Investing in Education, Apprenticeships, Agro-business and Community Health as a means to jump start Socio-economic Development.
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Least developed Communities are not poor or less developed by choice; rather, underlying factors such as poverty, disease, illiteracy, poor resource management, environmental degradation, unemployment, etc make them so – and each one of these factors cannot be addressed in isolation of others. It’s in light of this that Ugacox Community Development Initiative, have undertaken to initiate a Social Enterprise Development Platform in Bukomansimbi District in Uganda, as a pathway to socio-economic development. Here, a five year Business Plan has been devised to promote four comparative projects simultaneously to address those underlying social problems that hinder socio-economic development as well; as well as help stimulate accelerated social and economic growth. Hopefully, the success of this model of community development, underpinned on a Social Enterprise platform will be a bench mark for such communities to devise and promote solutions pertinent to their social and economic problems.
In this five year business plan, Ugacox CDI has entered into a partnership with participating families and individuals using a Participatory Development Methodology – Community Initiative process to achieve our objectives. All proceeds and donations will then be used to finance any charitable undertaking in the area of our operation. The benchmark project will be a piggery and poultry farm, whilst families, individuals and groups will be out-growers of mostly maize and soy beans and any other crop of interest and an animal of choice. This farm will provide crop/animal and/or poultry to participating families/groups in our agribusiness extension program. Where possible, Ugacox will add value to participating families’ produce before such produce is sold.
Simply put: (Social Investment + Participatory Development Methodology)Community Initiative = Product of Interest (i.e. desired outcome). Or (SI + PDM)CI = PI
(1) Formal Education
An academy and outreach development program is now in progress. So far in this journey of social development, we have a total number of 105 kids at the academy for primary education. Through these kids, we plan to reach out to their families to start a one-animal-one-crop initiative such that
- The participating families become financially viable and ably empowered to meet their parental responsibilities;
- Through school-parent partnership we strive to create an environment where children not only learn the basics of life but also have the chance to play and grow in a safer school/family environment. In addition, to detect and protect vulnerable kids against adverse childhood exposure to trauma caused by dysfunctional families;
- Community participatory initiative acts as an extension to our agro-business platform, as well as a catalyst to better market exposure.
(2) Vocational Training
In year two, a varied number of apprenticeship programs will be established at the academy. This will involve recruiting a selected number of young adults from different sub-counties in Bukomansimbi and train them in vocational skills beneficial to their particular needs and potential. Initially though we plan to start with carpentry and block-laying. A group of ten apprentices has already been recruited and they will be started in training soon. After a period of about two years they will then be tested by an independent certified body and awarded certificates as qualified builders. With this group, we plan to add capacity to schools in area as well as houses in the community.
(3) Community Health: Creating a Safer Environment for Mother and child.
As the project takes root, we will launch a Community health Program starting with expectant mothers and those with babies and help them to access antenatal services; quality balanced food; live in a sanitized safer environment; and also help them develop basic hygiene practices such as boiling drinking water for themselves, babies and entire family; advantages of washing hands before preparing any food, proper waste disposal, etc.
Ugacox will invest in crop and animal husbandry farming as the main source of income for other Ugacox project. This farm will also supply stock to our Community Outreach program. Initially pigs will be reared but we’ll eventually expand to other animals and crops mainly for stock and demonstration purposes. In the outreach program, partners will be encouraged to grow maize and soy beans in addition to their animal of choice. These will be collected and processed to add value before sale. Waste (husks from maize and soy beans) will be manufactured into animal feed to be used on Ugacox farm.
- Expected advantage for this endeavor and chances to succeed is the availability of land and labour as well as the enthusiasm and willingness to participate;
- Commercial and Social mobility: we hope both social and commercial mobility will improve as our projects become more successful;
- Social/Communal participation: the more the community come on board, the more viable and successful this venture will be;
- Improved education standards: hope to achieve higher educational standards both in human and facilities;
- Jobs created and youths participation: improved employability and youth involvement;
- Social amenities created: such as health centres, community halls, youths and family clubs and sports grounds, etc;
WAY FORWARD: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AS AN ALTERNATIVE APROACH TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT!!