Fountain Christian High School is situated in Amuca village, in a war-torn rural area of Northern Uganda. Most students have been traumatized by guerilla attacks in the area, and the Thousand Gardens project is one activity to assist rehabilitation and provide livelihoods options through training in sustainable agriculture skills. The school’s teaches students in classes from senior one to four, and despite a declining interest in agriculture among young people due to the food aid to the area over the past 20 years, over 100 students chose to be part of the school garden project, promoted by local Slow Food members.
The two-acre plot was established in late 2011 under the guidance of agriculture teacher Ms. Erina Naluuso and a gardening program has been drafted together with the school management committee. Crops grown so far – manually using organic methods and sustainable garden management – include black beans, pigeon peas, amaranth, sukuma wiki and other vegetables typical of Northern Uganda. In this region, the greatest challenge to the garden’s progress is the lack of interest in food production by the local people who have survived mainly on food aid for the last 20 years and the impact of war on society. The garden also hope to improve several practical challenges through the Thousand Gardens project, including a lack of tools and equipment; inadequate knowledge of sustainable agriculture techniques among garden coordinators; and little opportunity for excursions and exchanges to other gardens.
Amuca village, Lira District