What has been the impact of your solution to date?
652 primary and secondary school going young people have been voluntarily trained and equiped with basic skills in practical farming, agricultural enterprise development and management, 13 school gardens established and well managed in Mukono district alone, 4 more gardens established outside Mukono district, 6 small mixed farms setup by our former students who have been linked to restaurants to supply vegetables and tubers weekly, Parents have started taking part in school gardening activities, schools now have field exchange visits for experience based learning, now all school under Project DISC have practical lessons to supplement the theoretical lessons they get from classrooms, Schools can now produce extra vegetables and other products to Incorporate into their general meals hence reducing termly expenses on food
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Over 4000 young people trained and equipped with basic farming skills, influence the review of the current national teaching curriculum to include field and experience based lessons to school and vocational learners using our already developed extra curriculum for our schools, establish more community gardens for school drop outs and other community members so that they also have an opportunity to tap the knowledge flow from this Idea
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
School children in Uganda always change schools for many reasons beyond our control but we have already developed a project Protocol where we record the contact details of our learners that we can track their movements from school to school so that they can still benefit from the project. Very fixed school programs especially in Public schools which does not leave time for voluntary cultivation. We are already in talks with the Mukono district directorate of education officials (Central and Local Government) so that public schools can reserve at least 6 hours a week for Voluntary practical farming lessons. Inadequate finances to manage some activities in the project area. In this, we have registered the project as a community based Organisation with mandate to organise fundraising events
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Capacity building and training and close garden monitoring while filling in the economic and sustainability monitoring hand book
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Operating in 60 schools and communities. In this it means that we will be running 60 gardens in Uganda with over 13000 youth
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
Project DISC was founded in 2006 to restore the relationship between young people and agriculture. It was designed to use school and community gardens as thinking places where young people could meet voluntarily, discuss and come up with innovative and practical solutions to various challenges facing farmers in Uganda. The idea came out of the fact that in Ugandan communities, schools use cultivation as a form of punishment for any offences committed by children at school. Many schools could reserve pieces of bushy land behind class rooms awaiting clearance from late comers or those children speaking vernacular on the school compound. This has changed as these have now turned into school gardens with well managed crops voluntarily cultivated by school children in over 13 schools where the problem existed and after proven experience, 6 of the former project participants have been allocated land from their families to engage in commercial farming. We have linked them to near-by markets