Skip to main content

School Lunches & Gardens

School lunch programUndergraduate students from Iowa State University and Makerere University and center  staff work alongside elementary school children to maintain on-site school gardens and care for poultry. While children learn particular skills in agriculture and livestock management, the gardens and livestock supply ingredients for the school lunch program. The school gardens program helps teach and nourish students in four primary and two secondary schools in the Kamuli District. The gardens furnish produce for school lunches that are served in all six locations, varying in frequency from one to five days a week. Poultry programs are also offered at two of the primary schools.

CSRL Impacts in 2018:

  • Expansion of craft programs to benefit students, youth and community members
  • Poultry-keeping instruction, benefiting the community and the school lunch program
  • Primary school gardens helped support the school lunch program
  • New ideas such as leguminous cover crop rotation were taught in the garden program
  • The gardens provided an outdoor laboratory for students
  • Gardens provided entrepreneurial and ag enterprises for participating youth

Income Program Sustains Families and Communities...

Visit Eseza Babirye’s home in the village of Naluwoli, and you will be met by a modest brick house with an adjacent bathroom and other improvements in progress. Eseza — a 28-year-old mother of three — is proud that she owns her home, and she credits her involvement with the CSRL Community Income Generation Innovations program for making that possible.

Eseza BabiryeBy helping mothers create sustainable sources of income, the Community Income Generation Innovations program enables women to ensure their own livelihoods and improve nutrition and health for their children. Craft production, sewing projects and soap-making are some of the program’s income-generating activities.

Eseza joined the youth entrepreneurship program in 2015 at the urging of Moureen Mbeiza, CSRL’s agronomist and land use coordinator. Eseza began growing and selling eggplants and tomatoes and then received two piglets, the offspring from which she was able to give to other community members. In 2016, she learned about the crafts team at Naluwoli. “I decided to go and learn how to make baskets and other items like necklaces, tablecloths and bags,” Eseza said. “I have used money from my craft business to buy a plot of land, build a house and buy a bicycle.”

Community Income Generation Innovations is just one way that CSRL’s ISU-Uganda Program impacts communities. Poultry keeping is taught at the primary schools, with the eggs used for school lunches. Animal husbandry is taught across all programs. Craft programs for Nutrition Education Centers mothers are open to in-school and out of school youth and other community members, building sources of income and self-confidence. One young girl who had made craft baskets for sale subsequently attended the Youth Entrepreneurship Training Workshop and was later named the goalie of her team during a soccer match after the workshop.

Eseza plans to buy three more lots and construct rental houses, pay school fees for her children and start a business. “Without ISU-UP, I wouldn’t have taken care of my family’s needs or achieved my goals,” she said. “Thank you for loving us.”

Photo Credit: Brian Nonnecke

To make a gift to the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, please click here to go directly to the ISU Foundation, or contact Sarah Roelfs at (515) 294-1031 or