Inspire Me

Inspire me. What does this mean? When I understood it, I wondered how perfectly I can say it.

These are my thoughts as I moved from school to school and looked at the face of these beautiful learners. During the teacher visits I really got an insight on what really happens after teacher training. The busy schedule of running around schools that are miles apart. Why all this, at last I  understood the mission, improving the quality of education is vital for community resilience towards every day challenges like food security, It’s about the impact on every district, every school, the hundreds-thousands of learners who get to receive quality Agricultural education that supports the back bone of this beautiful country Uganda.

These students, our future generation and I felt deep within me I was obligated to share with them something well composed that was fun enough to keep them interested and most importantly inspire them to become the future of agriculture for this country Uganda. So as a team we spoke and shared with the learners concerning various aspects like on the endless opportunities in studying the subject I told them the subject is able to accommodate most of their passions from engineering to economics and animal science, we all have a space to fill. We continued to talk about goals, encouraged each one, of them to choose a career goal and work towards it. We talked about employment and I said with this knowledge (agriculture) the first employer is self-employment and a long list of agencies ministries farms, schools and universities who will always want to hire agriculture experts/professionals in the different fields. I told them I would be happy to meet them in future when they can testify on the benefits, I also continued to tell them it was good to work and contribute directly to food and nutritional security together with economic development. Not forgetting that they could still carry on with their different career objectives and do agriculture on the side.

As an agriculture teacher I used different approaches for every class every school of how we started and covered the career talks with learners, some were very enthusiastic there by participated actively, some learners already had career objectives and a few had made some research about the possible opportunities in agriculture. With the team we also had question and answer session to allow learners inquire more concerning their issues and topics we had covered earlier, and everyone was glad to answer to these questions. And by the time we left I believe the learners were happy and inspired since was a young person who shared about myself and how I got around.

Our mission as Field of Hope obligates us to inspire youth to develop interest in agriculture, who get to receive knowledge and skills that give them food security and jobs. People like us employed by Field of Hope inspire and guide them about the wonderful futures that await them so that we can foster food and nutritional security together with economic independence in the long run there by we passionately  promote youth agricultural education in rural the communities of Uganda. Lastly I believe that Field of Hope as an organization may not provide food but rather  seed that will secure the future of food security for millions of Ugandans–for generations to come.

-Akwero Hilda, FOH Volunteer ’23

Alix Ambriz – Volunteer Story

Alix Ambriz is a Field of Hope Volunteer. This is her story.

“Two things that can always be shared are God’s love and the fruits (and vegetables and proteins) of His creation.”

Alix is a curriculum development specialist for Vivayic. Alix and her husband Andrew chose to volunteer with FOH to launch an agricultural curriculum project with partner schools in Uganda. Alix said it was important to connect with the teachers and learners that her curriculum would eventually impact. “We wanted to dig beside them—in the same dirt they do—and hear their stories,” she said. “We wanted to see for ourselves how the work FOH is doing is truly empowering Ugandans to maximize their potential with the resources they have available.”

Alix personifies what it means to be an FOH volunteer. In this image, she found real connection and inspiration. “I talked with three boys in the school garden at Otino Waa Children’s Village. I’ve spent my entire life working with farmers who are passionate about providing food for the world, but I have never heard one speak with as much excitement as these three student farmers,” she said. “They shared with me how many gallons per hour their drip irrigation provides to their garden and the change in yield they’ve observed.”

Volunteers like Alix serve and grow with FOH in Uganda, India, and the USA. Those volunteers impact farmers, widows, orphans and others, but volunteers often find new impact and meaning in their own lives as well. Take it from Alix: “I returned to the US and made a commitment to be intentional in sitting with God and listening as He shared what He’s calling us to do.”

Join us as we answer those calls.

This is Alix’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Tobin Redwine

Brian Harvey Hogue – Volunteer Story

Brian Harvey Hogue is a Field of Hope volunteer. This is his story.

“The more you fill that bucket with desire, responsibility, fulfillment and service, the more you realize the bucket seems to be growing exponentially faster.”

