FOOD SECURITY & NUTRITION
Food Security & Nutrition Projects
In many rural parts of Uganda, families affected by HIV urgently need support to grow or buy a variety of foods to feed themselves and their families. The reality is that they simply cannot afford or easily access nutritious foods - particularly important for supplementing the HIV medication many of these people need. Families are overburdened by the AIDS disease, have little or no funds, no land and, because the heads of many households are orphans or vulnerable women, they are unable to grow enough food to feed their households and elderly caretakers.
The Backyard Garden Project supports vulnerable HIV+ families by helping them to grow more food and also enable better access to healthier, more nutritious food. This programme will increase food security by establishing vegetable patches on a small piece of land. We will provide families with seeds including maize, beans and sweet potatoes and they will be able to grow enough food to live comfortably. Most families only survive on one meal a day and this project will increase their food intake and improve their health. Currently the activities are carried out in over 30 HIV+ households in Lwengo district.
Send Some Seeds
This initiative focuses on care, support and a sustainable increase in food security for vulnerable households. We provide families and communities with a variety of seeds and other plantable items for growing foods, such as cereals and stems, to improve their livelihoods and food security. This is on a bigger scale than the backyard garden project so they can grow a wider variety of food in larger quantities. This means that they are able to store food for emergencies and sell any excess to earn a small household income. We also provide training and advice on appropriate farming techniques.
While we strive to find sustainable solutions to poverty, nutrition and food security, many families still struggle to provide even one meal per day for their loved ones. Perhaps the harvest has been particularly bad; in other cases it is simply not possible to wait for seeds to grow or businesses to reap a profit. In such cases, when the hunger is simply too great, we are forced to visit families and provide them with portions of maize, rice, sugar, salt and other necessities such as soap and matches. This provides families with enough supplies until one of our sustainable projects is able to support them indefinitely.
Elderly men and women in Uganda have to struggle through day to day life. In Europe pensioners can look forward to retirement but in Uganda this is not an option - they must work to survive. Often the elderly are abandoned by their relatives or their own children may have died from AIDS. They may also be the sole caretakers of their grandchildren. Most families earn less than £1 per month, therefore they have great difficulty providing food and education for the children. This project aims to work with these elderly people to ease their burden and provide them with support. ACO Africa promotes well-being, independence and assistance in the Golden Years.