A Farming Group Committed to Transforming their Community

“We shall do whatever it takes to make poverty history in our families and the entire community of Kyakalisa because unless we do it ourselves, nothing will change”

Beatrice, Farming Group Chairperson


Back in 2020, Amigos began to work in Kyakalisa, a rural village in the Masindi district of Uganda.  It was the beginning of Amigos three-year transformation journey with the community.  From 5% of families having enough food to eat in 2020 to 100% three years later, families able to save like never before, and a decrease from 81% of women experiencing domestic violence to 0% by the end, this was a village moving into a hope-filled future.

At the beginning of Amigos’ time in Kyakalisa, a borehole was installed to ensure clean water was available for the village.  This had a significant effect on reducing illness in the area as well as ensuring women and children spent less time travelling long distances to collect water.

A farming group was established, and children were identified for the Amigos family sponsorship programme.  Beatrice became Chairperson of the farming group and, in her words, “…developed a zeal for farming”.  It quickly became clear that Beatrice was determined to work hard and learn from Amigos’ training.

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The group planted maize in the first season, which they harvested in August 2020. They yielded 15 bags (about 1500kg) of maize from one acre of land, something they never expected, having previously yielded two bags. When the group sold the maize, they used the money to rent two more acres of land for the second season.

Through the combination of farming training and education around business and growth mindset (as well as their hard work!), the farming group went from strength to strength.  Crop yields increased significantly enough to enable the group to generate an income, leading to every group member operating a business by the end of Amigos time in Kyakalisa in 2022.

Farming group member Justine shared her story,

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My financial situation was very bad before I joined the farming group. I used to rely on my husband for financial support which was very difficult.

Ever since I became part of the farming group, things have changed financially. I borrowed 100,000 from the group savings in 2020 and started a food store business where I sell onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, and silverfish in the nearby market. I am very happy because my business is doing very well. I make a profit of 50,000 shillings in a week. I save 10,000, invest 20,000 back in the business and use 20,000 to cater for other family expenses.

Now, I feel happy because I do not have to rely on my husband for everything and it has also given him a huge relief. We have enough food at home and all our children are in school.”

During their training, the farmers formed a savings group to save and borrow money and families were able to begin to grow financial resilience.  The impact on the village was significant.  As Beatrice told us,

“The village has good clean drinking water and community members rarely fall sick. We formed a savings group where members save money and borrow. This scheme is very beneficial. This is why I have been able to build myself a decent home and so have the majority of the other members in this Kyakalisa community.

If you took a walk in this village, you would be surprised by the change as most members moved from houses built from mud and mantle to tin-roofed houses. In most families, they have solar lights, they have bicycles, and they have food in plenty which translates into them affording at least 2 meals in a day.”

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The UK team visiting the Kyakalisa Farming Group in March 2024

Amigos finished working in Kyakalisa in 2022, but during their visit this March, members of the UK Amigos team had the privilege of visiting Beatrice and the rest of the farming group.  They have continued to flourish and are ambitious for the future! 

With their savings bank growing, a potential catering business on the horizon, a chair hire scheme and all the previously sponsored children still in school, we have no doubt that Beatrice and her group will continue to see great fruit from their endeavours.  She told us that people now have food to feed their families, disease has reduced through drinking clean water and that they have shared their knowledge with the community.  Their commitment was clear and inspiring, “We shall do whatever it takes to make poverty history in our families and the entire community of Kyakalisa because unless we do it ourselves, nothing will change,” said Beatrice.