Filed under: VC Team | Tags: africa, co-op, Fort Portal, media, uganda, villages connected
Not everything that Villages Connected does will show up in pictures and in film. But in a week and a bit, we have already experienced so many new things, met so many new people – it will be hard to capture it all in a condensed version we can share.
And while the media co-op members are knee-deep in their film and photography training, we figured we might take some time to experience for ourselves a little of what village life is like.
A few days ago, we were able to visit Kyhnyawara, a village just outside Fort Portal. This is where 3 of the media co-op members live, and they were quite happy to show us around a little.
We started with a visit of the Science Centre where we learned about the various wildlife in Kibale National Park which the village borders.
Do the elephants and primates that live in the park ever come into the village, you may ask?
Yes! And they can create havoc because they interfere with the farmer’s crops. However, of course, the animals and their habitat needs to be protected.
Do the villagers also use the forest for food and firewood?
Villagers have unfortunately grown dependent on the bush meat and the timber from the forest, and the degradation has caused problems. Many efforts by the Science Centre, community groups and outside benefactors are ongoing to bring about a reversing of these effects.
Some of the efforts have included promoting the construction and use of “rocket stoves” which have a faster and more efficient cooking time, therefore requiring less firewood. The women in the village are also experimenting with cooking pellets made of a combination of peanut shells, sawdust and recycled paper.
Other ongoing projects include handicrafts, music and dance, sustainable timber production, bee keeping and other animal husbandry.
This of course, is only what we could see and learn in a very short visit. We look forward to the days ahead when the participants themselves can share, from their perspective, the opportunities within this one small village.
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