YAP Proposal #232: The Goal Club Initiative’s agricultural mentorships for girls (Miriam Ademun, Uganda)

AdemumMiriam2

My name is Miriam Ademun, aged 32, residing in Kampala, Uganda. I am the co-founder of The Goal Club Initiative (TGCI). TGCI is an organization dedicated to encouraging girls to stay in school through mentorship programmes and school outreach. We also focus on improving the quality of life of marginalized teenage mothers through our economic empowerment programmes, ensuring their participation in issues affecting them.

We mainly focus on girls because they face many inequalities in Uganda, even in places meant for positive development like schools. Girls are frequently victims of school drop outs, early marriages and sexual harassment, and they don’t receive proper assistance to deal with these traumatizing experiences.

Many are left with no choice but to leave school and become a teenage mother. Most pregnant girls are expelled from school and don’t return to complete their education. They struggle to survive due to the many socio-economic hardships that they face.

This project, called “The Goal Girls,” will focus on pineapple, onion and carrot farming on 4 acres of land in Zirobe, near Kampala.  We will set up a training programme to strengthen agricultural skills as a way of enhancing livelihoods for 100 school dropouts, some of whom are teenage mothers.

These vulnerable girls (aged 20 -25 years) will be empowered with modern methods of agriculture such as vegetable (carrots, onions) and fruit (pineapple) growing. We will hire a tractor to plough the land, buy the pineapple suckers and vegetable seeds for planting and set up a simple irrigation scheme for continuous watering. We will also purchase simple garden tools (hoes, spades, wheelbarrows, gloves, manure, and rakes).

Our organization is passionate about empowering girl children. With this project, besides being able to sell their harvests to fetch more income, their nutrition will be boosted for good health. We will engage them in all phases of the project as workers.

“The Goal Girls” will be a training project specifically for girl children, empowering them through agricultural entrepreneurship. We will use this project to change the situation of vulnerable girls using our life skills and empowerment sessions, coaching, being part of a team, learning skills, and being given substantial time away from “negative recreation” (drugs, violence or sexual activities).

The pineapple, carrot and onion crops have become one of the main income-generating enterprises for many farmers in Uganda, and especially in Kampala. These crops are highly adaptable and can be produced both locally and organically, and there is an existing access to local, regional and international markets such as Southern Sudan (Juba) and East Africa, especially Kenya.

Our organization will get the crops to the markets as opposed to using middlemen (who often cheat), and the profits will be used for expansion of the project. We hope to empower girls in our community. We will arm them with information about commercial farming and best agricultural practices.

At a later stage, we w encourage “The Goal Girls” to set up their own gardens and we will provide farming items such as mushroom seeds, seedlings/planting materials and tools depending on the expressed need of the girls. We will provide them with seedlings that will also help conserve the environment and reduce poverty through increased income, food and fruit production.

We have already established a kitchen garden (carrots, maize, onions, beetroot, green pepper, tomatoes and cabbage) as a simple demonstration farm and we have used this as a small-scale training ground for the girls. We are in the process of harvesting vegetables, some of which have already gone to home consumption.

We have conducted mentoring sessions in 5 primary schools with a total number of 432 (301 boys and 131 girls) students. Nine hundred and twenty-five students have been mentored in secondary schools, and of these, 267 were girls and 658 were boys. In the vocational schools we visited, a total number of 210 students were mentored (76 girls and 134 boys). In total we have mentored 1,567 students (note that the number of girls is lower than the number of boys).

Our school mentorship approach defines our way of working and aims to foster positive development for girl children through provision of relevant support. We aim to help them believe in their abilities and overcome difficult life challenges, develop confidence, self-esteem and the skills they need to be successful in school and in life.

We have also noted with concern that there is a high rate of girls dropping out of school due to cultural and socio-economic factors, so we started promoting non-formal education for girls out of school who also happen to be teenage mothers. With support to implement this project, we hope to scale-up this project with special attention to supporting re-entry, rebuilding and retraining of school dropouts as we already have an established and organized group for this purpose.

We will measure success through improved food security at the household level for the girls we engaged. We aim to enable skilled youth and households able to sustainably produce food and meet nutritional needs. Girls will be engaged in other successful income-generating activities such as agri- businesses and saving schemes.

By engaging vulnerable girls in this project, we hope to build their confidence and equip them with the knowledge to make informed choices. We want them to be able to identify their rights, be aware of their opportunities, understand strong leadership and be encouraged to be active participants in society to reduce idleness and teenage pregnancies.

