[ Profiles of new people who joined our team lately will be coming up soon]
Anthony Kalulu – Team leader.
I became a full time farmer in 2012, and got the idea of the UCF a year later. This was after a lifelong struggle with extreme poverty, and after working as a teacher for seven (7) years. Before farming, teaching too had failed to move me from hunger. As a teacher, I struggled to even get what to eat, yet I had lived in chronic poverty since childhood.
By starting the UCF, I had two goals: 1) grow ample food, so I can escape hunger. Today, we have a lot of food at the UCF. 2) work with many fellow poor farmers to produce specific crops that we can pool and market together, so we can access better markets. Along the way, I came to learn that agricultural markets were very inaccessible to poor smallholder farmers. It is perhaps the biggest challenge that keeps all small farmers in poverty. I have since made it my goal to do something to change this.
Erina Kawala – Director, Community Outreach.
Erina, seen here donning a UCF T-shirt while hosting a visitor from the United States, joined us in 2016 as Director of Community Outreach.
To put it in her own words, Erina was attracted to our work because of the “practical nature of the UCF’s approach to reversing extreme poverty”. Erina spends most of her time visiting local farmers with the UCF motorbike several days a week. Ms. Kawala has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences, from Makerere University, which makes her work with rural poor smallholder farmers even best placed.
Rinah Kalivare – Finance & Administration Manager.
Rinah has been on our team since March 2016. Here, she is pictured seated on the UCF motorbike that we use to make ongoing field visits to the farmers we work with.
Not only does Rinah oversee our finances, she is also the local farmers’ most beloved friend. For seven days in a week, Monday to Sunday, she is answering phone calls from the over 300 farmers that the UCF currently works with. Not only that, Rinah also physically visits about 10 of these farmers every week — coordinating the supply of fertilizers to farmers with the UCF’s truck; providing farmers with technical information and ongoing training on pests and disease control, or weed management.
Viola Namugeere – Farm & Records Manager
Viola, seen in this photo visiting a group of women that the UCF works with, is the person responsible for all equipment at the UCF; maintenance of the crops being grown here at the UCF, and coordinating plans to supply inputs (such as seed) to local farmers — whenever our capacity allows.
Viola’s interest in community work was partly honed by a career in public administration, which she otherwise chose to put to use in agriculture. In her final internship at Bugumbulya Sub County in Kamuli (2015), she was a catalyst on getting local households to construct latrines, plate stands and bathrooms.
We are currently a small team, working with many fellow poor farmers. Our team was bigger, but we had to scale back because we operate with zero funding, for the most part. Our goal though is to attain self sustainability. And so, our team will be even bigger as we move along. Here are a few of our previous volunteers and teammates: