Thanks to our friend in the UK, Raphael Gordon, Starlight Family Charity has 2 1/2 acres of land outside Nasuuna village, Buzibwera parish, Kiboga, Uganda. The land produces organic food crops to help us make sure the children in Starlight Family children’s home and at the school receive a nourishing meal. We are also able to provide vegetables to families in need in the local communities when we have enough. The farm also provides a base from which to teach children and adults how to grow a range of vegetable crops and maximise their yield in harmony with the environment. We already saving some seeds from our crops for replanting and in the not too distant future we hope to establish a community seed bank to enable people who cannot afford seed to access seed to grow their own crops.
Currently the farm has a shallow irrigation pond to provide the water needs for all of our crops during the year. Unfortunately it does not hold sufficient water to maximise the productivity of the farm and will often dry out meaning that planting time is limited to the rainy season. Also watering with watering cans makes it very labour intensive to deliver enough water to crops to ensure they grow well. We have been told by water engineers that the land is suitable to create a shallow water spring well which will provide water all year round. For a little over $5,000 (£3770) we can engage a local firm to construct the well and provide us with irrigation equipment. The quotation for the work is available as a PDF on our website on the following link: http://starlightfamily.org/fundraising-focus/watering-the-crops/ This will have the following benefits to support the children and local communities :
- Increase food security for the children in the children’s home, the children attending Starlight school and for impoverished members of communities local to the farm and school who have need of our support.
- Training on growing organic crops can take place over a larger part of the year meaning that we can increase the organic growing skills and awareness of community members and indirectly help them to increase their own access to vegetables. Furthermore any buildings created to facilitate the training will also have access to water.
- 30 families from the communities of Kyayimba and Nasuuna that live close to the farm who rely on subsistence agriculture and currently struggle to obtain water for themselves and their crops will have access to the clean and safe water for their domestic and vegetable production.
- There will be the potential to earn an income to subsidise Starlight Families other charitable activities
Unprecedented events in Uganda caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, curfews and restrictions have meant that food security is even more important than ever for the children and vulnerable adults who are supported by Starlight Family.
Unpredictable weather patterns are also effecting food security. In November, 2021 we saw an entire 2 ½ acres of crops meant for feeding the children and elderly destroyed by a heavy hail storm. We are unable to replant until the next rainy season as we do not have an adequate water supply however with a good source of water we will be able to plant all year round so that if some crops are destroyed we will still have others.
Many thanks in advance for your support for this project. Please contact myself or Starlight Family if you have any questions
The video above shows the farm and tells about how it started and the plans for improvement
Unexpected Hail Storm in November
The pictures below are a selection showcasing the work, training and harvesting on the farm over the last few years as well as the current irrigation pond