Adventures in Agriculture: The Future

I have been in Uganda for about two months now and have had the privilege of visiting over 1000 students and over 40 schools. During all of these schools visits I have seen joyful students excited to learn about agriculture. I have heard many stories of students who have taken what they have learned back home. To help their own family or to implement their own agriculture program. I wrote a poem to better express what I have seen during these visits:

The Future

Student after student

Face after face

A joy so bright

That it filled the whole place


Lessons learned every day

Teachers show their students grace

Its easy to see

How great a place

It is to learn

And find their way


A way to change the future

Even their life today

By taking what they learn

And not letting it stay

Just inside their heads

But letting it change

the world around them

knowing that agriculture

will never be the same


Student after student

Face after face

The future of agriculture

Here in this place

By: Lindsey Thompson, Fellow 2022

Adventures in Agriculture: Red Dirt Roads

When you think of red dirt roads you might start to hum the tune of a good old country song. For me, this tune changed. Now, when I think of red dirt roads, many images flash through my mind: a friendly ‘hello’ as I walk down a washed-out red dirt road, little shops scattered around, making a curb where there is not one, on the side of a red dirt road, hearing the little patter of feet behind me as a small girl joins me on a jog down a red dirt road, or laughing mid-conversation because a bump on a red dirt road has sent my companion a foot into the air. But, what has impacted me the most so far are the conversations and relationships I have built as I have journeyed down these red dirt roads.

One of my first thoughts when traveling down one of these roads was to wonder why no one has fixed it yet. My Western mindset is to value efficiency and ease and these roads certainly do not offer that. So maybe you are wondering, what these roads do have to offer? For me they offer friendship, laughter, a smile and conversations that have left me knowing the heart of my Creator just a little bit more.

My fear coming into this season of life in a different country, with a different culture and many different languages was that I would feel lonely, but I forgot about one important thing that we would have in common: Jesus.

The Ugandan staff all have a heart to serve the Lord and have shown me what it looks like to be in relationship with Him. Prayer is one of Field of Hopes core values. This was clear the moment I stepped into the country. Each day as we got into the van we prayed for our day. The longer I spend with this organization, the more I can see that the Lord is directing our path. I think a big part of this is simply because prayer is being put first. Now when I travel down these roads, I can rejoice in all of the sweet gifts the Lord has given me.


By: Lindsey Thompson, Fellow 2022


Meet Rose

Alebtong Rose has been a part of the Niyee Women’s Group and Village & Savings Loan Association (VSLA) with Field of Hope for over five years. Rose is a farmer, and explained that prior to working with FOH, she struggled to manage funds and had many issues with her crops.

“Before joining Field of hope, I was not in any group and I had many problems,” Rose said. “It was hard for me to get money but when I joined Field of Hope, we were trained on how to do proper farming, planting crops, prepare land, harvesting, and proper storage.”

Rose said the topics she was trained on, both practical and financial, helped her support her family.

“After learning all these I started getting money to send my children to school and pay school fees,” Rose said. She continued, saying, “I now have the ability to do many things. After a while, I borrowed money from the grant and used part of it to pay school fees, bought pigs, and repaired my grinding mill – which was [broken] and its now working.”

She said the financial freedom she gained after wilding the VSLA training and funds has eliminated many stressors.

Rose said, “I’m now [making] money, am able to send my children to school, and am able to continue paying schools, anytime. I have no worries or fears about how to pay school fees.”


Rose has big plans and has been building off of her previous successes to delve into further enterprises.

“When I borrowed from the [VSLA], I bought pigs. Now, I have a plan to move forward to build a structure tp start a poultry project. When I do that, it will give me the ability to build another house and continue paying school fees for my children. In future I want to continue with the project,” Rose explained.

Rose said she sees the benefits of Field of Hope’s trainings, and would love to receive more, stating, “I would like Field of Hope to train us on how to keep and take care of animals.”

Rose remarked on her lasting knowledge through Field of Hope’s interventions. She said, “Lastly, I want to thank [Field of Hope] for the knowledge they have given us, now we know how to raise and save money. Thank you.”

To continue supporting women like Rose, make an impact by donating here.

Meet Selly

Selly Ocen has been working with Field of Hope for the past six years. A farmer, and member of the Arwotcek Womens’ Cooperative, Selly is lives in the Amolatar district where she raises her children.

Selly said joining our women’s group has been a positive experience, stating, “being in the group is good, and it has helped me to many things.”

However, prior to her joining the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), Selly said it was difficult to achieve the things she wanted to.

“Before joining the group, it was hard for me to get good things,” Selly said, and continued, “When I joined the group, I started receiving good things, for example money.”

Selly did not simply receive money, she capitalized upon the help to amplify her own work.

Selly said, “The money I borrowed from the group helped me to pay school fees, and I bought an ox which is now making my farming very easy.”

The support from the group proved successful for Selly, and she has big plans to continue improving.

“I have a plan to build a house next year,” Selly said, “I want to build a good house where I’m going to sleep.”

Selly expressed her appreciation for our partnership, stating, “Field of Hope has been good. They helped us with food stuff when we had [harsh weather], there was nothing to eat. If you don’t have money, there was no way of feeding your children. But Field of Hope helped us with food and many other things.”

To continue supporting women like Selly, make an impact by donating here.


Meet Keren

Partner schools competitively apply for the ISA grant with their proposed projects and the best agriculture projects are awarded 1,000.0 USD. Iganga Girls High School is one of the benefiting partner schools that was supported through ISAG to start a poultry project in 2019. The project has so far been done twice and has since been a tremendous success impacting over 300 girls at the school. Some of the girls went ahead to start their own poultry projects at home during lockdown.

This is the story of Keren!

Wafula Keren is a senior 4 student at Iganga Girls High School and member of the students’ agriculture club “YoFFA”. Keren participated actively in the poultry project at Iganga Girls High School funded by Field of Hope from 2019. Using the skills and inspiration she acquired from the school project, during the holiday Keren was able to successfully convince her parents to construct for her a semi-permanent chicken house and provide capital for her project. She started her poultry project with 100 broiler chicks in 2019, which managed successfully, and sold off at a profit.

Motivated by the success of her initial project, Keren was able to expand her project to 150 broiler chicks in 2020 using revenue from her first project.


She was able to successful manage her project using her newfound skills and made a profit of 120,000ugx (33.6 USD). Keren continued expanding her project to 200 broiler chicks this year which she also managed very well. Currently she has 15 broiler hens from which she obtains about 2 trays of eggs per week. She earns UGX 20,000 per week from the sale of her eggs. Keren has used money from the sale of eggs to bring in more broiler chicks that she’s currently managing at her parent’s home. They use the poultry manure to improve their banana and maize crops.

Keren has been able to help her parents with some expenses at home throughout the lockdown period with money she generates from her poultry projects. Keren shared her future for the project, “In the future when I have funding, I hope to expand my poultry project by building another chicken house where I can keep more chicken”.

In her concluding remarks Keren hipped praise to Field of Hope and her agriculture teachers, “I thank Field of Hope for all they have done for us, and I want to thank my agriculture teachers for learning opportunity they gave us. May God, bless you Field of Hope and may you continuously expand your projects and activities.”

To continue supporting women like Keren, make an impact by donating here.

Meet James

Isooba James is an agriculture teacher at Iganga Secondary School who has been involved with Field of Hope for over three years. James said before his involvement with Field of Hope, he used traditional teaching methods. However, Field of Hope’s teacher trainings showed him methodologies that improved his teaching quality – positively effecting his students. “Before Field of Hope came in, I was still a teacher but my methodology of handling the content was the conventional way of teaching (typically rote memorization),” James said. He continued to say, “Field of Hope helped me to change from that conventional way of teaching to methodologies that interest and inspire students.”

James’ teaching repertoire expanded with the tools Field of Hope has provided. He said: “Some examples are the interest approach, group working method, and project-based teaching. All of these are engaging methods to use as I handle agriculture as a subject. They are very interesting and will inspire students to pay attention, and have real-life, hands-on experience.” Hands-on teaching methods and providing experiential learning is vital to students who will have a career in agriculture, a very hands-on profession.

Not only has FOH aided James through teaching methodologies to improve his classroom, he said it aided his career advancement and development through our teacher trainings. “I learned that agriculture is a business and therefore I have come up with many projects as myself, and a network of friends because we were brought together by Field of Hope. So, I have a very wide network to benchmark with, which I didn’t have before,” James said. James has attended several in-person and online trainings provided by FOH. James explained how Field of Hope continues to positively affect his teaching, students, and school’s ability to provide for its students through its curriculum, and grants that funded a poultry operation. “Field of Hope provided us with teacher’s guides and awarded us an Inspiring Students in Agriculture Grant in 2019. Through this grant we invested it in poultry project with the students. We took the students through the procedures, and broiler project management.” The impact of this project broadens, as James explained, “many of these students are having small projects back at their parents’ homes.” These “small home projects” have been especially influential during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. James works to battle the notion that agriculture is an “unideal profession,” stating, “we are trying to change this kind of thinking.”

