As FH Uganda launches programming with Bukiende, one of the staff sat down with local farmer, Michael Walufu, to hear about his hopes and dreams for the coming 10 years of transformation.
Q: Tell me a bit about your family and where you live.
A: I’m married to Irene and we have 10 children— five girls and five boys! It’s up to just the two of us to provide for our large family. Our main source of income is from farming. We live about two kilometres from Bumaliro Primary School and 1.5 kms from the main road to Lwakhakha. There is a stream about half a kilometre from our home where we collect water for household use.
Q: What was your life like before you joined in FH activities?
A: Life was challenging. My wife and I struggled daily to put food on the table. Our children’s schools were not well equipped with learning materials, so their education was limited.
Q: Can you describe your community before FH began working with you?
A: Our community has so many vulnerable people; many families are in abject poverty.
Q: What changes do you hope to see as a result of this 10-year journey?
A: I hope to see great changes in my community, especially in terms of nutrition, infrastructure development, strong leadership, reduced alcoholism and domestic violence, more knowledge and skills to increase our incomes, and greater food security.
I believe leaders will come together to embrace unity to foster development in the community and that domestic violence will reduce in homes. I hope to see children’s health improve to eliminate malnutrition and get at least a health centre in the community. We expect to see high enrolment in schools and improvement in academic performance due to the infrastructure FH is bringing.
I would love to see parents take full responsibility to care for their children, like paying their school fees and make sure they finish university. Overall, I hope my community will become more God- fearing and demonstrate acts of love.
Q: What FH trainings have you participated in so far? Are they helping you begin some of those changes?
A: So far, my wife and I have been trained on new farming techniques, for example, growing vegetables for nutrition and for income. FH has taught us how to make compost, establish a keyhole garden, and about the importance of medicinal plants like artemisia (proving to be helpful in treating malaria) and many others.
Irene and I have started to work together as a family to see that we raise enough in our new vegetable garden – we want to set an example to others in the community. We expect to teach many others what we’ve learned from FH so far. We hope this is the beginning of transformation.
Personally, I have been encouraged to work harder as a leader and to inspire others in the community. God willing, by the end of the 10 years of our collaboration, I want to have a big testimony physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
Q: Has this process started to change your place in the community?
A: Before, I did not have a lot of responsibilities and I was not serving my community to the fullness. Now, I lead the team in my community to mobilize resources and am also a contact person. I organize my community for various activities like FH meetings and for sponsor children to write their letters.
Q: What signs of coming transformation do you see in your community?
A: So far, the greatest change we’ve experienced is our leaders working together. The leaders in my community have been working in isolation; now we see them cooperating to make sure community members are able to also do their part in transforming our community.
I think the changes and accomplishments we will realize through our involvement in FH programs will make me feel better and encouraged. I will have reasons to celebrate the milestones reached. FH has just started its work in Bukiende and we hope much is going to be accomplished through this collaboration.
Thanks to FH for considering Bukiende and my community of Bungwanyi in particular!
Want to help families like Michael's to grow and harvest their own vegetables? You can provide them with veggie seeds, which also come with agricultural training on how to make the most out of their gift.