Bicycle Powered Irrigation System is Changing Ugandan Lives

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE PROJECT UPDATE
 
HOPE IN THE HILLS OF UGANDA – OUR BICYCLE POWERED IRRIGATION PROJECT
 
NEVER GIVE UP!
 
After nearly two years of meetings, of writing and re-writing grants, of countless hours of white board sessions, of phone conferences and endless email streams; after completely giving up twice only to try again, we are so thrilled to say that the Mukono Rotary Project was an absolutely amazing success. A success that only comes through the power of partnerships.
 
THE PLAYERS
 
We are so blessed to have such amazing partners. First up is Assist International. From the very beginning of Project41, Assist International has been our biggest supporter. They have come through more times than we can count and that is exactly what they did this time. The AI team worked diligently over the past two years to see to it that this project would take place. Ralph and Matt Sudfeld pulled everyone together in what can only be described as a near perfect project. Great job AI, it is a pleasure to work with such a wonderful organization.
 
Next up is Rotary International and the Rotary Clubs of Modesto, Brentwood, Oakdale, Patterson and Oakhurst, CA. David Gallagher of Modesto Rotary took the lead and brought these wonderful clubs together. It was David’s tireless efforts that convinced us not to give up and keep trying. Thank You David and all the Rotary members who helped make this project such a great success.
 
That brings us to the wonderful members of the Rotary Club of Mukono, Uganda. What an amazing team they are. From traveling down endless bumpy roads in order to identify the farmers, to arranging the educational training and scheduling the event, we could not have been more impressed. Way to go Rotary Club of Mukono. The Mukono region is blessed to have such an amazing community of leaders.
 
Finally, our incredible partners at WomenFirst. We love working with this team. Agnes and Joseph Twoli spend their lives helping others, and they are such a help to us. Their love for their fellow countrymen is inspiring, and their faithfulness and professionalism is hard to match in all of Africa. Thanks for all you do.
 
THE PROJECT
 
The Rotary Foundation funded the placement of 150 Rainmaker irrigation systems to poor farmers in the Mukono region of Uganda. The grant also covered training the farmers in better agriculture techniques, as well as educating the farmers in running their farms as a business. The project brought together 250 farmers and roughly 50 community leaders. Detailed information from each farmer was collected, and we will follow up with a measurement and evaluation process to verify the impact of this project on raising the income and food security of these families.
 
THE TRAINING
 
WomenFirst trained the farmers on the use of the Rainmaker. It is impossible to describe how excited the farmers get when they first see the Rainmaker in action. When all you have to move water is a bucket, this pump looks like a rocket ship.
 
NAADS ( National Agriculture Advisory Service) officials conducted extensive training in better agriculture practices as well as how to farm as a business. Many of the farmers live in extremely remote settings and have never had any technical training. We were extremely impressed at the quality of training provided by the team Mukono put together. We have great hope for these farmers.
 
THE FARMERS
 
From single mothers to grandfathers, these farmers represent some of the hardest working, family-loving, and most resilient people on the planet. The majority of them are subsistence farmers, relying on seasonal rain in order to grow enough food to feed their families. It is a tough existence. With no other way to water their crops than a bucket, it is extremely difficult to grow enough to eat, let alone have an abundance to take to market. This will all change now. The ability to irrigate dramatically improves their prospects of growing an abundant crop. Irrigation is proven to raise the income of subsistence farmers by up to 1500%. We are so excited at what the future holds for these wonderful families.
 
THE FUTURE
 
We trained over 250 farmers on this project. They will share the pump and their experience. We have tremendous hope for them. Considering the average farmer has 7 family members in their household, this means that over 1750 people will now have the opportunity to better their lives.
We see a future of abundance for these wonderful families. The road ahead is full of hope and opportunity.

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