Additionally, James notes the importance of supporting young women in agriculture through their education. “I see many girls taking up agriculture more than ever in the last four years – things have changed, and many girls are taking agriculture as a subject and later studying at university to do agriculture.” A wonderful example of the teachers we work with, James is a supporter of our mission, and is eager to encourage more teachers to join Field of Hope. “I want to encourage Field of Hope to continue with this program of mentoring teachers and the youth. Let’s go out and reach out to many teachers and schools so that this network increases, it is going to be a very good thing as a country in Uganda, thank you!”

To continue supporting teachers like James, make an impact by donating here.

Meet Vicky

Vicky Amongi is a treasurer of Ayabi Women’s Farmers Cooperative Society Limited in the Apac District. Vicky is a smallholder farmer, and joined the group in 2015. For the past six years, she has been a partner of Field of Hope.

Before joining the group, Vicky said she, “was lacking skills and knowledge in good agronomic practices as a farmer. I used to broadcast my seeds in the field, use local seeds varieties, prepare the garden only once and my yield, thus experiencing hunger and very low income to support my family. In addition accessing loans to buy inputs and venturing in to businesses was very hard because of no formed saving (VSLA) group to get the loan from.”

As a result of Field of Hope intervention, she joined the group and received different trainings – including good agronomic practices such as proper land preparation, row planting, crop management practices, post-harvest handling practices, village savings and loans association (VSLA), financial literacy, and animal management practices. With the trainings she received, Vicky said she is empowered to carry out several businesses and a piggery production through the loans from her saving group. Additionally, the construction of her home was paused due to financial means, but because of her successes, she has been able to continue.

“My future plans and goals is to continue being in the group until the day God calls me and leave one of my children to be in the group also so that they are empowered just like am being empowered in the group to improve my livelihoods,” Vicky said.

In her concluding remark, she thanks Field of Hope for empowering her. She requests Field of Hope continues visiting and guiding her and her village, as well as providing increased trainings where they may be lacking. “May the Almighty God bless Field of Hope abundantly,” Vicky said.

To continue supporting women like Vicky, make an impact by donating here.

Meet Grace

Ejang Grace is a mother and a member of Ayabi Women’s Farmers Cooperative Society Limited found in Apac District. She is a small-scale farmer, and has spent six years engaging in Field of Hope’s Women’s Program.

Before joining the group, Grace said she “was facing many problems like hunger, bad agronomic practices (broadcasting seeds in the field), sickness, lack of money to pay school fees for my children and lack of access to finance to venture into business and buy agricultural inputs.”

After joining the group started by Field of Hope, “I got different trainings on village savings and loans association, financial literacy, good agronomic practices (row planting, planting improved seed varieties, post-harvest handling) and our livelihoods have been improved through increased agricultural productivity and businesses involved with the loans got from the group”. The grant permitted to her VSLA’s group by Field of Hope allowed her to receive a loan from the group. As a result, she bought two bulls for farming and has also built a commercial house up to the ring beam at the trading center. “Field of Hope and the loans from my saving group [helped] me to pay school fees for my daughter at the nursing school,” she said.

Her future plans and goals are to buy another two bulls for farming as well as roof her commercial house in 2022. She concluded by thanking Field of Hope’s intervention in her group. “I thank Field of Hope for building my capacity through different trainings in sustainable agronomic practices, off-farm businesses, access to finance and my message to them is to continue empowering us with other trainings, and visiting us always. May the almighty God bless Field of Hope abundantly.”


To continue supporting women like Grace, make an impact by donating here.

Farming for All: Field of Hope Engages Farmers in New and Innovative Ways

There is a quote that tell us “it isn’t the farm that makes the farmer – it’s the love, hard work, and character.” 

One doesn’t need 1,000 acres to be a farmer, nor 500, nor 50, not even one. Sometimes all you need is a few feet in a backyard, or a corner of rooftop, or even just a single soil-filled container. This is the lesson that Apio Vivian Dessilah learned at Field of Hope’s latest training.

A veteran of FOH trainings, Vivian is one of 29 teachers who traveled to the FOH office in Lira for a two-day training all about urban agriculture. 

“In the first session, we covered quite a number of topics on urban farming,” she recalled. “These included the meaning of urban farming, the types of urban gardens and their establishing characteristics, the advantages and disadvantages of urban farming, and opportunities in urban agriculture such as tourism, employment for women and youth, and waste recycling and reuse.”

