Empowering Change: The Story of Kihanda Tukorenyentya Group

Member of Kihanda Tukorenyentya Group learning about Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture (NSA)
Member of Kihanda Tukorenyentya Group learning about Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture (NSA)

Profound Change to Kihanda Tukorenyentya Group
In the heart of Uganda, where fertile fields stretch as far as the eye can see, the women of Kihanda Central in Mbaare Sub-county are nurturing more than just crops—they are cultivating hope, resilience, and transformation. This is the story of the Kihanda Tukorenyentya Group, a women-led initiative that has blossomed against all odds, bringing profound change to their community.

Participation in SAA's Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture (NSA) Program
In 2017, the Kihanda Tukorenyentya Group was born out of necessity and vision. Led by the indomitable Maureen Kamiruu, a 64-year-old farmer, the group began with just seven members and a modest saving of 19 USD. Their district, Isingiro, was battling hunger, high malnutrition rates, and poverty. Yet, these women saw beyond the challenges; they saw an opportunity to make a difference.

In 2021, Maureen learned about the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA). SAA’s Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture (NSA) program aimed to empower communities by enhancing women’s knowledge and skills in agriculture, nutrition, and business management. Maureen was selected for SAA’s comprehensive training, which included improved farming practices, Regenerative Agriculture (RA), nutrition and gender education, and value addition to biofortified crops.
“The timing was perfect,” Maureen recalls. “SAA encouraged group formation, and our newly formed group was in an ideal position to grow. With their support, from 7 members, we expanded to 20 (15 women and 5 male youths).”

Maureen Kamiru conducting a traning session with her group members

Significant Change in Their Lives
The group learned about cultivating nutrient-rich crops like orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, iron-rich beans, and various vegetables using Regenerative Agriculture (RA) practices. They established kitchen gardens, using both indigenous and improved vegetable varieties. These new skills not only improved their yields but also diversified their diets, significantly enhancing their overall health.
One of the most impactful aspects of the training was the cascading effect. Maureen, with her newfound knowledge, trained her fellow group members. Joselyn Tusibira, the 60-year-old treasurer, proudly speaks of how the group opened a bank account and their savings have grown from 19 USD to 1,460 USD, with over 1,062 USD distributed as loans to members.

SAA introduced bakery skills to the group, equipping them with start-up kits. The women began producing wedding cakes, shortcakes, and cupcakes, supplying snacks to local schools and creating a steady income stream. By 2022, the group demonstrated remarkable innovativeness. They bought kroiler chickens, distributing chicks to members. Jane Wasswa, a 64-year-old member, used the income from selling eggs and birds to buy goats. “I started with just four chicks, and now I have 12 goats,” Jane shares proudly. “This has greatly improved my life.”

Spreading Success to Other Groups
The group’s impact extends beyond individual success. They educate their community about healthy living, nutrition, and sanitation. They teach other groups how to start confectionery businesses, spreading knowledge and hope.
The Kihanda Tukorenyentya Group illustrates how Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture (NSA) coupled with Regenerative Agriculture (RA) and business management skills can bring about profound transformation.

Retrieved from SAA E-Newsletter, issued in June 2024, titled "Focus on Uganda"

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