This is a story of youths trying to survive in a difficult post conflict situation.
I am Mr Nyeko Samuel, 23, a resident of Gulu town in northern Uganda, and parents from Attiak in Amuru district, towards the border with South Sudan. I am youth leader with the organization Community Network for Social Justice (CNSJ) operating Gulu and Amuru districts in northern Uganda.
As the title of my blog states, my project is about youths who have had very huge challenges picking up the pieces after a prolonged civil conflict in northern Uganda, and the answer was found in chickens.
I joined the youth branch of CNSJ when they promoted sports for youths in Gulu and Amuru districts and since I have been an active member of the organization’s youth activities.
The aim of our project is engage youths in poultry rearing as a means for raising income for better education and welfare.
The project will be located in Attiak Sub-county with 8 parishes and will be implemented as follows: in each of the 8 parishes, 40 youths will be recruited to form parish youth groups.
After the group formation, then a youth dialogue and sensitization workshop will take place in each of the 8 parishes with the involvement of pupils’ parents/guardian, teachers and the local leaders in the parishes.
The sensitization is about the poultry project and how it will be used to change the lives of the school pupils; the project will be a revolving one in which case each pupil given a chicken will in turn provide a chicken to another pupil who also is still in need of support with his/her education.
This project is expected to keep the youth focused and motivated to support themselves, it will also bring the pupils and their parents to work together as well as generate income not only for the school, but for the welfare of the households and community at large.
The main motivation for this project is the sad fact that many families are unable to keep their children in school due to lack of school fees.
I am a victim of this situation. I have admission to University from two years ago, but my parents have failed to raise funds for me to get to college. In Attiak sub-county where the project will be, only one pupil got a first grade in the recently released 2015 primary leaving examinations results. It is a dire situation that needs helping.
This project will start a focused approach to improving education in my community, and I will personally hope to raise my own funds, so that I may gain entry to university.
Key activities to achieve our goals are as follows:
- Community sensitization and announcement/mobilization for the project initiation.
- Selection of the 40 youths in each parish for training in the project goal and purpose.
- Training of the youths on the project proper and other required life skills to promote the project and implement it.
- Purchase of the chickens from the community as a way of promote the local economy
- Distribution of the chickens to the respective members of the parish groups
- Assigning a community veterinarian to support the pupils with any health challenges
- Purchase of drugs to prevention loss of the poultry to diseases.
- Staging of joint group dialogue for the youths group to assess progress of the chickens and also monitor their education progress once in the school term
- Support with the marketing of the chickens when they are ready.
- Organize for new entrants/beneficiaries after the sale of the chickens.
Preliminary activities that have been done to date by CNSJ and myself has been the introduction of the poultry project idea to the community as a fact finding mission and has been very successful for the community as it was well received. They are eager to embrace the project further and see their children through school.
As a way of ensuring sustainability and success of the project, the following milestones will be indicative of project success:
- When all the chickens survive and are able to be processed for marketing
- When the pupils are able to market their chickens to generate income for school and home use.
- When the groups have remained cohesive and work together as a team.
- When the youths are motivated and are working hard to ensure they succeed with the project.
- When all the youths are able to transfer chickens to the next set of pupils who are waiting to be supported as well.
- When the community members and leaders are participating actively to support their children with the project activities.
For the sustainability of the project the followings will be done:
- CNSJ will guarantee that the project runs as plan by offering guidance, monitoring and evaluation of the activities
- The revolving chicken transfer will be followed properly
- Local leaders will be engaged in the monitoring of the project activities.
- Quarterly evaluation meetings and trainings will be held to appraise the project and assess achievements.
Proposed project activity budget
- Training and dialogue meetings: cost for refreshments for 200 youths at USD 1.5 each, totals USD 1,200
- Purchase of 600 chickens at USD 3 each totals USD 1,800
- Purchase of Keproceryl WSP drug for chickens, 200 packets each at USD 4, total USD 800.
- Hire of local veterinary staff for the whole year USD 400
- Office supplies (Fuel, communication and stationery) at a lump sum of USD 800
Blogpost and picture submitted by Nyeko Samuel (Uganda): nyekosamuel[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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