With the USD $5000 grant, we will identify and select the vulnerable girls to benefit from this project and form Self Help Groups of 20 girls per group. We will hire a tractor for ploughing and clearing the four-acre farm land and set up a simple irrigation scheme using used plastic bottles. We will purchase farm tools, seedlings and suckers for planting.  We will use some of the money for monitoring, weeding, harvesting and getting the products to the market.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Miriam Ademun (Kampala, Uganda) – goalclubinitiative[at]gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #232 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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376 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #232: The Goal Club Initiative’s agricultural mentorships for girls (Miriam Ademun, Uganda)

  1. Its a good a project and especially encouraging the vulnerable girls who face these hard life realities to be able to do something positive with them selves after going through challenges that put them in hardships to cope with life o situations that they face in their daily lives..they can still stay focused and positive about life in general through this project.

  2. Yap ademun ur propal is developnent,its true abt girl drop out but how abt infrastructures for those needy pple ,transportation and welfare for them bse there yhose coming from very far but its hd idra thanks

  3. Thank you for thinking about this group of girls who are vulnerable, wish you and group the best. I know it will change many lives.

  4. Hello sister Miriam, this is a really good initiative if implemented. So I encourage you to put in more effort to save the lives of these vulnerable girls.

  5. This is a good initiative especially that land has been fragmented in the suberbs of Kampala and most households are now living in slum environments with a cute space to grow food for their families. I will love to be apart of this initiative.

  6. This is a good initiative especially for the young girls who become victims of discrimination after getting pregnant and they drop out of school. I believe there is a second chance for every body. Proverbs 24:16

    1. Yes there is a second chance for everyone..imagine even some girls do not even have a first time. With this UPE and the high rates of school drop out…a lot more needs to be done besides just focusing on education.

  7. Iam in support of this project, it is very crucial, inspirational and will help build capacity for many marginalized groups especially girls & women.Hence sustainable development will be promoted & acquired in the near future.

    1. Vicky good to hear from you. Besides focusing only on academics, other sustainable livelihoods can be done. Looking at the fact that agriculture is easy to implement yet more yielding is the reason why we want to engage in this.

  8. Great initiative that will surely make an important contribution to empowering girls in Uganda and improving local food security! Should definitely be supported 🙂

    1. Vicky good to hear from you. Besides focusing only on academics, other sustainable livelihoods can be done. Looking at the fact that agriculture is easy to implement yet more yielding is the reason why we want to engage in this.

    2. Hello Lena, thanks for your comment. Imagine some of the girls go hungry and this is one of the reasons for poor performance in class. Most parents or guardians focus on paying tuition due to their economic situation. During our mentorship programmes we noted with concern that feeding is one of the major factors that needs to be handled.

  9. This is indeed a good initiative. For it would assist our girls who have always been victims of circumstances.I highly support itas an advocate of girl child.Thanks Miriam.

  10. Miriam, this is Avery encouraging proposal,
    For livelihoods. I really wish this proposal could be supported so as to put those great ideas into reality.

  11. Wonderful thought especially for our country Uganda. I pray dat you get support to achieve thz goal.

  12. Wonderful proposal for a girl child in a country like Uganda. Its a handson thing, better than the theories in our schools. You have such a big heart Miriam, simple things fix major things.

    1. Thanks my dear. We noticed during our school mentorship programmes that hunger is one of the reasons for dropping out of school. So we decieded to set up a simple kitchen garden….now we want to expand it.

  13. Waaaooooowwww……..Nice initiative Miriam. May it surely be a light unto our nation and expand to a more and great impactful project that shall be sought after across all regions. Wish you the best and God grant you more and more magnificent ideas.

  14. Many thanks Mariam for coming up with such a noble initiative. It would be prudent to come up with a proper sustainability structure on how to scale up this project so that it can have a lasting impact in the lives of your target beneficiaries. For instance you need to address such information gaps:
    (i). What other source(s) of funding are you going to sort for to supplement the funding? and much? for how long?
    (ii). How do you intend to supplement the funding further? . i.e. through provision of voluntary services, sourcing for free farming equipment’s etc.
    (iii). There are children who have been victims, despite all odds they have managed to cope with the situation i.e. through being engaged in doing odd jobs to pay their schools fees, supplement their family income etc. how are you going to incorporate such success stories into the project for purposes of mentor-ship and buy inns from the victims?
    (iv). How much returns do you expect to generate from the the project (farming activity) in the first financial year? and how do you project the returns in next X years?.
    (V). What are the risks factors associated with farming activity in the targeted project location? and how do you expect to mitigate such risks to achieve the project intended goal?
    (Vi). How long do you want this initiative to run? upon its completion how will it sustain itself?
    (Vii) Who are the stakeholders, especially from the government line ministries are you going to involve in the project?, and what role(s) are they going to play?
    (viii) Where is your project Log-frame that will help you evaluate the project? for instance how many mentorship sessions do you intend to carry out? in how many schools? reach out to how many children? by when?
    (ix) How do you intend to evaluate the project, are there baseline indicators you have established from previous research carried out or do you intend to carry out a baseline study?
    I feel you need to think along these lines among others.
    Best of Luck

