The Rotary Club of Beaverton is no stranger to international service. Recently, Beaverton Rotary was awarded a two-year Global Grant for $166,500 to fund a project entitled HELPING WOMEN FARMERS IN UGANDA. The objective of the global grant is to help poor women farmers escape from the deep poverty of subsistence farming in which they live by developing modest commercial farming. The Host Country Partner is the Rotary Club of Kitgum and Agrilinks for Women’s Empowerment is the Cooperating Organization that will implement the project.
The project’s objectives will be achieved by the following:
- Construction of a grain storage building
- Training the women farmers in six villages near Gulu in the Northern Region of Uganda in better farming practices, entrepreneurship and a program to market both their raw and processed grains.
- Introduction of two modern technologies that will improve the quality of the crops and reduce post-harvest losses.
Funding for the Uganda Global Grant comes from three sources:
- Rotary Clubs: five Rotary clubs, plus a private donor are partnering with the Rotary Club of Beaverton to commit a total of $55,000 (Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Newberg, Oregon City and Salem Rotary Clubs).
- District Funds: Rotary District 5100 matched the clubs’ contribution with $55,000.
- Rotary International: The Rotary Foundation matched District 5100’s contribution for $55,000.
Funds from a generous private donor have already been used to purchase land on which the grain storehouse will be built, dig a well and purchase a truck and a car for essential transportation of grain and people. That donor’s funds will construct a large Women’s Empowerment Center (a women’s training center), provide electricity and a security wall around the compound. In addition, they will purchase equipment for milling and other post-harvest processing of portions of the crops raised by the women farmers, adding value to the harvested crops, providing jobs and stimulating entrepreneurship and development of small businesses in the villages.
This project falls into Rotary International’s Community Economic Security focus. Sustainability of the project is likely because the grain storehouse will be an income-earning permanent structure built on land that belongs to a non-profit Company Limited by Guarantee, with its directors drawn from the community and including women farmers. All income will revert to the company, which can use it for further community development. The project’s intensive training in better farming methods and the provision of a Women’s Empowerment Center for continuing training also support sustainability.