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  • CSRL 2020 Annual Donor Impact Report

    CSRL 2020 Annual Donor Impact Report Available

    The report’s theme, “Sustaining resiliency,” reflects the fortitude of the ISU-Uganda Program team during this unprecedented year. It includes coverage of the special COVID relief and rehabilitation efforts that are making it possible for marginalized, rural Ugandans to make it through the pandemic and emerge ready to rebuild themselves and their communities. Overall, this report illustrates what is possible when philanthropy unites with Iowa State’s land-grant mission for a passionate — and compassionate — vision for progress against hunger and poverty. We hope you enjoy reading it, and sharing with others.

  • ISU-UP_Pupilmakingfacemasks_2020


    Some people must walk miles to reach clean water in Uganda. This is more of a hardship than ever, when regularly washing one’s hands or face covering can prevent infection from COVID-19.

    Life-saving water is now more available in the country’s Kamuli and Buyende districts, thanks to Iowa State University’s Uganda Program,
    part of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. With leadership from the program, three
    new boreholes (deep wells) now supply needed water to about 1,660 households, a hospital, schools and a nutrition education center.

  • Ugandans planting seeds

    We at the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods are truly inspired by the outpouring of support for our COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda campaign. Your contributions helped to exceed our $25,000 goal by raising a total of $27,720 before the $25,000 match, bringing the final amount raised to $52,720 from a record 142 generous donors!

    Thanks to you, vulnerable families throughout Kamuli and Buyende districts are receiving food, blankets, soap, face masks, educational materials, safe water, sanitary facilities, and the planting materials necessary for individuals and communities to successfully emerge from this very difficult pandemic period. Because of your help, the seeds to recovery are literally being planted.

  • Butooli B borehole in Buyende District

    Keep it running - CSRL COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda Campaign

    We have all become very familiar with the guideline: Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and clean water.

    Going to the washroom and turning on the tap is something we tend to take for granted. Now imagine fighting the COVID crisis when the water you need to haul home for use is from a sketchy source a mile away.

  • Pupil utilizing treadle sewing machine to make face masks

    Sew Support - CSRL COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda Campaign

    Before the pandemic effectively shuttered local markets and forced suspension of schools, sewing machines provided by CSRL’s ISU-Uganda Program were being utilized for two primary purposes. First, they were being used by mothers who had graduated from the Nutrition Education Center program to create income-generating products. And second, they were used by students to make washable, sanitary pads for menstruating girls, which helps keep them in school.

  • Ajulongo Ruth receives a bag of cassava cuttings to replant her garden

    Invest in regrowth - CSRL COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda Campaign

    The climate in Uganda lends itself to the possibility of two growing seasons each year. This year, the Busoga sub-region experienced high levels of rainfall throughout the first season which continued through the second planting season. Parts of the region along the Nile river complex were completely flooded, displacing entire communities. This was then followed by a prolonged dry spell. The resulting low yields and total crop failures left already marginalized households with depleted food supplies, no food income, and no seed or grains to replant. Conditions were further complicated by the global pandemic which disrupted transportation and the supply chain, leaving access to agricultural inputs out of rural farmers’ reach. 

  • Mother preparing nutrient densde porrige made from ISU-UP fortitied flour for herself and her infant.

    Provide Nourishment - CSRL COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda Campaign

    Prior to the pandemic lockdown, each day mothers of malnourished infants would carry their babies to the ISU-UP nutrition education center in their community for assistance. There, mothers would meet as a group and prepare a nutritious porridge. Then both breastfeeding mothers and infants would consume a cup of this life-saving formula, and take some home for another meal later in the day. These group gatherings also served as a venue for training in nutrition, gardening, visits by district nurses, and social support among other services.

  • Chairperson of TwabakorangZone receiving and distributing papers of Nakanyonyi primary school

    Encourage Learning - CSRL COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda Campaign

    A big THANK YOU to all who are making a difference through your contributions to the CSRL COVID relief and rehabilitation effort. We will be sharing a short story update each week of the campaign. Please share it with a friend! 