    1. Thank you George for this lengthy in deepth analysis. This proposal had guiding questions and it was only to be one or two pages so we were kinda brief (focusing on the guiding questions given).

      But to answer u briefly, eventually when we go through we shall come up with an in depth proposal with strategic objectives, plans and indicators (logical framework).

      We intend to partner with other well established agric organizations for contious learning do internal fundraising ( which entails alot). We shall involve children who have gone through although in hardships as mentors to encourage and give advice etc.

  15. Mariam how are you going to address issues to do with children living with disability who will be part of your target beneficiaries?

    1. For now we don’t intend to involve children with disabilities in this project but we do involve them in our class room mentorship sessions. Truthfully speaking, these children can not participate in practical digging, weeding and planting

  16. Thank you so much miriam this is a very good proposal it’s going to help thousands of girls who have been victims for the teen mothers. Honey am so proud to have you as a friend. Keep up the big heart. Lots of love.

  17. this is so good a project,that will not only benefit the individuals learning but the society in general. thank you for recognizing the importance of agriculture .please keep it up

  18. Well done Miriam and team, all the best of luck and thanks for empowering the girl child, teenage mothers and their families. God will surely bless the works of your hands

  19. This is an overwhelmingly excellent and brilliant idea.It is true that many girls are stranded and there is no one to pull them out,hence,clouding their futures.this is quite exeptional because they get to acquire farming skills and in the now world,agriculture is one of the ways to go,more so combined with good health.Personally,iam glad and willing where i can to get involved in this,and probably teach more skills that i have also acquired in time.So please,let me know whenever.This program is going to be an unforgettable charm in these girls.THANKYOU.

  20. This is overwhelmingly incredible and excellent work.Personally,am in for this and am willing,where need be,to help out and teach some skills that i have also acquired over time,to these girls.It is true that many are stranded and they have no one to pull then up,hence,clouding their futures.so,anytime that more effort is needed,my skills are under way.This program is going to be an unforgettable charm for the girls.THANKYOU.

  21. Empowering a girl child is key in achieving the fundamental millennium development goals. Especially in developing countries like Uganda.

    1. Looking at the fact that the quality of universal primary education is low and still even with this there are still high rates of dropping out for the girls.

  22. with women now representing 40 percent of the global labor force, overall productivity will increase if their skills and talents are used more fully also, greater control over household resources by women, either through their own earnings or cash transfers, can enhance countries’ growth prospects by changing spending in ways that benefit children on food and education what iam trying to say is that…… Miriam this initiative is not only superb …… It is grand….. Very impressive…….

    1. Thanks Winy and they need empowerment as well. Msnybwomen are even head of their families and they need to financially and socially sustain their families. Well, we are engaging girls both at school and out of school.

  23. This is an awesome project Miriam and team (TGCI). I am very certain that the target group will tremendously benefit from it. Way to go! Best of luck!

  24. A very intersting initiative, looking at the fact that girl children are often times compromised. it will also boast nutritional aspects especially foe the girls who are teenage mothers with no susutainble incomes.

    1. With this we hope to improve on the economic situation of girls especially those who have dropped out of school. Wishing ourselves luck as well.

  25. We definitely need to implement this proposal looking at the fact that land has already been secured and there are organized groups of girls in the community. Even the girls who dropped out of the school who are now teenage mothers will not only benefit interms of income but also nutritional aspects. We need to continuously engage the girl children.

    1. Yes…getting land was a good move and now it has an added advanyage. With this project implemented, we shall be improving the situation of girls because we shall not only focus on skills training but even interacting and giving them advice about positive living.

  26. That’s great Miriam. Thanks for the effort you’re putting to help the poor girls who remain hopeless with a bleak future when the hard reality of becoming a helpless teen mother dawns on them. But with your project they have a shoulder to lean on. Wish you all the best.