So, what exactly is urban farming? Well, it is simply the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals for food and other uses within and surrounding the boundaries of urban areas/cities/towns. Vivian explained the different types of urban gardens the teachers learned about, including backyard gardens, rooftop gardens, container gardens, vertical gardens, soil-filled sacks, greenhouse gardens, schoolyard gardens, and more. 

“Because urban farming is practiced within limited space, this can favor almost anybody who is willing to try it,” Vivian pointed out. “Urban farming is labor intensive since the small size limits mechanization, but this means it does not require the purchase of expensive machines, so every farmer can manage to maintain an urban garden.”

Vivian went on to share what else the group had learned at the training.

“In our second session, we learned about animal production in urban agriculture. I learned the types of animals involved, such as pigs, poultry, and zero-graze cattle and goats. However, urban livestock faces challenges like limited space for the animals and city restrictions on what livestock can be kept in the town boundaries.”

Not only did the training cover practical topics like how and what crops to plant in an urban garden and what livestock to raise, but it also included the importance of marketing.

“In the third session, we discussed marketing mix and the 4 Ps that make up a typical marketing mix – price, product, promotion, and place,” Vivian explained. “I also learned that nowadays, the marketing mix increasingly includes several other Ps, like packaging, positioning, people, and even politics as vital mix elements.”

All in all, the teachers learned valuable skills and knowledge about urban agriculture that they will be able to pass on to their students. 

As for the impact of the training on Vivian, she said, “this training has helped me gain a lot of knowledge and discover many opportunities around me in urban agriculture, including discovering sites for farming, what animals to rear on an urban farm, how to collaborate with my fellow urban farmers, and how to get a market for my products”.

With everything she learned, Vivian has big plans to put those newfound skills to good use. 

“I will use these knowledge and skills obtained from this training to start up my own urban farm, which I will also use as a demonstration site to train other farmers. I will also use this knowledge to establish a school garden to teach learners practically and provide food to the school.”



Author: Nicholas Charles Ssebalamu

Coping through COVID: A Teacher’s Story

Uganda is not facing a pandemic for the very first time; smallpox, chicken pox, Ebola among others once dominated the disease/pandemic fraternity. However, the substantial impact on the society behavior and social economic welfare of the communities, gives COVID-19 pandemic a unique status and distinguishes it from the rest that ever existed.

Do you have a hint about the challenges teachers all over the country have encountered? Certainly not unless you are a victim. Does it haunt you to think about how the nation flag holders managed to navigate through the difficult times? What about the lessons this pandemic has taught them?

The whole picture is drawn briefly right from March 2020 when the country was declared a numerous measures in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These included the indefinite closure of schools–which was my job. I am yet to find out why, over the years, and talking about my ‘challenges’ gives me a hard time. Maybe I don’t usually want to concentrate on the past grievances, or I am simply a coward… But the point is that I am always driven by one principle “let it go”.

The pandemic tightened it’s bolts harder and harder: the monthly salary and work allowances was no longer a topic worth discussion. House rent exerted a great pressure on the wallet, even the landlords were this time more aggressive then ever. No matter the situation at hand, food was a non-negotiable basic otherwise the body can spontaneously shutdown following starvation.

Besides that, other illness like malaria, stomach ulcers, etc. never ceased, and the latter could have been geared by the much stress. Medical doctors usually explain that when the body is subjected to stress, the immune system weakens, and as a result the body succumbs to disease. All the savings reduced day by day. This was so annoying.

As the first wave gave way to the second wave, the whole situation worsened. The overwhelming number of positive patients, alarming death cases in the neighborhood and all over the media. These stimuli contributed great sources of stress to my mind. I always thought that I was the next.

One Monday evening, I held my breath deeply and sighed. I developed a business idea over the years, I had never imagined myself taking part in that business. I grew up with a mis-conception that it was another option for those who had failed in life. Nevertheless, I had to accept in order to support my wallet. I was a now set to face another challenge.

I ventured in selling Matooke (Bananas) and my family was now assured of the next meal. Unfortunately, matooke prices drastically reduced to an extent that I started recording loses most often. The price of a whole bunch fell to as low as 1,000 UGX (0.28 USD) during the lockdown. Waiting a little longer would have been dangerous, I thought about it at length and then decided to give the business a break. I got fade up this time. There was an urgent call for re-orientation in order to survive.

With time I realized the situation was getting worse which forced me to develop strategies to see me through this situation. I adopted to regular prayer which helped me gain new hope and better mental health. I accepted my situation and resorted to regular exercise, drinking enough water and increasing my association with my family.

Despite the challenges that I have suffered, I have received harsh lesson; not saving is a sin, prayer can make everything possible, and it is not healthy to have all stress on your back.

By: Anieamaani Bakatwizira