The year begins

We are delighted to have this year begin at Kira Farm. It’s exciting to see the place alive once again and fulfilling its purpose, with trainees full of life, expectation and not a little trepidation. This cohort of trainees have experienced a stop-start year, with most having begun in 2020 only for the year’s programme to have been abruptly stopped due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Thankfully, we managed to squeeze them back to Kira Farm between the beginning of the year and the general election. Our staff worked tirelessly, intercepting the buses coming from the far-flung rural communities, before the trainees found themselves in the middle of the bustling and congested city of Kampala. Of all the trainees who began last year only 6 were unable to come back and were replaced by 7 new trainees bringing the total to 49. And so far none has tested positive to Covid, a concern many had on leaving their villages for the city.

All the trainees have settled in well, being divided into ‘families’, groups which mix up people from different districts and tribes to assist the bonding on Kira.

Now that the training has begun, what does the day look like?

  • The trainees wake up at 6:00am and it’s straight to early morning chores, cleaning their rooms, toilets and the compound for 30 minutes.

  • From 6:30 to 7:30am the trainees begin their project work in their ‘families’ where they attend to tree nurseries, rabbit and goat farming, vegetable patches or urban farming.

  • At this point, at 7:30am, it is time for a tea break.

  • Next, the trainees and Kira staff share in morning devotions and prayers together from 8:00 to 9:00am.

  • From 9:00am to 5:00pm comes the main programme for the day which consists of vocational training or farming with shorts breaks for porridge and lunch.

  • Games and sports follow to use up the unspent energy!

  • Dinner is served from 6:30 to 7:15pm followed by evening devotions. 

  • Finally, it’s time for bed and lights out by 9:00pm.

What have the trainees been eating?

Thanks to the Farm staff that worked hard during the lockdown, there has been enough food for the start and of different varieties like our main posho, sweet potatoes, rice and green bananas.

What have you been covering in training?

Hairdressing: 2 guys and 25 girls have been learning how to plait, twist and experimenting with three stem styles of hair.

Tailoring: 8 guys and 22 girls have all been learning how to stitch a gathered flock.

Building: 19 guys and 2 girls have been learning how to construct header bonded walls.

Carpentry: 15 guys have been learning how to make different joints.

What else can you tell us… anything funny?

The funniest comment was from a trainee from Orom who says he needs to study some maths so that he can properly use a Kira toilet. It was apparently much easier to aim at holes in the bush.

The main struggle for most of the trainees so far is getting up in the morning. For most on Kira, they are getting their first comfortable sleep on bed with a mattress and a blanket so leaving that comfort in the morning becomes very difficult.

But overall, everyone has settled in very well, they know where to be and at what time and you can tell all trainees look more relaxed than in the first two weeks.