    1. Thank you, in deed they are many trapped in this mess. Some of them could have lived better lives if guided. We hope we go through.

  27. Welcome members of goal club..this proposal is very needed. Uganda as a country is in an economic crisis.

  28. I have always known you to be a go getter and hard working. I like this initiative, I pray it goes through. You have always loved community work.

  29. Hello Miriam, greetings. I like this project…I pray it goes through. Is this part of the mentoring sessions you have always conducted? Thank you for your efforts.

    1. Yes it is part if it and want to further engage the girls who could not make it as a result of dropping out of school.

    1. Agriculture is the in thing now. Besides the skiils, we will also tap into nutrition for the girls especially those who are vulnerable.

  30. School drop out has remained very high hence the need to mentor the students. Girls remain to be marginalized and discriminated against both at school and society. I second your project.

    1. Thank you. There is even need to continue looking fir potential funders coz the need is greater than it seems.

  31. During my work experience, (I have always been afield person). I noticed that many girls need mentors. Most were married off at an early age without considering the importance of schooling, and even in this marriages they were not advices and told what is expected of them. We need to do a lot of girl engagement especially for those still at school. Good luck Miriam

    1. Yes,, it is very true that girls face all these challenges. Even when married off at a tender age, often times the men are twice their ages and they go as second concubines. Parents do this for economic gains. We hope to turn this tide and improve the situation of girls..both in and out of school.

    1. Yes and society seems to see it in a different angel. Some of these girls are even forced into this. So part of our mandate is to educate communities about the value of the girl child.

    1. We do involve them in our classroom mentorship. But this particular project is not going to involve disability. We will draft other friendsly skills training for disability. Children with disabilities have many challenges and this project doesbt support their comfort.

  32. Uganda has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy. Adoloscent girls who become pregnant are often times not able to ccomplete school a fact that diminishes their potential employment.

    1. Once pregnant that’s it, all their dreams are shuttered. That is why we want to involve these girls to enable them achieve their dreams.

    1. This project involves girls from the suburbs of Kampala. It’s mostly the rural girl who feels the pinch of all this.

  33. Girls need many empowerment programs especially in this era where there is a lot of media influences. Good luck with it.

  34. Helllo Goal club…good work. I have taken time to look at your site. Impressive work. Expand your work and partner with other organizations

    1. Thank you for the feedback. Eventually we shall expand. Currently we ate working in partnership with schools and a few organizations but we will.

  35. Girls education in Uganda still faces significant challenges…infact many drop out. It’s indeed a good move to mentor them while still at school. Good work.

  36. Most pregnant girls do not return to complete their education. UgandA has no standalone rd-entry policy. A good project that will benefit a lit of girls. Ensure to monitor and come up with success indicators.

    1. This is true unles they ate engaged in life skills and economic empowerment programs they will face hard ships.

  37. Miriam,this is a very good thing youve started.The girl child really needs to be empowered and agriculture is agood way to go.proud of you mama😊

  38. I really appreciate the minds behind this initiative. This is indeed a great opportunity to uplift the girl child. Please stake holders, can you borrow a leaf from such a great mind. Keep it up

    1. Most of our programs are for the girl child. I believe that most stakeholders are equally doing some great work only that the need is high.

  39. I wish you could even try and focus on getting bursaries for the very needy vulnerable girls. The situation out there is not good. Girls are married off at a very tender age and as second wives. This is not good. I really pray that your project has impact because you are tuckling a very sensitive needed area.

    1. Yes we are focusing on this as well. We are doing one thing at a time for quality purposes. Thank you though for the advice.

  40. Teenage mothers and their children continue to face financial stress as they strugglebto carter for their families feeding, health and school and also find themselves st more risk of becoming victims infant and marternal mortality. Good luck..the earlier the solution the better.

  41. Early marriages and cultural norms greatly affects girls educational opportunities. Slit in aspect of community education as well. Good start. I pray you go far with your projects. Good luck.

    1. Thank You, we are also praying for ourselves. Yes we do engage the communities to raise awareness about the plight of girls and the importance of their education.

  42. Uganda also faces a chronic orphan problem where over 1.8 million children have lost at least one or both of their parents. This leads to the phenomenon of child-headed families where there is no bread winner. The resultant effect is such orphans engaging in risky sexual behavior to barely earn a living and support the siblings. This inevitably leads to teenage pregnancies

    1. So true, that is why we want to engage girls who can not access school to avoid such phenomena. They are better off learning to console skills as opposed to being idle.

