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By Eric Barigye

Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place and Charity Projects which host our Adventure Like No Other. This week we return to the projects and beneficiaries being supported by the 2021 event!


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Each week, Eric will be helping us to explore all things Uganda!

Masaka Youth Development Association was started in 2013 for and by the youth community of Ssaza to combat the poverty and unemployment in the area. They are now looking to expand to nearby areas with the help of members like Solomon Kigoye

Having joined after learning of MAYDAS through a friend in 2014, Solomon has risen to the committee position of treasurer. From a family of farmers, he joined shortly after his A-Levels when he went full time into farming and luckily MAYDAS was there to give him the capital he needed to grow his scale. 

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Solomon’s Day

Solomon wakes at 6:00 AM and after early morning preparations, he leaves his house for the shamba. March is the beginning of the wet season here in Uganda and this is the time farmers plant their seeds as can be gleaned here.  Solomon himself is planting maize and beans on the 1.5-acre land his family owns. 

He tilled it recently and so the holes he has to put the seeds are prepared. He practices intercropping of beans and maize by putting 3 of each type in the same hole before covering it with soil. He does this because of the small size of the plantation as well as the cost he saves when fertilizing. He tells me the beans will be reaped and sold by the time the maize is ready for harvest. 

He breaks at 11 AM for tea. This lasts for 30 to 45 minutes before he returns to the garden. He continues to plant the seeds till 3:00 PM for lunch. After lunch and rest at 5:00 PM Solomon tends his other gardens that include sugarcane and coffee.

 

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“Thank you to everybody at the marathon for believing in our project. With the help of runners, we can do much more to help the youth of this community. I aim to create a model farm that can be replicated so we can raise our lives together.”

– Solomon

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He borrows 1.5 million shillings (roughly $352) which is crucial in acquiring seeds and fertilizers, and four months later he pays back the loan in 3 instalments which totals to 1.650 million shillings. At the end of the year, the sum of the small profits gained from lending is shared across the members with those who have saved more getting a bigger slice of the pie.

Solomon gets back home at 6:30. A shower, dinner, TV and bed is how he keeps his evenings.

Thank you for spending the day with us and see you again next week!

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With great sadness, we are postponing the 2020 Uganda Marathon to May 2021.Read our full update here
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