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While most farmers in developing countries grow crops, raising livestock is what really moves the needle toward food security and farmer resilience. Collaborating with experts from Iowa State and Makerere University, the center has successfully integrated poultry, pigs and goats into the region’s farming and school activities, NECs and Youth Entrepreneurship Programs.
Christine Lubaale has been a leader in her Kamuli District community for many years. Widowed in 1992, she trained as an HIV counselor in 1999, and began working with the CSRL in 2004 to train community members on modern agricultural practices.
Through the CSRL, Lubaale was among an initial group to receive two piglets — a male and a female. She also received help with housing for her pigs, on the condition that when the sow gave birth, Lubaale would give four piglets to four members of her training group, thereby spreading the program and generating more income for the community. Lubaale’s pigs not only delivered their income producing offspring; they made possible dramatic improvements in Lubaale’s life and the lives of her eight children. She used the initial proceeds from her piglet sales to pay her children’s school fees. Next came a better house, then the purchase of a cow, expansion of her piggery, input loans from the CSRL and more plans for the future.
In 2016, Lubaale joined the crafts project and has become a leader there as well, serving as the group’s chairperson and training others on how to weave better baskets. “I am known now as a designer,” she says. “I am famous and popular, and I no longer belong to the class of people who suffer.”
What makes Lubaale most proud is her son, Samuel Ikendi, now 30. In a recent report charting his scholastic achievements, Ikendi listed the profound changes in his life after his mother was introduced to the livestock program in 2004: “No more hunger. Malnutrition gone. Rise in income. Attend school. Excel in exams. Attend university. Increase in assets. Taste of happiness.” Ikendi graduated from Makerere University in 2012 with a degree in agricultural management, an interest he credits to his mother’s piggery and garden. Three years later he joined CSRL as a volunteer working with service learning students. And then in 2016, Ikendi applied to graduate school at ISU, where he was accepted into the master’s degree program in community and regional planning and sustainable agriculture. He is one of 17 former service learners in graduate school or who have completed graduate school at ISU. Today Ikendi is happily adjusting to life in Ames and hoping to use his advanced training to further benefit the Kamuli community.
Pictured: Christine Lubaale (left)
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