Key lessons learnt and next steps
Working with the refugee communities is an exciting journey. Through interaction with other partners in the settlement, we have learnt that it is key to listen to their needs, their priorities and engage them at all levels of activity implementation. This not only empowers them, but also ensures that the interventions address their real needs. That is why, through discussions with the farmers, we learnt that cassava leaves are a key source of food for them, and so we had to prioritize it on our list of crops to focus on. Interestingly, through permaculture designs we are able to innovatively plant cassava stems to act as fences to both provide the needed leaves and also protect gardens against chicken and ducks that would destroy other crops!
We have also learnt that engaging local leaders and government in implementing any projects not only promotes ownership of the intervention but also guarantees support and acceptance from the beneficiaries. While our intervention was needed in the community, some community members have asked us for formal authorisation to work with them, so as the confirm the intervention is vetted and accepted by the government. We also have the mandate to deliver quarterly reports to the government – and we were happy to note that our first quarterly report was approved and added on the general refugee protection report for the quarter!
Lastly, we want to continue doing good, we want to scale our intervention and the community is excited about our work. In the next months, we shall continue building the capacity of the team to reach more farmers, deliver more practical trainings to refugee farmers and monitor their farming activities for adoption. We are working on delivering our Drip Irrigation kits to the enrolled farmers so as to ensure that they are able to produce vegetables throughout the year. We are also planting two fruit trees for each of the targeted farmers (on advice from the Office of the Prime Minister) and 10 selected households will get rabbits to pilot circular farming! We are excited about the support from regenerosity and will continue updating everyone about our work. Together, we shall ensure that Jacqueline and her family have enough food for consumption while in the refugee settlement!