We tell the story of Florence, 42 years old and the mother of nine children, just one of the 6,824 households actively involved in the USAID-funded Graduating to Resilience Activity in Kamwenge District, Southwestern Uganda.
Florence’s children had no access to quality education, and in and out of their school since she had no money to pay for their fees. Worse, the family couldn’t afford to feed the children with nutritious meals and their health was in disarray. Florence’s hopes of guiding her children to a bright future appeared dim.
Her family lives and farms on an acre of inherited land: growing maize, beans, and cassava for consumption and a surplus for sale; but her land that has gradually lost fertility. Luckily, for Florence, their inclusion in the AVSI-implemented project helps other families like hers evade such agricultural and livelihood challenges. In 2022, when she joined a Village Saving and Loans Association and started receiving weekly coaching and financial training, she re-envisioned her life and started seeing results from her new skills:
- the importance of soil preservation and healthy nutrition, resulting in an improvement in her children’s health and productivity.
- optimal agronomy methods, such as the planting of improved seed varieties and the application of fertilizers, finally increasing her farm’s yield.
- development of a livestock trade with some of the proceeds from her produce sales, adding income.
“It is energizing to be introduced as the mother of a teacher, a nurse, a medical doctor, or an engineer,” Florence confessed. Now, she is confident that her children will attain a quality education, and we hope she will have her band of professionals.