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  • CSRL 20th Anniversary Logo

    CSRL 20th Anniversary Feature Film Released

    2024 marks our 20th Anniversary, and because of you, we have much to celebrate! 

    As part of our year-long celebration, we invite you to view and share our feature film, 

    Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: 20 Years of the Iowa State University – Uganda Program. 

    Hear our origin story, learn about the challenges we have faced, and see how your contribution is making sustainable rural livelihoods a reality in Kamuli, Uganda.

    Thank you for supporting the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods!

    Watch the film on our College of Agriculture and Life Science Vimeo site:


  • CSRL 2023 Annual Report Cover Photo

    The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods has released the 2023 annual donor impact report "Sustainability and self-sufficiency." Read about the visit by His Majesty William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV, King of Busoga, Uganda, to Iowa State University, a new project related to improved amaranth genetics, and many updates to continued projects made possible by donor support. 

  • King of Busoga_Iowa State University CALS

    As proof of the synergetic connection between Iowa State University and The Busoga Kingdom of Uganda, a memorandum of cooperation and understanding was signed on Aug. 17 to formalize cooperation and collaboration to benefit both institutions.

    His Majesty and President Wintersteen sign their names on the MOU document inside the President's office in Beardshear Hall.

  • The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is honored to host His Majesty William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV, King of Busoga, Uganda. Please join us for a special seminar where the King and members of his delegation will share their experiences in improving livelihoods in Eastern Uganda.

    Host:             Dean Dan Robison, Endowed Dean’s Chair

    Date:              Thursday, August 17

    Time:              4:30 – 5:30 pm

    Location:       142 Curtiss Hall (Dean’s Conference Room)

  • We’d like you to meet ISU students in this short video who also believe in the cause and volunteer their time and effort here in Ames to increase economic opportunities for our partners in Uganda!

    Help them and us to spread the word and reach our goal to assist more aspiring individuals in obtaining the knowledge and boost they need to provide for themselves and improve their families’ long-term livelihoods. You can join the effort by donating to the CSRL Skills Development for Self-Reliance FundISU Campaign through 11:59 pm on July 8, 2023. Please share the link and donate:

    Mwebale Inho! (Thank you very much)

  • Iowa State University’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) and its Uganda Program (ISU-UP) use the power of education to develop responsible global citizens and thriving local communities that benefit from food and financial security, healthcare, civic participation, social inclusion, and environmental stewardship. One key set of ingredients in achieving our mission is skills development for self-reliance. Currently, we cannot accommodate the number of mothers and youth who wish to develop their skills.  With your help, we can assist more individuals in obtaining the knowledge and boost they need to support themselves. Join our effort to provide projects like these that guide Ugandans to long-term sustainable livelihoods:


    The Community Income Generation Innovations (CIGI) program through the Iowa State University- Uganda Program has allowed Betty to learn a new skill of soap making. Being a part of the Soap making group, Tweyunge (Let’s Unite), has brought into Betty’s life the social support, dignity, respect, and vital income she needs to become self-sufficient, provide for her children, and improve her family’s long-term livelihood.

    You can easily help others like Betty – Sharing her story supports the cause, and every dollar makes a difference! In fact, double the difference! Generous donors will match all contributions through the first twenty-five thousand.

    Enjoy the full CIGI video here:


    The Community Income Generation Innovations (CIGI) program through the Iowa State University- Uganda Program has allowed Marion to learn a new skill of weaving baskets which has immensely impacted her life. Help others like Marion who wish to develop their skills, enabling them to provide for themselves and improve their families' long-term livelihoods. Please share Marion's story and donate now to double your impact through matching funds!

    Enjoy the full CIGI video here:

  • World Food Prize Logo

    Two ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences program areas were highlighted at the 2022 Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue. Recordings of these events are available thanks to our friends at the World Food Prize Foundation.

    Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Practice in Uganda:

  • David Acker

    David Acker, associate dean for global engagement and director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been selected to receive a Fulbright Specialist Program award.

    The Fulbright Program aims to build lasting connections between people in the U.S. and those in other countries. More than 400 U.S. citizens participate in the specialist program each year, traveling abroad to share their expertise at various institutions. Participants are selected based on their academic and professional achievements, leadership in their field, and potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

  • 2021 CSRL Annual Report Cover Photo

    The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods has released the 2021 annual donor impact report "Spirit of Innovation." In the opening message Director, Dr. David Acker reflects on the tremendous spirit of innovation. Also included are updates on current ISU graduate students from Uganda, stories on the work of each program area, and measurable impacts made possible through generous donor support.

