Monday, July 9, 2012

The BIG Day!! Piglet and Hen Distribution!!

Out of School Youth giving a speech on behalf of the Peer Support Group
Foundation for Sustainable Development Masaka Director, Anita Mago
The journalist who shared this project on national radio!
Each youth got 25 kilos of feed for their animals!


All the hard to work that Kitovu Mobile and I put into this project has finally paid off! We had a HUGE celebration put on by the Basanje Parish community on Friday for the piglet and hen distribution.  I had anticipated that this would be a fun event with the youth and their families but this is far beyond anything that I could have hoped for or imagined.  When the boda boda dropped us off at the church, I heard loud music and the voices of people who already arrived.  All of the youth were waiting anxiously and all of the community facilitators and community leaders that have helped me so much through this process were there as well.  Parents and extended family members were also their to show support for the youth and gratitude towards to project. 

We started the ceremony with an opening prayer done by one of the community leaders. After that, one of the youth gave a speech!  He recited it in Luganda of course, but I could tell by his voice and facial expressions that he was saying something so meaningful and heartwarming that I didn't need to know an exact translation.  During his speech, a counselor at Kivotu walked over to me and said, "He says he is so grateful and that his project is wiping the tears from all of their eyes.  He prays that other out of school youth will be given the same opportunity."  At this point, I was fighting back tears!

This speech was followed by the FSD Masaka Program Coordinator and the Head of the Kitovu Mobile Counseling Department.  We also heard from a facilitator of Bisanje Parish and the Head of Development for Kabonera Sub-County.  I was so excited and grateful to have community leaders present at this event.  This gives a message to the community and youth that they are being supported and gives extra motivation to the youth to take full advantage of this opportunity because members and leaders of the community are looking at them to succeed.

Finally after all the speeches, we all walked to outside to distribute the PIGS!!! Each youth got to pick their own.  I was shocked at first by the way held them by their feet, worried that it would hurt the pig haha, but I was assured that that was the correct way to handle them.  20 youth got pigs and 6 got hens! Each animal was given vaccinations and I raised enough funds to give 25 kilos of chachu (feed) to each youth to last them in the early stages of their project.

I was overwhelmed by families and community members coming up to thank me for the project and giving me well wishes.  All I could tell them back was thank you for letting me be apart of it.

There were even two journalists that came to the event to report about it on the radio! One of them is a very famous reporter from the national radio station in Kampala and everyone was so shocked and star stuck that he was there!  The journalists talked about my project on air to make the community and surrounding areas aware of it and to give credit to FSD and Kitovu Mobile so that no politicians seeking election can claim that they did this work later down the line.

Everyone was playing with their new pigs and enjoying soda until it was time to go.  I would like to tell that everyone that donated and followed this project through my blog THANK YOU SO MUCH!  When I say that I couldn't have done it without you I actually mean that.  Your support took this 10 notches higher than I planned. 

Kitovu Mobile's Head Director expressed to me that this is one first projects of its kind, an IGA for the youth.  Usually they are done for adults.  After she heard of the success of this project, her and the counseling department decided that they want to keep it running!  That's exactly what I was hoping for in planning a sustainable development project.  They want to continue this IGA for other out of school peer support groups. 

I have 3 weeks left here in Uganda and I will be using the rest of this time to visit the youth I have been working with at their homes to monitor their progress and working on my separate research for USF that I will be presenting in the Fall.

Continue sharing this project with friends so we can get more donations to keep this project running at Kitovu Mobile!!  There are much more youth that would greatly benefit from an IGA.


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1 comment:

  1. What an amazing experience Mal! So proud of you and the great work you're doing :)