  43. Nearly 60% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, and 46% of women have experienced marital rape. Almost a quarter of women reported that their first sexual intercourse was forced against their will. The injuries that go along with violent and coerced sex increase the risk of contracting HIV. Plan to expand this project.

    1. Thanks Deno, it’s such unfortunate that these gals have to go through all this against their will. Yes eventually we shall expand the project to cover various topics.

  44. According to gender roles and culture, women are responsible for domestic chores, including food production, cooking, cleaning, caring for the children, and fetching water. You need to encourage women households to do something small as regards to farming and then replicate in other areas.

    1. Exactly, that is why we have our economic empowerment programs that target especially women. We are also conduct community awareness meetings to try and change the perception of the girl child. Further still, we conduct school mentoring sessions so that the girl children know their worth and able to resist pressure from all avenues.

  45. Because of poverty and sheer ignorance and perhaps to dodge the law, parents often connive with offenders to make quick cash out of their children’s misfortune. Many blame poverty for this. But again in the rural setting where people’s mind set is still inclined to the idea that the man rules the world, girl children are not treated equally as their boy counterparts. In this day and era, some parents still view girl children as tools for making money through bride price. This proposal is needed. My prayers.

    1. Well summed up. This is the very reason we are putting emphasis on the girl children. But we alone as an organization cannot do it alone unless we come into partnerships because the need is huge. Girl children are taken like commodities. Thanks Ben, I love your comment.

  46. Despite women’s significant contributions to food production, household food security remains fragile in Uganda, as men contribute less and less and women try to close the food security gap with their own limited resources. Land tenure, already insecure for women, is more so in the context of HIV/AIDS

    1. So true, women are over burdened and looked at the lesser in community. Even access to land is a problem. Women need empowerment especially here in Uganda with particular focus on the illiterate women who have not had access to schooling.

  47. Women are often allocated smaller plots of land that are of poorer quality and are farther from their homesteads, resulting in lower yields, lost time and higher opportunity costs. Women also lack the resources for farming inputs such as fertilizers, technology and extension services to improve crop yields. Good Luck

    1. Thank you Paul. We hope and pray that our projects can change the situation of women. This all comes if ther is funding.

  48. This high prevalence of women’s malnutrition is related to a number of factors. Women’s nutrition in general, and especially during pregnancy, is poor. This is a very important project.

  49. Early marriage is a widespread problem in Uganda; UNICEF estimates that 46% of women aged 20-24 years old were married before they were 18. This initiative is good

  50. Many young girls are suffering due to early marriages. The burden of a marriage partner upon a child means a girl’s childhood is cut short and their fundamental rights such as education are compromised. Many child wives in Uganda, who should be in school or playing, are living in near slave-like conditions in the homes of their in-laws.

    1. This is so true and you find that these girls do not even know their rights as wives. No wonder fistula is on the increase. We pray for more and more funding so as to implement all our programs.

  51. We hope that with your project there will be many girls completing school an dnot becoming pregnant at a tender age. Good luck

  52. Work with church leaders, schools and communities by intensively engaging the media and using activities, messages, and methods that are appropriate to the culture, age, and sexual experience of targeted populations.

  53. work with church leaders, schools and communities by intensively engaging the media and using activities, messages, and methods that are appropriate to the culture, age, and sexual experience of targeted populations.

  54. I also encourage that you involve male participation about the impact of early marriage and pregnancy on young girls because they are part of it.

  55. Its true girls need empowerment. I like the choice of agric although you can use other skills training projects as well.

    1. Thank you. Often times we choose our proposal formats basing on the criteria and guidelines of the funding agency. But thanks for the advice.

  56. Partner with churches is to seek to empower young people in their life choices with the honest, supportive and compassionate help they need in order to live their lives safely and wholly and be a generation free from, early marriages, unwanted pregnancies and AIDS. Good luck

    1. Thanks Maureen…yes…the girl child needs a lot of support. Even more than this project. Thanks for your feedback.

    1. Only that we are short of funding but we plan to conduct hand skills as well and engage the girls in football activities to boost their self esteem and confidence hence improved performance.

    1. Currently we are using research papers which are already available on the internet but yes, with time we shall.

    1. Yes in dd it will work. The more reason to get the funding because there are many needy girls here in Uganda.

  57. I like the fact that you are targeting benefiting girls not a personal business is god enough for you to be commended.

  58. Mentoring girls is a good thing, to make them have focus. Not all of us are privileged to have people talking ti s at home.

  59. Cultural and societal norms push girls to be submissive to men who can expose them to sexual risks. This project should try to tackle that.

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