Service Learning

Service Learning and School Garden Program began in Kamuli District of Uganda in 2006.  It is an essential component of our efforts to develop the Next Generation of Change Agents for rural Uganda.  It brings together undergraduate students from Iowa State University (ISU) and Makerere University (MAK) for five weeks of inter-cultural immersion.  Since 2006, 84 students and 8 faculty from ISU and MAK participated directly in the service-learning program.

The Program provides both university students and pupils from the primary school opportunities to learn through hands-on experiences.  Experimental learning is the main approach of service learning adopted by the project, with participants "learning by doing" at the same time providing a service to the community through the schools with both in equal balance (service + learning).  Both ISU and MAK students contribute to a development project whether it is teaching, school garden work, or team projects.  They function as a bi-national team and transform personal perspectives and learn technical, personal, and life skills while participating in the program.

The Goals of the CSRL Service Learning school garden program are to help establish school gardens as outdoor learning labs that produce supplements for school lunches, and help the school children transfer their knowledge and skills to their home gardens and families.  The program has attracted the attention of the best undergraduate students in agriculturally related fields at Iowa State and Makerere Universities.  Each year many more students apply than can be accommodated.

Establish & Grow is a program developed by students and faculty at Iowa State University to foster student service learning projects that focus their efforts toward raising funds to fight food insecurity and malnutrition in Uganda.


CSRL's Service Learning Program is more than an opportunity to study abroad:

  • Engages students in a different style of agriculture.
  • Enables students to construct research projects.
  • Fosters diversity through multicultural teamwork.


TO MAKE A GIFT to the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, please click here to go directly to the ISU Foundation, or contact Ray Klein at (515) 294-3303 or