise $5,000 to purchase the juicing machine and plastic bottles, and pesticides and a spraying pump to keep our passion fruit crop, as well as other crops, healthy and vibrant for future bountiful harvests.
We also recently planted tomatoes, bananas, eggplants, green peppers, mangoes, watermelons, star fruits, oranges, avocados, beans, corn, and sweet potatoes. Crops such as the avocados, mangoes, star fruits, and oranges will be ready for harvest in 2 years. Crops such as the tomatoes, eggplants, sweet potatoes, beans, and corn can be harvested twice a year — we have two planting seasons per year and these crops will be always be harvested during the two rainy seasons. Our hardworking native team has been manually irrigating the plants with watering cans every evening, which is one of the methods that the President of Uganda demonstrated recently when he visited our village. The president encouraged farmers to use irrigation methods instead of only relying on rainfall, especially since the rainy seasons often change and thus are unreliable. With your support, we are still seeking to raise $5,000 to purchase a piped irrigation system large enough for our farmland which will be a much more powerful and less labor-intensive irrigation method.
We will use these organic crops to feed the children in our programs and we will sell the surplus to boost our program’s activities. We are also growing these crops in order to save money that would otherwise be spent purchasing the same food items at market. Thus, when all the crops reach full maturity and regular harvest times, we will save approximately $2,000 monthly, which is equal to about 21% of our monthly operating need. However, already, we are realizing about $1,300 monthly from the farmland, equal to about 13% of the monthly operating budget of our rural Uganda programs.
In other good news, 70 of our high school students (ages 14-19) recently completed their national exams in November, commissioned by the National Department of Education. To prepare for the testing, the students thoroughly studied their subjects of math, English, geography, history, commerce, physics, chemistry, biology, fine art, economics, agriculture, computer studies, and their native language of Swahili. The students also received counseling, academic guidance, and prayer from their teachers to holistically prepare them for the rigorous national exams which have now prepared them to become purposeful citizens in Uganda. In the words of our field director: “The wisdom of God is the first priority many would desire to have in life, but we also believe that education is key to the acquisition of knowledge for anyone’s success. Therefore, through education where we have the primary and high school, we are seeing our rural community gradually changing from a dull mindset which brings lots of afflictions to them rising to a vibrant mind set that will lead to their bright future.”
Now that the students are enjoying a holiday break until February 22nd, our native team will throw them a Christmas party where they will receive a special warm meal and festive drinks, play fun games together, and every child will receive a gift. Also, some of the children will visit their relatives during the holiday, and some of the older teens will remain on campus to help keep the grounds looking beautiful and learn about agriculture while working on our farmland enterprise. These students will also enjoy Bible studies, playing soccer, putting puzzles together, and taking tours of the sights in their local community.
Lastly, we are seeking your support for the current needs of our primary school. We need to purchase 100 desks at $40 each, and math, English, science, and literacy textbooks. We need to hire 15 teachers, and we need to construct a building with 4 classrooms and office space as well as 2 dormitories for the boys and girls. We also need to purchase play facilities such as a swing set, play tunnels, dolls for the little girls, and other such items for recreation. We are thankful for your generosity to enhance the education and happiness of our primary school students. In the words of our Rural Uganda field director: “As we all know, education is power, and our community is gradually changing due to the increase in the number of people who are getting educated. Thank you once again for your efforts and may God continue to bless you.”
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others