AFIRD HISTORY STORY SERIES - Ms. Nankya Proscovia

My experience as a partner of AFIRD

My name is Proscovia Nankya, I work with SODI (skills oriented development initiative), located in Nakirebe-Mpigi district.

This exercise brings me great joy, especially because AFIRD still remembers me as their long term friend, and as one of the people that contributed to the start of AFIRD.

 

When I first encountered with AFIRD, I was working with RUCID in Mityana District. We were one of the best organisations promoting organic farming in the country by then. Our work  was being supported by Misereor. Before  we started RUCID, we had worked in Caritas Kampala under the Kampala archdiocese for quite along time. Misereor’s policy was to only support church based organisations. With the experience and passion we had gained, we decided to make a private organisation “RUCID” which we pitched to Misereor and they agreed to support us due to the confidence they already had in us. This was the beginning of a long era of Misereor supporting non church based organisations.

 

RUCID performed well, reaching a magnitude of people, managing the funds well and growing in organic farming, which gave Misereor the confidence to support more private organisations that were willing to do the same work as we were doing. AFIRD was one of the organisation we first recommended for support from Misereor. We were then tasked to mentor them into the system as it was dictated by Misereor. An arrangement was made, for us to train the AFIRD team which was a team of four by then, who were very educated and knowledgeable but what Misereor needed was for them to gain experience from another organisation that had already met their approval. These trainings were being financed by Misereor. For a period of eight months, we trained AFIRD in organic farming, farmer training facilitation, the TOT system, and so much more. These trainings were done 2-3 days per week when we used to come to them, and intensive residential sessions when the team used to come to RUCID for hands on and practical trainings in organic farming and sustainable agriculture.

A lot of effort was put in these trainings from both side, we were glad to have another partner on board to be doing the same work. The AFIRD team indeed went far and beyond our expectations, by the time Miss Veta from Misereor came for supervisory visits, a lot of impressive work was going on, and AFIRD was good enough to pick up on its own. Misereor agreed to offer donor assistance to AFIRD, and we also continued to offer consultancy support from time to time.

When I left RUCID to join SODI, I experienced some gap on the developments of AFIRD, but I believe a lot has been achieved from the few times I get in touch with the team.

I believe that AFIRD founders have gathered a lot of experience that should not go unshared. The struggle and contribution towards making organic farming a valid topic of discussion in this country has been long and hard, AFIRD has made its contributions and I must say that we as the mentors are proud. But this needs to be passed on to the younger generation of trainers and organic farming activists.

The founders must now start strategizing for a succession plan. It is time AFIRD started consolidating her work, the founders need to put in place a strong team to carry on the legacy, to create strong networks that understand and support the original goal, build a strong home that shall always stand to be the launching place for AFIRD to shoot across the country, and most importantly, AFIRD needs to strengthen documentation because this is the only way the upcoming generations will have a reference to work by.

 

Finally, I would love to make mention that I am proud to be among the people that supported AFIRD to start off. AFIRD has not let us down, they took up the task and did an exceptional job in promoting organic farming. When I see these kinds of achievements, and know that I was part of it, I treat my self to a glass of wine and feel that I am ready to retire.

Narrated by:  Proscovia Nankya

Written by:     Nakiwala Gloria

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