    In a normal year, CSRL supports education in Kamuli district through service-learning, the school lunch program, and school gardens programs among other activities. But this is certainly not a normal year.

    In Uganda, COVID-19 has restricted travel and prohibited group meetings, resulting in schools being shuttered and thus disruption of ISU-UP supported school lunch programs, a benefit that increases school attendance and nourishes minds. This has resulted in decreased learning and increased undernutrition.

  • With baby in tow, a relief recipient hefts her family's blankets, rice, beans, and maize flour towards their temporary home.

    Give Warmth - CSRL COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda Campaign

    Your donations will help supply much-needed emergency relief such as food and blankets to rural Ugandans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Iowa State University-Uganda Program staff in Kamuli district who work every day to carry out the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods’ programs, have not only adapted their normal job responsibilities to the current conditions but are now also working to ensure that hunger is kept at bay despite the pandemic.

  • Ugandan Women

    October 16, is World Food Day!

    Join our efforts in helping rural citizens of Uganda who have been intensely affected by the global pandemic and natural disasters that have occurred during 2020. Through the “CSRL COVID Relief and Rehabilitation in Uganda” FundISU campaign, your financial contributions will help provide the resilience necessary for individuals and their communities to emerge from this very difficult period. Learn more about how we are meeting the challenges and please consider making a financial donation.

    You are invited to join the effort beginning at 9:00am on October 16 through 11:59pm on December 1, 2020. Thanks to a generous donor, every dollar donated up to the first $25,000 will be matched! Donate early and to be sure your impact is doubled.

  • Members of the program.

    Dr. David Acker, Director for the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, along with Dr. Tom Brumm, Associate Director for the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods and Mary and Charles Sukup Global Professor in Food Security in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, participated in a Consortium that discussed the deeply integrated partnership between Iowa State University and the communities and institutions in the Kamuli district of Uganda.

  • Program participant uses a sewing machine.

    Iowa State’s Uganda Program Tailors Face Masks, New Skills During Pandemic

    A set of sewing machines is being repurposed as a public health tool in Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the resourcefulness of Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) at Iowa State University staff and donors.

  • Dr. Max Rothschild and Dr. Curtis Youngs

    The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) recognizes Dr. Max Rothschild’s 15 years of service as CSRL associate director for livestock development. 

  • Katie Stringer

    Graduating Senior Organized Club to Support Ugandan Women

    Selling handmade baskets to support Ugandan families doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for the women receiving the funds, it’s life changing.

  • Gideon Nadiope maize flour donation

    CALS Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Helps Supply Food to Uganda Partners During Pandemic

    The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods is helping supply much-needed food to rural Ugandans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Denise Bjelland in Uganda

    Please join us in honoring Denise Bjelland's 47 years of service to Iowa State University! Open house reception Wednesday, December 18, 2-4 pm, in the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods office: 111 Curtiss Hall, 513 Farmhouse Lane. You may also share messages, memories or photos online:

  • COVID-19 Ends Uganda Internship: Enhances Desire to Fight Future Pandemics

    “Spending this semester in Uganda and being able to watch this situation evolve has made me even more passionate about pursuing a career where I can play a key role in mitigating the spread of future emerging zoonotic diseases so we can hopefully prevent another pandemic like COVID-19." - Hannah Heit

  • The Team Award was presented to an interdisciplinary team dedicated to building the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Service Learning, School Garden Program in Uganda.

    For the past 14 years, the service-learning program has provided educational opportunities to more than 300 university students. ISU students live and work together in rural Uganda, alongside students from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The school garden program, which annually benefits more than 3,000 children, is centered on teaching agricultural skills to youth while contributing to a school lunch program and working with area small-landholder farmers. 

    The Iowa State team includes from left in back row: 

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