Humanitarian and Youth Programs


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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service's Second Africa Rising Project Hosted in Uganda

 Participants: 85  Nations Represented: 14

Lira, Uganda— 2nd Africa Rising Project

Background: The IRFF began work in Uganda over twenty years ago and has been active in recent years with a variety of programs: medical, educational and agricultural. The RYS held a major project with the cooperation of IRFF in 1998 and wanted to build on that foundation.

In April, IRFF began an agricultural training program in Lira for former rebels who had returned (returnees). It was very successful and two hundred additional rebels became returnees. its work. This RYS project focused on providing Youth leaders with training in sustainable agriculture that would greatly raise their yields,diversity their crops and dramaticly raise their incomes. They were to return to their community and teach these methods.

The National Environmental Management would provide the local professional agriculture while Mr. Gehring of RYS and Mr. Trombin of IRFF would guide the project and provide the RYS educational training.

Duration: June 8 - 18, 2000

Participants: 84 participants and staff including sixty specially selected state and national youth leaders from Lira State. Twenty of the staff and participants came from 12 nations, largely from East Africa. The youth leaders were especially selected to return and teach the community the methods they learned and they were supplied with seeds and plants.

Project Highlights: We were warmly hosted by Canon Lawrence College which integrated and supported the program to the highest level. At the June 9th opening meeting at Canon Lawrence College all the key leadership of the state government . The media covered the event on national radio and local newsprint. Throughout the project we were visited regularly by Minister Okwir and she also hosted a special lunch at her home for all the international participants.

The Vice President's (Dr. Wandira) talk to the RYS at the youth meeting was a highlight for many of the local RYS participants. She stirred the participants on to create stability in their region while offering themselves in service.

The day sessions at the college for the RYS training included classroom training on agriculture theory and then practical work in the fields. Each person had daily opportunities to practice what they had been taught. This training serves to provide a way for the program and knowledge to multiply quickly in the local community.

On June 17th after concluding the successful agricultural training all participants received certificates from the RYS and NEMA in front of four hundred students and local leaders. The event featured performing groups from seven education institutions.

Uganda Follow up: The IRFF/RYS plan on setting a small office in Lira for future work which will include an IRFF project to provide war widows the agricultural background and seeds to go forward.

The Minister of Health, the Hon. Beatrice Wabudeya is preparing a proposal fo the IRFF/RYS to work with us on a medical clinic project near Mbale, a sight where we had hoped to have a project in 1998.

Kenya and Tanzania participants have ideas on how to create a local foundation for future projects. We are planning a regional RYS for Kenya in 2001.

Summary: The series of projects launched this year by IRFF and RYS have helped attract the attention of the highest levels of Uganda government. The projects show that we are serious and capable of delivering a fine program that fits the needs of the country. The personal friendships with Minister Okwir and other leaders has become deeper and the local leadership are more clear on how to put together IRFF and RYS programs.

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