Brian grew up on a farm in Arizona, and turned that appreciation for agriculture into an entrepreneurial career in agriculture and agricultural services. Currently, he owns Arable Media, an agricultural communications multimedia production company. Brian chose to volunteer with FOH because he believes in the people and the mission, but the people of Uganda left a lasting impact on him.

“I will never forget the voices of young girls singing as they used a hoe to dig up sweet potatoes from the ground at Restoration Gateway,” Brian said. “It seemed like the noise of the digging and the breaths the girls had to muster between singing loudly made it sound more genuine, more beautiful and more hopeful. I hope I never forget that moment.”

Brian saw passion and commitment in the people he served, and found meaning in the garden rows and classrooms that make the FOH landscape. “Hearing and watching the student’s hunger for knowledge about farming was so moving. They take the idea of feeding their country as a responsibility but not a burden, as an opportunity but not a choice,” he said. “It was striking to me. I am not sure what I expected them to think about agriculture but their approach and feelings towards it was unique and almost seemed to contradict the way I feel we might look at agriculture here in the US.”

Join us as we change the way the world looks at agriculture.

This is Brian’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Tobin Redwine

Andrew Ambriz – Volunteer Story

Andrew Ambriz is a Field of Hope Volunteer. This is his story.

“We live in an incredibly small world. We are given magnificent gifts that are meant to be shared with people who need them most.”

Andrew and his wife Alix joined a FOH team in Uganda in October 2016 to research and redesign an agricultural curriculum for partner schools. But their service was not limited to curriculum development. Andrew used his gifts to lead an impromptu worship session before a cooperative savings and loan workshop in Dokolo. He had no clue he would be asked to jump in front of strangers and kick off a workshop with music, but he was, and he did. Here’s what he learned in that moment: “Love conquers all. The people of Uganda use all of their emotions. There is no in-between. I can still see, hear and feel the energy as an entire building gave all they had to worship God and the blessings that have been given to them,” Andrew said. “They carry that enthusiasm and appreciation into their lives and their relationships. Uganda has a spirit of faith, hope and love.”

Andrew and Alix are examples of how everyone can serve and be impacted by FOH. Andrew explained how people might shy from opportunities to volunteer, but in fact we are all equipped and able to serve: “People might think, ‘It takes a lot of hard work to serve.’ They’re wrong,” Andrew said. “Uganda and its people showed me that living a life close to God is really very simple. We must value Him, we must value ourselves, and we must value each other and we must let those principles flow into every area of our lives.”

Join us as we continue to find value in empowerment and integrity around the world.

This is Andrew’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Brian Harvey Hogue

Lacey Roberts – Volunteer Story

Lacey Roberts is a Field of Hope Volunteer. This is her story.

“I wanted to stay in that moment forever, but in the same breath I realized that I have a great responsibility.”

Lacey joined a FOH team while she was already in Uganda as part of a fellowship through Oklahoma State University’s Master of International Agriculture Program (MIAP). Her collaboration with FOH reaffirmed that we all can have a role in impacting people, and feel impact in return. “During my week with FOH, I learned that I had a part to play, no matter how small, in making a difference,” Lacey said. “I learned that I am working in the right field of agriculture, that it matches my heart’s desires and my God-given skills. I honestly learned that I am braver than I give myself credit for, and that I still have so much more growing to do as a career woman and a human being.”

Lacey saw international agricultural development in action, and shared how FOH makes good on their stewardship mission. “I was able to visit many donation areas and see first-hand how students and classrooms are using donated drip systems to apply agricultural lessons learned in the classroom,” She said. “Through education and empowerment, FOH is working towards a stronger future for Uganda, and that is something I like to stand behind.”

Ultimately, every FOH volunteer takes away genuine and authentic passion for the people they meet, and the connection they share. “I continue to think about those children I met and laughed with,” Lacey said. “I hope that as they grow they are met with a world that is improved and ready for all the discoveries they will make”

Join us as we meet Lacey’s call for an improved and ready world.

This is Lacey’s story. What will yours be?

PC: Tobin Redwine