ANNUAL REPORT, 2016
Sustainable, Accountable, Empowering
The year 2016, Cosma Foundation continued to focus on its core projects with the mission of sending 42vulnerable kids to school, Involving school stakeholders in Score Card Project and engaging 104 families in livelihood project through the Agriculture Program.
The 42 students including primary, secondary, vocational and Universities was able to attend school successfully while well equipped with all scholastic materials and school fees. It was exciting that by average, 60% was able to get good grades from their respective classes.
The 3 students who are at university that is Prossy, Salaama and Dennis completed the second and third academic year successfully, very excited to start their final year in August this year.
Pen Pal Program
The Foundation continued engaging more kids in the program this year by exchanging letter writing with their friends at Wilshire Baptist Church in the USA! The program is the learning experience for both the Cosma kids and Wilshire Baptist Church as it improves students’ reading and writing skills, fosters cultural exchange and builds long-term relationships.
The scorecard committees met first term to discuss the ways of how to improve the program to enable the schools perform better.
Charles was checking termly results at Nakasenyi p/s
The program indicates that there was slight improvement in pupil’s performance in schools were the scorecard program was introduced compared to other schools where the program is not yet introduced.
Plans like recording pupil’s and teacher attendance,monitoring,meetings,personal engagement with all stakeholders, phone calls and surprise visits were all emphasized by the committee during the meetings. However, challenges like airtime, transport, meeting facilitation/ allowance were also cited by the committee during the meetings.
During February and March, capacity building among farmers for modern faming practices was provided and these were;
Farmers during training
Over 100 farmers acquired knowledge of profitable participation in commercial farming activities to improve food security and household’s incomes to support their children to school. It was during these trainings that farmers were able to demonstrate on maize planting from the trainer and two farmer groups were formed that is SUUBI FARMERS GROUP [ A & B].
Crop demonstration Distribution of seeds
Demonstrated on the standard spacing for maize planting to help farmers to get maximum yield from their farms. Farmers were given improved maize seeds for timely planting for better yield/ harvest and mitigate the long drought.
Post-harvest handling: Through the trainings, farmers were able to learn the defined crop value chain with the aim of improving food security, nutrition and incomes of the household’s farmers. The focus was on promoting technologies that improve the quality and quantity of produce to the required market standards and at the same time reduce postharvest losses.
Robert’s father in coffee plantation.
Maize and coffee was identified as common crop in the community of which every household has to practice to earn a living but for coffee to be profitable, farmers has to apply artificial fertilizers which is expensive to the low income household earners.
Two saving groups were formed among farmers and each member is contributing a minimum of 2000 UGX per week and about 62 farmers received 420kgs of improved maize seeds with the support from Elevate: partner for education and additional donation of 120 kgs from Sembabule National Agriculture Advisory services.
The Foundation is mandated to periodically undertake monitoring and evaluation of the activities on the ground, assess, document, share lessons learnt and report impact on household farmers and partners.
In April, the Foundation team focused on reaching out nonprofit international organizations operating in Uganda for collaboration and we managed to reach out African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services ‘’AFAAS’’ [Uganda Chapter] and Sasakawa Africa Association Global 2000-UGANDA as well as trainings about Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation PM+E], Monitoring Village Savings and Loans Associations [VSLAs], Monitoring and Evaluation [M+E] were all carried out.
The foundation engaged talks with AFAAS about strong collaboration in capacity building for Cosma team members about modern Agriculture practices and linking the Foundation to both International and national Organizations for future partnership which was agreed upon AFAAS to work with Cosma Foundation.
With Sasakawa the partnership is about empowering farmers in postharvest handling and market linkages both locally and internationally. This will help our farmers to improve on the quality of produce to fetch better and stable market.
The Foundation also managed to train farmers about Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation [PM+E].This was to empower farmers in the basic skills of Monitoring and Evaluation so that they can check on the progress of their activities.
Village Saving and Loan Associations [VSLAs].
Cosma encouraged farmers to develop what would become an important model as a group and this model is called the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) and it started as a pilot project run by farmers in guidance of Cosma Foundation and farmers have shown keen interest as big number of farmers are participating in the program and Savings are Accumulating.
VSLAs involves two groups of about 15-40 members each who regularly save on a weekly basis and the intension is to borrow at lowest rate using a group fund to carry out Agriculture activities and Education to their Children.
This Model will create capital that can be used for short-term loans and capital and interest is shared among the group at the end of a given period (usually about a year), at which point the groups normally re-form to begin a new cycle.
Monitoring and Evaluation [M+E]
Cosma Foundation team together with NAADS officials from Sembabule district managed to monitor and evaluate farmers who are engaged in maize growing this season. The findings are encouraging as the crops are growing very well compared to other famers who planted poor quality seeds. The NAADS officials were very excited with the finds and promised to continue collaborating with Cosma Foundation.
In bid to improve Agriculture environment and environmental conservation by curbing the drought that affects farmers’ production in Sembabule district, the Foundation received a donation of 100 tree plant from the National forestry authority Uganda and 50 were planted.
The second and third term of 2016, Cosma Foundation still focused on its core projects and mission of sending 42vulnerable kids to school, the Score Card Project, and involving families in a livelihood project through Agriculture.