  • Ugandan children at school

    We did it! Thank you very much for helping us exceed our goal!

    We at the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods and our Iowa State University–Uganda Program team in Kamuli are truly grateful to you for supporting our new Early Childhood Development program. Your contributions helped exceed our $30,000 goal by raising a total of $36,520!

    Thanks to you, pre-school-age children in the Kamuli district will have a more substantial opportunity for a brighter future. Your contributions will be directed toward improved nutrition, age-appropriate learning materials, more teachers’ aides/assistants, and appropriate school infrastructure, including classrooms, latrines, kitchens, and playgrounds that support safety, sanitation, and engaged learning.  

  • Can you believe that December is almost here?! It's Giving Tuesday and a perfect way to wrap up the FundISU CSRL Uganda Early Childhood Development campaign. Thanks to our generous donors we have reached 87% of our goal! And there is still time to make a gift to push us to our goal before this project ends on December 01, at 11:59 PM CST.

    Every dollar makes a difference- 

  • Children reading

    CSRL FundISU Campaign - Thankful for Story Time

    In the U.S. most of us have access to books for free through our neighborhood public library. However, books are not commonplace items in Uganda. One reason is that they are not affordable to most rural families. One book could cost the equivalent of a week’s worth of groceries! ( An outcome of this is that eight of every ten children of 10 years or under in Uganda cannot read ( Join the CSRL Uganda Early Childhood Development campaign to help change this.

  • Ugandan children playground

    CSRL FundISU Campaign - Better Future For Every Child

    World Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children ( We invite you to take action through the CSRL Uganda Early Childhood Development campaign.

    First established in 1954 World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare. November 20, 1959 is when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  • Nutritious meal

    CSRL FundISU Campaign - Setting the table, setting the future

    Kid-friendly dishes and kid-size furniture are much more than cute. Building a positive learning environment sets the table for the future. Learning environments are nurturing spaces that support the development of young children and include age-appropriate equipment, materials, and supplies.

    Well-designed classroom environments for pre-school age children:

    Support responsive caregiving Foster independence and feelings of competence in young children Encourage staff efficiency Promote children’s engagement Decrease challenging behavior Facilitate appropriate social interactions among children Provide structure and predictability


  • Pre-school/kindergarten children at Nakanyonyi Primary School in a classroom with very basic supplies

    CSRL FundISU Campaign - Teachers - the building blocks of learning

    Addressing early childhood development and nutrition is a crucial step in CSRL’s Theory of Change to ending hunger. With your help, the Iowa State University-Uganda Program in partnership with schools in the Kamuli district will make quality early childhood development available.

  • Toys that teach!

    Despite it being a critical developmental stage, early childhood education programs in rural areas of Uganda are extremely limited. With your help, CSRL hopes to change that at our partner schools in Kamuli District. A breadth of support is needed including physical structures, nutrition, teachers, and even toys!

    In the U.S., we sometimes overwhelm our children with toys. In Kamuli, educational games and puzzles for small children are more of a rarity. Making the right toys available at the right time provides many physical and mental benefits to a child’s early development including-

    Physical skills:

    Hand-eye coordination Gross motor skills Fine motor skills

    Cognitive skills:

  • Nourishing young minds

    CSRL FundISU Campaign - Nourishment for young minds and bodies

    The brain is an energy-hungry organ. Despite comprising only 2 percent of the body’s weight, the brain gobbles up more than 20 percent of daily energy intake. Because the brain demands such high amounts of energy, the foods we consume greatly affect brain function, including everything from learning and memory to emotions.  []

    Healthy eating is particularly important in childhood for proper growth and development and to prevent various health conditions. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function, reduced absenteeism, and improved mood. []

  • Join us in our effort in our "Early Childhood Development FundISU Campaign" to ensure a promising future for pre-school-age children in Kamuli District, Uganda by investing in their growth and development. Early Childhood Education is critical in the formative years of children for developing intellectual, social, and emotional skills. You can help us to provide age-appropriate learning materials, improve nutrition through adequate meals throughout the day, increase the number of teachers’ aides/assistants, and improve school infrastructure. We invite you to learn how the ISU-Uganda Program (ISU-UP) is working to improve the outlook for pre-school age children and how your financial donation will make a difference.

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