Farm to table – organic school farms (without the table)
The Buyanga Primary School Farm Project grows food to feed children lunch at a poor, rural school in Eastern Uganda.
When we began the farm in 2016, the school had more than 450 students (ages 6-16), many of which came to school hungry and malnourished. According to the Headmaster, only 200 kids had 2 meals at home (breakfast and dinner), and the remaining 700 typically only had 1 meal (or sometimes, sadly none). When we started the farm, there was a young girl who came to school unable to learn, as she hadn’t had a meal in two days.
Prior to our involvement, the school grew some crops to provide lunch for students. However, they were only able to provide meager lunches for some of the oldest students, and there was rarely any food for the youngest, and possibly most vulnerable.
We began the farm with 1 acre of 550 Banana tree saplings. In 2½ years, the farm has grown to 7½ acres with Corn, Beans, Sweet Potatoes, and a variety of Vegetables (onions, tomatoes, cabbage). Throughout the process of developing the farm, the school places special emphasis on teaching the kids best farming practices. Uganda is blessed with good soil, and most families own and farm the land on which their home sits. However, most families have limited farming experience and knowledge. While we teach the kids how to farm, they go home and teach their parents.
The school has grown to over 1,000 students, and every student eats lunch daily. The lunches they receive also offer more variety for improved nutrition. With students getting fed, the parents are incentivized to send their children to school, rather than keep them home to work in the fields. Not only are more children attending school, but more are graduating and moving on to Secondary School.
While we continue to support the school with funds for 2 planting seasons/year, we are helping them gradually move to self-sustainability, by requiring them to plant a portion of the acreage with plants that can be sold for profit.
We are proud of our work at Buyanga Primary School, and are dedicated to helping every student get the education they deserve to improve their chances for a better life out of extreme poverty.
Best farming practices
Each student is learning sustainable planting and harvesting practices as they help tend the crops. Work is on-going with soil bands and irrigation channels to prevent soil erosion. This education results in increased yields as new practices replace fragile and resource-intensive traditional farming methods. Best of all, they bring home this knowledge and share with their families to teach everybody in the community best organic farming practices.
How you can help …
Buppala Primary School is a great example of the impact you can make by planting a tree or buying a basket of seeds. We’re now partnering with Buyanga Primary School to feed 800 students lunch each and every day!
Connect with a school
Help raise funds for kids to eat lunch at a school in a developing country. We offer a full suite of learning materials and fund-raising ideas for participating teachers. Learn more.
A school pen pal project
It started in 2009 with a pen pal project organized by Global Village Connect and sixth grade teacher Jodi Sabra, now one of our board members. Kids at Radnor Middle School in Radnor, Pennsylvania, started writing letters to kids at Buppala Primary School. The pen pal relationships ignited ideas for change. First a latrine, then a school lunch program followed by the organic garden and the exporting of produce.
Read more about Radnor’s pen pal program »